For folks who like early-production Sprites, here’s a special opportunity to purchase a very early car! This is “Milano”, a 1958 Bugeye that wears serial number AN5L 981, which would make its build only 480 cars later than 501, our first production bugeye sprite. We only know of a handful of cars with serial numbers below 1000, so this is one rare (Milano) cookie that would have been built sometime in the summer of 1958. (We’re happy to get a heritage certificate for the new owner to confirm the build date). The car has tons of ’58 only early car features, like the correct early gussets for the back deck, the different rear shock mounts and radiator supports, and early top bow, all the cool features that you’ll see also on AN5L 501, the very first production Bugeye.
This is a very nicely restored car. It was probably restored sometime in the early 2000s and the head was refreshed in 2013. It’s a strong car and a good one to collect. But what’s particularly special is that we’ve got stock wheels and bumpers installed to make the car look exactly like it did the day it left the factory yet under the bonnet (and transmission tunnel) lurks a 1275 engine with an Eaton supercharger coupled to a Datsun five-speed transmission. That combination turns this baby into a screaming sleeper.
The market loves a great heritage piece with tasteful modern upgrades. This one looks the part of a bare-bones Bugeye, but she’s built with many of the best upgrades to enable the new owner to enjoy their classic car at highway speeds. All the upgrades make this car a much more user-friendly package and a car that keeps pace with modern traffic.
This is a very nice car, with great paint and interior, and very solid. She runs and shifts great; we just upgraded the gearbox lube to synthetic for smoother shifting. Drive this car anywhere! Front disk brakes too!
As with every classic of this vintage, we have a punch list of items we suggest improving to make the car even better… for example, the seatbelts are stupid non-retractable’s that are very difficult to use. We want to change those to retracting inertia reels, but it’ll depend a lot on the new owner and their tastes. we’re happy to build it out exactly how they would like. Lots of options are available (I would also add a front anti roll bar for improved handling and an aluminum radiator for improved cooling performance).
But most importantly, there are only so many surviving early ’58 cars, and this one has all the best upgrades including front disc brakes for great stopping. The tonneau is nice and the top is the correct part for the 58 cars, but it has shrunken over time so it does not currently fit. Soft side curtains in the correct early style are also provided. She also has the correct early windshield that’s got painted stanchions just like they did from the factory.
There’s a lot to love here, in the original Primrose Yellow color scheme with the original interior colors. We’d love to tell you more about this Bugeye we call “Milano.” Click “read more” below for the entire slate of photos and call or email if interested!