In a message dated 10/16/01 3:22:53 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< I found out my Sprite was built on 7 october 1959, and shipped to the US on
9 October 1959... and the car was first registered by the DMV in California
in 1959... So it's a 1959, right?
My VARA log book for the same car says it's a 1960. Is this a mistake?
I also found out my car was built with "heater, less sliding sidescreens".
Does not seem to make much sense- if I wanted the heater, I would certainly
want the screens to keep the heat in...right?..
Assume your car is near mine (25371). It typically took 6 weeks to receive
cars from England on the east coast and 3 months on the West. Mine was not
sold or licensed until February 1960 in California. There were no "model
years" in England as we knew them and that came out about every September
from Detroit. At that time, California required that cars be dated on the
year they were first registered, so the new models in September were next
year's models, but they had this year's date for registration. A car sold
around the first of the year obviously has to have been built the previous
One for sure difference between the 1959 and the 1960 Sprites, regardless of
when they were manufactured, was the way the soft top fit in front. 1958 and
1959 had a row of lift-a-dots across the windscreen surround. 1960, and 61
bugeye, had a bar that fit into a recess in the windscreen surround, with 1
lift-a-dot on each side to hold it into position.
Except for Florida, all Bugeyes came with Heaters. The heater gives lots of
heat around the footwells and is very cosy in cool evening temperatures. The
sliding sidescreens were normally replacements for soft vinyl flap
sidecurtains. I am not sure if they were delivered with hardtops or were
"specials" or after market. Ours had a heater and vinyl sidecurtains, as
did most of the ones we were familiar with. The Vinyl flap sidecurtains and
soft top with the heater kept you warm under all but the worst weather
conditions. (Like raining for 5 solid days when you are on the road.)
Without the top, the sidecurtains were mostly used because every little bit
helps. Sliders made it easier to get a breath of cool air now and then.
I thought about sending this to you off list. I will entertain questions,
but this is the truth as I remember it and I am sticking to it. I know you
aren't old enough to remember new bugeyes, and I don't want to get into a
discussion of how the rest of the "kids" think it was. If you weren't
there, please don't tell the old lady her memory is bad, okay.
Annice & Bob
1960 Bugeye (Mk. IV in disguise)
1966 Sprite Mk. III (Still in Boxes)