Back in the day, one was able to call things what they were. Now you have to call it something else, or the opposite, or what it wants to be called, or say nothing at all. That’s what I like about this little car. You can call it what it is and even if it’s not the most flattering, it’s what it is. Nothing wrong with that.
So let’s take a look at this car with the interesting name. It’s called the Bugeye Sprite. Most people know what being bug-eyed is: wide eyes popping out, perhaps in amazement, perhaps in disbelief, perhaps from a thyroid condition…whatever it may be. Usually being called bug-eyed is not much of a compliment, but it is unrepentantly descriptive. Having hailed from New York, I can appreciate that.
I might recall a conversation or two on any given day that went like: “Hey Joey, didya see dat guy ovahdaih go all bug-eyed when I dropped this five gallon bucket of drywall compound on his foot? Yeah Vinny dat wuz too funny!” Or, “When dat lady with duh baby axsst if she couldda cut in line, whe went full-on bug-eyed and turn all bright red with a big vein poppin’ out of her forehead when I told her to go get lawst.”
Such is the usage of bug-eyed in common parlance back east.
So what is a sprite anyway? Why it’s a magical little elf or nymph-like being that’s small and nimble. So when you combine being bugeyed with being a sprite, this car is what you get. Again unabashedly descriptive…which is cool in my book.
So the Bugeye Sprite, was a diminutive convertible produced by Austin-Healey between 1958 and 1961. It was arranged in the classic 2 door roadster mullet layout: Business in the front (engine) , party in the back (drive wheels). A cute little bug-eyed ninny-muggins is what this car is (and that’s meant to be a term of endearment). If Peter Pan had ever gotten to grow up and received his “driving licence”, this is the British motorcar he would have naturally gravitated toward.
Springing through the forest, albeit at a leisurely pace, the bug-eyed appearance of this car probably came from joy rather than astonishment or overactive endocrine function. Look at the entirely happy smiley face on this little bugger. Clearly this bitty roadster is meant for ticking it’s 43 HP .9 liter engine through some twisties, taking in the wonder of the scenery rather than trying to slam full speed through the upcoming reverse-camber compound radius turn. Having that intention for this vehicle would have required a grille design that is more troubled or determined looking. I’m not sure what an “astonished” grille would appear to be, but surely the bug-eyes would remain.
This particular example, in an amber metallic appearing paint over black interior, has an asking price of $18,000. This well taken care of…uh…Sprite…has the standard 4-cylinder engine, manual transmission and has a new black soft top. The seller states that a restoration was done in 2010-2011 and has been driven sparingly since. Also included in the sale is a Sony stereo, a binder of receipts and photos as well as a box of miscellaneous small parts (presumably for the car, and not just some extraneous legos). The odometer reads 7791 at the time of the post, but there is no indication of how many original miles are on the car. That’s up to you to find out when you click HERE to take you to the link on craigslist.