This week, we are showcasing original cars, and “Betty” is the ultimate. If you like accurate restorations, this one is for you, and if you have ever done a ground-up restoration, you know you could not build a concours gold car (or even a bronze car) at this price. More importantly, we have gone through this car and made it a dream to drive. You should be able to see that from the videos below. Drive anywhere. Show anywhere. Reduced! Call if you would like to hear more!
Many people claim that their classic car is restored to “concours” condition… but this is rarely verified. Sure, that new high dollar restoration looks great, but is it accurate? And does it all work?
“Betty” (AN5L 25014) is just such a verified Bugeye, with certificates to prove it! Betty was scrutinized by a team of four independent judges, who poured over the car for over two full hours and inspected every nut and bolt. Their conclusion? They awarded this car Gold level concours certification, the highest honor available for any Austin Healey.
The certificate you see above exhibits that this car met the necessary criteria to demonstrate that it was accurately restored to the EXACT factory specifications of October 29th, 1959, the day it rolled off the assembly line, and that it is also in concours cosmetic (mint) condition. In addition, Betty passed a comprehensive functionality test when judged… you get points off if the horn, or tachometer, or anything else isn’t working as originally designed. So this car is an exact match of the condition and quality from the day it left the factory floor. You can see this in a driving video below:
Betty has driven very few miles since achieving gold medal distinction, with the exception of an appearance at the Greenwich Concours in 2016. This car’s presence at this event is quite notable given that the prior owner DROVE the car from his home in New Jersey to Greenwich, which is a drive through a particularly inhospitable section of American roadway, and back. Such a drive signifies that this car is highly drivable (not just a trailer queen) should the new owner care to drive it regularly. Check out our new highway video below, where you can see the car join Interstate 95 traffic and accelerate (albeit with just the stock 45 HP) to just about 70 MPH.
We’ve gone back through the car this year and upgraded a few minor details to make the car even more accurate. Small details make this car so special, and we added a few more accurate touches just to keep the car true to its concours gold rating. Check out the video below for the latest in-depth look at Betty and some of the accuracy updates we have made!
We attached the coveted gold registry badge on the grill, a trophy that only the best of the best can display (and there are only a handful worthy of this distinction). We have changed the air snorkel to the concours accurate correct one (that we sell in our catalog here if you want one for your own car), and we have put on some vintage 1960 Ohio license plates (that come with the car if the new owner desires).
We also got the car a heritage certificate that verifies that all numbers on the car are factory correct… this is the original engine that came with the car. The certificate also confirms that she originally came fit with white wall bias ply tires as shown.
Keep in mind that many of these cars built in 1959 were first titled in 1960, depending on how long they sat at the dealership when new. Per the heritage certificate, this one departed the UK on November 18, 1959, and probably didn’t arrive in Philadelphia until mid to late December, so it isn’t hard to imagine that car was not sold until sometime in 1960, when it was first titled, and has been called a 1960 Bugeye as a result ever since.
This car is for sale at $45,995. Keep in mind that it would likely cost more than double for us to build you a national concours quality car with every piece of correct hardware, every proper bolt, screw and washer, all in perfect condition. We just went through a similar process making car 501 ready for national concours, and we spent several hundred hours just making that really nice car into a nationally concours accurate car. So you’re getting a whole lot of hard work at a deep discount. You’re also getting a car that, while exceptional, is not so precious and fragile that you can’t go out and drive and enjoy it. You can see just how much fun you can have with Betty with the video below, and our latest Instagram reel, which you can see here (click to follow us on Instagram, and for tons of Bugeye photos)!
As you scroll through the photos, you’ll be able to see the attention to detail required to conquer gold-medal concours judging. This is especially evident in the engine bay, where something as simple as the incorrect placement of the clamps on the heater box yielded a point deduction. These are the type of details that we have focused on rectifying during our ownership; the tachometer cable was changed for a nicer, correct gray one with the correct label added, the triangular bonnet buffer rubbers were changed to a new set with the proper shape, and more!
Concours gold cars are a select bunch! If you like originality and accuracy, this is a rare opportunity to own the best of the best! As the Bugeye marketplace continues to appreciate, you’ll likely find that this car, with its unique story and gold heritage, should forever provide a good return on your investment.
Give us a call if you would like to own a piece of Bugeye history! Concours judging sheets also come with the car.
No tonneau comes with the car, but we can easily fit one for the new owner if so desired.