I Keep Tellin’ Ya, I Was Born With It!

What I like to call The British Disease.

I was given a large box of old pictures and there are a whole bunch of them that were my Dad’s from way back that I have to go through. Just skimming the very top of the box I found one I thought I would share with you guys that might go a long way towards explaining my Die Hard Love/Hate relationship with this damned Sprite I seem to have.

I was born at the end of January in 1960.

Please hold onto your Geezer cracks for a minute.

That picture was taken in December of 1960 which would have put me at about 11 months old.

That is My Dad, my Mom, his 1959 Bugeye Sprite that I still have the hubcaps from and me.

I have been told that even at that tender age, they would put me in my little car seat and cram it down in between the front seats of that little POS and we would all go on Car Ralleys together.

My Old Man wound up racing that thing later and I see there are a bunch of pictures of that I need to go through that are just loose in the box.

So there is your proof.

I come by that shit honestly.

I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

25 thoughts on “I Keep Tellin’ Ya, I Was Born With It!

  1. Buddy of mine in Junior College had a sprite. Couldn’t tell you now what model it was. We first met there as we were both living in the dormitory. Sierra Junior College in Rocklin. The head needed some work and I was taking an engine rebuild class as an elective. Still have my copy of this book from that class–

    –from that class. So he pulled the head and IIRC, I did the valve seats and pressed in new valve guides. Did not surface grind it as I don’t think we got that far in the class.

    You will get no Geezer cracks from me. In two years I turn 70.
    Damn kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t “get it” from my Dad, who reeeeally didn’t like me being a “Grease Monkey” until much later.

    I helped a buddy in college get his Bugeye back on the road. I made him a new wiring harness that was much better than the junk it came with, and then we dropped in a “built” 1275 “Cooper S” motor.

    And boy, did that little thing scoot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quick, Phil? Yeah, it is, if you push it out of your garage, rearrange things, then push it back in. Great fuel economy too. You could put it in the back of your Chevy, to be able to ‘drive’ it around with any reliability. The RAF should have parachuted them into Germany during WWII, Hitler would’ve capitulated without the Allies needing to do any bombing. Cool pic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You seem to be an expert on Sprites, being a loyal British Subject you must own at least two of them and enjoy fixing it in the shop more then you drive it or so it seems with British cars and trucks, they seem to be garage queens, is that why your Sovereignty was a Lorry driver in the Great Patriotically Inept war you Brits seem to get involved in with the Frogs and have to have us bail ya’ll’s stoker out of the fire.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s funny. Back when I was in High School (Middle Ages for you young farts), most of my friends had Austin Healy Sprites, it was “THE CAR” for the nerd crowd. Seats 3 if you’re real friendly or one is real limber.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. With this posting I am getting the distinct impression you are keeping the little bug-eyed monstrosity… Just know when I do show up on your curb I will not ride in it, I can’t get that low and if I did make it, you would need the cherry picker to get my ass up and out. It is too bad you can’t devote the time and money to get it running well and the brakes fixed and it become a weekend fun car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just need to get off my dead ass and bleed the brakes. Everything is brand fucking new but after I paid good money to have them done it somehow lost all the fluid in one half of the master cylinder. No puddles anywhere that I could see, I have absolutely no idea where it went. After I bleed those it has to have new tires. Then I could actually drive it. I got it started and running again the other day.


      • You’ve cracked it: the brake fluid drained into the tires. Aren’t you glad you have the Internet to provide helpful advice?


  6. Phil, you are about 10 months older than I am. I learned the lesson about British cars in 1980. I came across a deal on a 75 Triumph Spitfire 1500 that had a cracked block. My dad was Air Force and deployed temp duty to Europe once or twice every year. Dad was a gearhead and had a variety of muscle cars in my formative years. He was able to acquire a 76 1500 which he was able to mail home for less than $200. The engine R&R went smooth. It ran but had electrical gremlins. It took 16 months to re-wire that car to get everything to work. A clutch, top, carpet, brakes, and a paint job after all of that I still had less than $2500 and my labor tied up into it.

    The lessons about British wiring was forgotten in 2012 when I bought a new Mini Cooper S. Three electrical problems in warranty and one after I dumped it with less than 60K miles at 5 years old for less than a third of what I bought it for.

    I will stick with Swedish or German cars. They seem to be made better as they tend to last longer and are fairly easy to work on. Except for the Porsche 944S, they built a turbo engine and wrapped a frame and sheet metal as close as possible to the engine. The 944 was short lived as it was also a fixer upper deal where it got flipped in a year. Bent valve and some head damage that was easily fixed with a performance track kit Porsche had for the 944. It was cheaper than fixing the head. Porsche is now on the no $%^ way list.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also have owned a Bugeye Sprite along with a English Ford Thames panel when in high school. Wish i still had the Thames Panel. I switched to V.W.’s later and have a restored 63 VW, Bug and a 1966 11 window bus in original paint. The one I’m working on now is a 1969 VW Meyers Manx. My youngest son has a 63 VW single cab pickup and a 61 double cab pickup.


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