(click to enlarge)

Year: 1973

Austin Healey Bug Eye


Stock # NE-1973-39

Well, NOT really a Bug Eye and, for that matter, NOT really an Austin Healey. More like a hybrid....a restored 1973 MG Midget with a Bug Eye nose and a nicely done wood dashboard.

Having now established what it is, perhaps best to offer a more detailed description: excellent floors and chassis, excellent body, new paint, ALL new interior and very nicely done. Smart previous owner got rid of the awful 'pillow' padded dashboard and replaced it with a very nice wood dash, even with an opening glove box. In my eye, just beautiful.

Engine is a 1275cc unit, twin carbs, recently had an upper end overhaul, zero smoke, 70 psi oil pressure at operating temperature, smooth and amply powerful, 4 speed rib case semi close ratio gearbox (a bit noisy in first but with excellent synchromesh), high geared differential, modern digital stereo, new master cylinders (and a safe dual brake master cylinder), disc brakes, new convertible top, very good full tonneau cover, spotless engine bay, very clean trunk, alternator, a modern 12 fuse block with modern press in fuses....located under the dash (instead of the wonky two fuse box on original Bug Eyes), new starter motor, excellent wiring and electrics,, 3 point belts, new turn signal assembly, rebuilt rear suspension with new springs, heater, thermostatic controlled electric radiator cooling fan, new modern radiator core, (as an owner of an original, but modified, Bug Eye), in my opinion the best Bug Eye we have ever had for sale. Even if it IS debatable as to what it really is.

Oh, and yes, will order and install a proper original Austin Healey nose emblem.

IF I was going to keep it, I think I would eliminate the current candy apple switches for proper English toggle switches, get rid of the headrests, and fit a luggage rack. And have most of the beautiful aesthetics of a proper Bug Eye with soooooooooooo many late model Spridget virtues.

Such as: more powerful engine, better gearbox, higher geared differential, easy highway cruising, the safety of dual master cylinders AND disc brakes, the strong Minilite alloy wheels (which we can, of course, convert to wire wheels), the more comfortable seats, the better weather protection, and added late model safety equipment, sort of on and on and on. And if one wants to be creative, maybe weld the trunk shut, blend in the seams, and cut the back panel to allow access much like an original Bug Eye. And if one is absolutely psychotic, we can even fabricate and weld in metal to eliminate the large rear lights and fit small Bug Eye style lights. I suppose all of this can be endless.

Remember, a stock Bug Eye is awfully cute but leaves a lot to be desired when...uh....driven. 43 horsepower, tiny drum brakes, a wide ratio transmission, tiny narrow tires, fragile (often cracked) narrow steel wheels, low gearing making even 60 mph driving a buzzy experiences,

Neat car. And wish I had room in my barn for it 'cause I think it is terribly close to (in my humble opinion) 'too good to sell.'

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