15 Months Gone: 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I – NOW $7,800

Jun 2020 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

June 6th Update:  We remained shocked this Bug Eye Sprite we first featured on March 9th last year remains available, albeit with the price now increased to $7,800, which is $100 less than the current Hagerty Insurance #3 “Good” estimate.  At this point, if the seller would take a few minutes to move the car outside on a nice day and provide some decent pictures that might help his cause.  Knowing he was willing in the past to part with this car at $7,000 not long ago, that should be your ceiling when you show up with cash in hand and a hauler ready to take it back to your garage.  If you are serious about purchasing this Bug Eye, the only way you can contact the seller is by calling Peter at (856) 371-4612 ext. 856.  Good luck with the purchase!  

January 4th, 2020 Update:  When we first featured this Bug Eye Sprite on March 9th last year, we thought this example from North Carolina would quickly get snapped up despite the private seller’s firm asking price of $7,500 at the time.  The original Craigslist was soon gone, so we thought a lucky new caretaker took it home.  Fast forward to today and we’re shocked to see this car relisted by the same owner nearly one year later with the same fuzzy pictures asking a firm $7,500 in the body of his post yet the title only lists “$7.”  If you are serious about purchasing this Bug Eye, the only way you can contact the seller is by calling Peter at (856) 371-4612 ext. 856.  He also claims to have a similar 1960 Bug Eye for sale at the same price.  We’ve updated the links and related texts below.

We found what the private seller describes as a “freshened up” 1961 “Bug Eye” Sprite near Pilesgrove, New Jersey here on Craigslist for the firm price of $7,500. The Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has his Bug Eye priced $400 less than the #3 “Good” estimate of $7,900, so as long as you don’t find any rust or poorly repaired chassis areas underneath we still feel this car has a lot of potential.

Unfortunately, the private seller provides subpar indoor pictures of his car, but from what we can tell from the photos the freshened up paint and trim look presentable. The seller states the car runs and drives, however he recommends trailering the Bugeye home as the seats are not original and are not bolted down. They appear to be later model Midget or MGB seats. The carpet, dash, and steering wheel all appear to be in very nice shape. With this low price, you have enough wiggle room to do the right thing and source the correct seats for this car.

The following picture provided shows a replacement carpet kit in red, which once installed will really make the white exterior pop on this Bugeye.

 

Unfortunately, the seller provided a very blurry picture of the engine bay, but given that the engine appears freshly painted, chances are good its been resealed if not fully rebuilt but you’ll need to confirm. The seller states the car comes with the vinyl side curtains and top bows.  He now indicates this Bug Eye “needs charging” however his poor description does not clearly state what the problem may be.

For $7,500 this is a great way to get into the old car hobby that leaves you can have fun with and very likely get the money back that you put into it if you decide to sell it later. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s unedited description:

“1961 Austin bug runs and looks good new paint seats are from later model and need to be bolted in comes with red inter. panels and rear carpet needs charging looked at gen or regulated replaced 7500.00 no TeX or emails will not respond call 856 37146 one two only read no TeX or emails car is from north Carolina now in south jersey price is firm mg mgb triumph morris british. Getting emails with offers unable to respond you must call also have 1960 bugeye same pric

Do you have a Bug Eye Sprite story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

2 Comments

  1. CJinSD

    I believe this is a MKI Sprite, the MKII being distinguished by the loss of the bugeyes and revised rear bodywork with a trunk lid. This seems like a very good deal, should the future allow.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Hi CJ,

      Thank you for keeping up honest! Yes, you are correct this car is indeed a Mk I. The Mk II and its front end redesign did not happen until May 1961. We’ve updated all of the references within the post. Thank you for your help – we appreciate it!

      Reply

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