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Question regars 'frame assembly-hood' for various spridget models


Jedi Knight
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We have two bugeyes plus a pile of bits and pieces pertinent to this model as well as stuff I've picked up from later series over the years.

The 'frame assembly -hood' (i.e. the tubular metal thingy that you use to support the top when you put it up) we have for the BEs is one piece and I've got a couple of two-piece assemblies that appear to match item 4 in the AH Spares listing (summarized below) but also fit the BE.

I'm assuming that the item 5 for the Mk 4 is completely incompatible but would appreciate any wisdom as to:
- why did the Mk 2/3 Sprite/Mk 1/2 Midget need a two piece assembly
- any problems with the two piece?
-what the heck is the difference between the assemblies for the Mk2 and Mk3 Sprite?

The reason I'm curious is that we're looking into figuring out how to build a roll bar that will fit into the bugeye without messing up seat clearances or installing the top. Currently, I expect that we will not be able to retain the standard BE storage approach for the 'frame assembly-hood' and will have to go to the two piece and just toss the bits in the 'boot'. But I would sure appreciate some wisdom on this one.

And the intention of such a roll bar would not be concerns about rolling, but to provide anchor points for 4-point seat belts plus provide protection in the case of getting t-boned in an intersection.

Thanks, Doug.

Here's what AH Spares lists:




Obi Wan
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Most of the roll bars I've seen on Bugeyes are low profile to allow the use of the original top frame and I'm guessing they are custom. I've attached a couple of pictures from the web, one of David Harrison's Bugeye and the other is unknown to me. While a roll bar would make good attachment points, you would have to heavily pad it or wear a helmet since a minor bump from the rear could damage your noggin. I mounted my MGB seat belts to the tunnel, sill, and top of the rear wheel well with large anchor points as provided by the seat belt manufacturer and will do the same on my Bugeye. These are definitely minimalist cars and I like to think of them as 4 wheel motorcycles as far as safety is concerned. Btw, mine came with a 1.5" roll bar brazed to the rear deck and removal was pretty easy and I doubt it would have added any protection at all.


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Staff member
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Doug, so far as I know none of the tops are interchangeable. In part because the cockpit size is not the same across models.

Unless you are planning to race why a roll bar? They look cool but, these little things are so stable that rolling it will be the very least of your worries. A pair of air horns will be a much much better investment.


The reason the Mk2 Sprites used a split top frame was because it got stowed in the boot rather than hung behind the seats as on the BE. I had a BE with just the split frame on it and it seemed to work. I didn't compare it to the solid one though and the top that was on the car fit poorly. Seemed too small but I chalked that up to the top just shrinking.



Country flag
Another reason for no ro;;bar is depending on your Seat Choice - i.e Miata Seats in my '68 I got much less recline available as the Miata Seats hit against the roll bar. And yes rollbar and heads do not work well.


Jedi Knight
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Thanks Kurt. I figured it had to be your explanation, but (for some reason or t'other) I had it in my mind that the split ones were from the 1958 models. Glad to have that put to rest. Doug


Luke Skywalker
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Have have a Bugeye parts car with a very stout roll bar that is surplus to my needs. Photos available if interested.


Jedi Knight
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Please send some pictures along as it would, at the very least, be good to see the design approach taken. Was there any seat clearance interference? Thanks, Doug.
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