View Full Version : Anyone know this car currently on E-Bay in Seattle

07-13-2013, 02:40 PM
A new friend of mine Bill Mayer from Southern CA is looking at this listing for a 59 Wire Wheeled OEW Bugeye in Seattle. https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Austin-Healey-Austin-Healey-Bugeye-1959-austin-healey-bugeye-sprite-/271236823829?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3f26f97b15&vxp=mtr

Current bid is $9,900 with 6 days to go.

Bill has an excellent Cherry Red BE but wants one in OEW. Anyone know this car or can take a look at it for Bill and offer their opinions. I spotted the following:
From what I can see from here this looks like a nice BE. A couple things I noticed:

1) Scratch on paint right rear lower corner on lower fascia

2) Vinyl on the dash will need recovering , personally Bugsy II will be a shade of OEW with Cherry Red interior. Really pops that way.

3) Do seats look OEM to you. They seem far more padded than Sprite Seats are. Since mine need recovering badly and new padding I can't venture on that one.

4) I'd want to know if the correct 3/4" Brake master which is what is needed for Front Discs was installed.

5) Were rear Brakes upgraded with later 3/4" Rear Wheel Cylinders and correct later Brake Backing Plate.

If both sides were not upgraded braking effort will be hard and brakes will not work properly

6) Does it indeed have the correct Rear end for Wire Wheels. There is about a 3/4" difference in width for a WW Axle Car. You can insert a WW Axle into a Standard Axle Car but only about 1/3 of length of the axle splines make contact with the differential. I'd want to know more about that conversion.

7) Most importantly I'd like someone in Seattle to look at it and see if there is any known history from one of the Spridget Guys up there. I'll post the question on British Car Forum/Spridgets and see if anyone knows this car. Log on to there in next day and see what folks say about this one and you may be able to get someone to take a look at this Sprite.

Hope this helped. I'm about to head out on vacation for next 10 days but will keep an eye on the BCH Site and see what folks say.

Bill is going to log onto BCF and see responses from this Team and hopefully join our forum. Bill can be reached as billhmayer@gmail.com

Thanks guys for your help..

07-13-2013, 03:07 PM

If this turns out not to be the car for him, I have a friend that is ready to sell his OEW Bugeye this coming week. It is a very original car in exceptional shape. It has been repainted the original color, along with the original factory hardtop, but is otherwise completely original. I've driven this car and it runs and rides great. I'd like to see it go to a good home.

BTW, wire wheel width difference is not 3/4", it's 1 inch (1/2" per side).


07-13-2013, 04:15 PM
Nice car Gerard. Well I was close on axle length. I knew it was something like that. Thanks.

07-14-2013, 12:15 AM
I'm not aware of this one (which does mean much) San Diego Bill M might know if he has his ears on... I'm likewise out of town until next Monday...To be a bit picky...Why a 58 frame windshield mounted on later supports... The seats look like the right platform but custom padding for some reason... NO washer bottle either.... Well, many of us that frequent this site have gasped at the recent prices had for our friend....salute I say...

07-14-2013, 12:44 AM
The more I'm looking at this deal the more I think this restore was done by someone who wasn't very familiar with the BE all the way along....IE saying the air cleaner were OEM.... Also, things we most likely won't do like reversing the Heater and Washer dash assemblies... for a lack of a better term...sloppy redo's in the cockpit...dash, floor...seats...paint job etc. and as mentioned the windshield frame.....We have seen these yarns told many times lately on flea bay..to our muse I might add!.....The author is spinning a tale and he has quite a few readers....Here's my take...There's a number of people, guy's, who had a BE touch them in their youth and now are in a position to buy a memory ready to be driven....not a hobby.... so to the best of their abilities are ready push the buy button.... That's great!

07-14-2013, 10:31 AM
Thanks for the input. I plan on buying it even with some of its flaws. I will inspect it myself and check out every thing and take it to a Austin Healey mechanic before handing over the cash. I am not looking for a concurs Bugeye and I know this is not concurs, but neither is my present Cherry Red Bugeye. I know you guys probably think I am silly, but I really like this one over the one I have.I don't have years to wait for the exact one to come along. I am 71 years old. This one is close enough for me. Since I have owned my Cherry Red Bugeye I have been very happy with it and have had all the mechanics taken care of. I will be selling the red one if I acquire the Old English White one. bug-sixty is right, I am not a hobbyist, but a guy who enjoys owning a Bugeye after 50 years since my last one. I am not mechanicaly inclined like most of you, wish I was. I do have an excellent British Car mechanic. He takes care of keeping it running and I keep it shiny and drive it. Thanks again for you opinions and wish me luck

07-14-2013, 10:46 AM
Luck to you my friend!

07-14-2013, 11:49 AM
I noticed the windscreen: It's not an early frame with later uprights. It's a later frame/correct uprights with extra studs added like the earliest cars. Unusual move.
Going from memory here but that serial number should be a late '58 build date, obviously titled as a '59.

07-14-2013, 12:40 PM
Corrected...The dash starter pull was left off in the dash vinyl redo... What do you think they did for the starter engage? selenoid?

07-14-2013, 12:50 PM
I noticed the frame also. The explanation is that the original owner, not the one who owns it now , ordered the wrong top and instead of sending it back he had fastners put on the either 59 or 60 windshield. If you go to Bugeyparts.com you will see a 59 or 60 bugeye that John Felt has for sale. it also has the 58 windshield with the fastners. He told me he did that because he wanted more chrome to match the wheels. I know it is a little strange, but i could change it back.

07-14-2013, 12:51 PM
Opps, probably jumped the gun on saying the starter pull wasn't there... Pic's don't really show that... Cable looks missing on firewall was where I was assuming...

07-14-2013, 12:54 PM
Yea! iff...you would be the proud owner of TWO BE's...at least for a while....

07-14-2013, 01:37 PM
I know you guys probably think I am silly, but I really like this one over the one I have.I don't have years to wait for the exact one to come along. I am 71 years old. This one is close enough for me. Nope, we don't think that at all. All that matters is if YOU like it and it's in your price range.

07-14-2013, 01:58 PM
I looked at this ebay listing several times before I read the description. Now that I've read it, my opinion of this listing is steadily declining.

Here are my thoughts:

1. The car looks good at first glance, but it looks worse to me every time I go back.
2. I don't care much for the tone of the written description.
3. I'm guessing the reserve is way above the realistic value.
4. Not enough pics for this kind of money. None of the underside, or even under the carpet.
5. The professionally rebuilt engine claim is always BS unless you see the receipts.

I suppose it could be a rust free, really good car and fixing the obvious flaws isn't difficult. But it's not cheap either. The thing here is that you're buying from a used car salesman and not an enthusiast.

"This vehicle also spent a year prior to my ownership in British Columbia where it was completely rebuilt as a father and son project. The restorer who completed this car normally does Jaguar’s, Big Healy’s and other more difficult British cars." Well, which one is it? Restored as a father/son project or done by some unnamed big-shot who normally does Jaguars... (but can't get the vinyl to stick to a bugeye dashboard?)

To me the bottom line is this: If you have the money, you can find a better car.

07-14-2013, 02:07 PM
Not that HE's asking....but amen brother

07-14-2013, 09:16 PM
"Father-Son project" always says to me, "Done to the best of a teenager's ability and overseen by someone who may not know any better. If they weren't motivated enough to finish the project, don't be surprised if they weren't motivated enough to finish any "completed" tasks properly."

07-15-2013, 10:56 AM
I like Gerard's offer better. Don't really like the tone of this guy's sale hype.


07-15-2013, 02:01 PM
This car is also for sale on a British site with a fixed price of 7089 pounds or $10,671.78 US. When It comes time to have a shop look at for you I might suggest Autosport in Seattle or Brooklands in Tacoma. Both are good shops with good reputations. Autosport would of course be the closer choice.


07-15-2013, 02:23 PM
Nice car Gerard.

Thanks Jim,

You can't tell from these photos, but things like the ribbed mats in the doors are original, as are the the Hardura mats on the jump seat and wheel arches. The floor have rubber mats, not carpeting, but not sure if they are original or the Amco mats of the day. Except for a remote filter setup, everything under the bonnet is intact as well.

07-15-2013, 03:51 PM
I can look at this car if needed. I am not a professional just been working on cars for a long time. On eBay is it possible to look before you buy?

07-17-2013, 01:02 PM
I received this note from Bill late last night re. the BE in Seattle.
Hi Jim,
Just got back from a round trip to Seattle, it's midnight in San Diego and I am winding down with a glass of wine. Tell all your guys it is a piece of dodo. The bid right now is $12000. E-Bay pictures lie. On the internet it looked better than mine. But it is not. The paint is chipped it has rust in the bleeding down the fenders , the top and toneau cover are of poor quality. The wire wheels are nice but that is about it. There is not only a missing washer bottle but their are no jets to spray the windshield as the restorer did not put them on the car, but just filled the jet holes and painted over them. Based on the $12000 bid currently for the car my car must be worth $18000 or so. I had to come home and say I'm sorry to "59Diamond" for going astray. The guy who is selling the car is not a crook, He is a nice guy who bought the car on a whim about 3 years ago and hardly ever drives it. He really does not know much about Bugeyes based on his answers to questions I asked him. I am keeping my cherry red bugeye for the indefinite future and I have sworn off looking on the internet and especially E-Bay at other peoples Bugeye's. Tell all your friends they have a good eye for this stuff and I did not ignore what they had to say.

Hey thanks to the team for helping Bill out. He took a trip to see this BE and your advice helped him from making a purchase mistake.

07-17-2013, 04:28 PM
. I am keeping my cherry red bugeye for the indefinite future and I have sworn off looking on the internet and especially E-Bay at other peoples Bugeye's.

Hey thanks to the team for helping Bill out. He took a trip to see this BE and your advice helped him from making a purchase mistake. This is exactly why I look at other cars, to remind myself how good I have it. This is also why it's a good idea to check craigslist personal ads from time to time. :laugh: Sometimes I get upset with my wife...then I call a buddy and he tells me about his.....:winner1: Kelly usually winds up with Bluebell shortly thereafter.:wink: