Home From Paint

On June 3, 2024 most of the Bugeye came home from the paint shop. The doors, bonnet and few odds and ends remain to be painted, but it was nice to get the chassis home to begin the reassembly process. Most of the parts clean-up and painting have already been completed, so for the most part our next steps will be about getting everything back on the car.

This is an image of Gabor Fodor who painted the Bugeye. Obviously, pleased with his work.

A pleased Painter, Gabor Fodor

A Healey friend, Gary Cox, helped me get the car to the paint shop and he also helped us get the Bugeye home. Thank you Gary! Could not have done it without you, your truck and your trailer.

Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Sixty-seven shows the home delivery and the installation of the number identification plates on the car:




Sealing and Paint

The time has come for painting the Bugeye!

Color and Painter Selection

The short list for paint colors included Nevada Beige, Old English White and Cotswold Blue. The Nevada Beige and Old English White were factory colors available for the Sprite in 1959. The Cotswold Blue is period correct in that it was available at the time, but not for Austin-Healey Sprites. Slightly different variations of Cotswold Blue were used on Jaguars, Triumphs, Rovers and perhaps some other makes. We zeroed in on the Jaguar paint code as produced by Glasurit. Glasurit Line 22 was the single stage urethane topcoat paint used originally we believe. We will be using Glasurit 55 which is a basecoat/clearcoat urethane system.

This was a data sheet we located on the Austin-Healey Experience Forum.  It provided information on the Jaguar version of the paint:

Cotswold Blue Glasurit codes

This is the actual paint that we used:

Glasurit Cotswold Blue 55

We are hoping that the end result will look similar to the Jaguar XK 140 below:

1957 Jaguar XK-140 Cotswold Blue

The next task was to find a painter. Unfortunately, Jeremy Turner who painted the Bloody Beast is a long way away in Virginia. By way of word-of-mouth we located Gabor Fodor in Sarasota who has his own painting business. As with Jeremy, Gabor owns a one person operation which appealed to us. We put a call out to the Paradise Coast Austin-Healey Club membership to see if anyone had a truck and closed trailer who was willing to help us get the Bugeye to Gabor’s shop. Amazingly four members immediately offered to assist. Gary Cox arrived at the house on March 5, 20024 and we delivered the Bugeye to Gabor that morning. Thank you Gary!

Undercoating Protection

The underside of the Bugeye is in such great shape and looks so good that we did not want to cover the surface with undercoating, but we did want to add some protection against road rash in the wheel arches. We considered Raptor Bed Liner but after consulting with Jeremy we decided to use a product called Rock-It XC made by SEM. This is the data sheet with instructions for the product: Rock-It XC Data Sheet Instructions

Rock-IT XC

Gabor did a great job of masking off the area to be treated and then applied a sealer to the body before spraying the Rock-It XC.

Masking for Rock-It 1

Masking for Rock-It 2

Masking for Rock-It 3

The Rock-It XC product can either be sprayed on as black and left that way or it can be top coated with the body color if you like. However, it can also be purchased in a tintable mix with directions on how much paint color to add to the product to achieve the desired effect. We went with the tintable version and will just have to wait and see how well it matches up with the body color. By adjusting the air pressure in the application gun one can also vary the texture of the product on the surface. We chose heavy smooth which calls for 65 psi in the gun. We are very pleased with the results. The last shot below shows the texture.

Front Inner Fender

Front Inner Wing 2

Rear Inner Fender

Heavy Smooth Texture

Seam Sealer and Sealer

The next job Gabor undertook was seam sealing in the interior. We used a urethane 3M seam sealer for this. Here are a few of the images after the seam sealer was applied:

Front Interior Seam Sealer

Rear Interior Seam Sealer

This is the sealer we are using before paint:


Boot Sealer

Interior Floor Sealer

Front Interior sealer

Interior Paint

Rear Interior

Rear Interior 2

Front Interior

Front Interior 2

Exterior Sealer and Paint

Two months to the day after taking the chassis/rear body to Gabor for final bodywork, prep and painting the car exterior received sealer, color and clear coat. The car will now cure for about a week and will then be sanded before two more coats of clear are applied.

Sealer before paint

Gabor with the Sealed Body


Body Paint 1 5-8-24

Body Paint 2 5-8-24

Body Paint 3 5-8-24

Body Paint 1 5-8-24

In the bright sun the Cotswold Blue paint looks so different!

Cotswold Blue in the Sun

As the painting progresses more narrative and images will follow….


Chapter 31 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

October 1, 2006

Jeremy Turner’s Work Continues

Hardtop – Jeremy packed up the car and got everything in his trailer to bring back to me. We were delayed a day because of rain, so in the meantime he began bodywork on the hardtop. Then it was final priming for the body panels.

Hardtop 1

Hardtop 4

Hardtop with Filler

Hardtop Prep

final primed front shroud

final primed rear shroud

Frame disassembly – With all the exterior panel fitting and bodywork complete, I now have the car to disassemble. I need to remove the engine, and suspension components and put the car on the rolling cart I made. Jeremy will then complete bodywork on the frame and we will be ready to paint.

Before I can begin the disassembly there are a few things to be done. First, is finalizing the throttle cable set-up. I also want to check the aluminum radiator baffles that Schickel’s fabricated to see if they are going to fit properly.

October 12, 2006

Work Continues in the Rose Garage

I completed the development of the throttle cable components and fit them to the carbs and the body firewall. This required fabricating a couple of brackets – one at the carbs and one for the firewall. Per Jack Brashear’s instructions, I also modified a stock BJ8 accelerator lever to make it longer (5 1/8”). I used a stainless steel braided cable from Lokar.

Fuel throttle bracket 3

Fuel throttle bracket 2

Fuel trottle lever modified 2

I also purchased some cheap flexible 2” exhaust pipe and cut it to fit so that I knew the lengths needed to order the stainless steel flexible pipe from Epiflex. Being considerably more expensive, I didn’t want to “learn” on the Epiflex pipes!

My next job was to install the brackets for the rear seat squab. I installed the rear quarter panels, the rear seats and the squab to make sure the assembly would fit properly on final assembly.

Then removing everything from the superstructure was in order so that I could return it to Jeremy for media blasting, a little body work, priming and painting. After four long years, the next time I see the superstructure it will be RED! One added complication and expense is that I have changed my mind and will use gloss rather than a matte black finish on those components that should be painted black. Therefore, larger pieces such as the axle and the steering box will need to be resprayed. Everything was stripped by October 12 and Jeremy again picked up the car. I then separated all smaller compenents into those items to be sprayed gloss black, red, or engine green and prepared them for delivery to Jeremy. Now I await the return of the red frame and superstructure.

October 22, 2006

A Jeremy Turner Update

Jeremy took some time from the worst task in the painting preparation process: sanding, and blasted and painted the bits I gave him to be painted black.

Black Painted Parts

More Black Painted Parts

While I remained positive about my choice of exterior paint, we decided to paint a sample just to see what the final color would turn out to be. Jeremy orderd a pint to try.  Judging from the open can it will be a very red car! I love it, but it will be good to see it on a bonnet to get a perspective on a larger sample than a paint can top.

Corsa Rossa ferrari red paint

October 22, 2006

Engine Work Begins

Rocker Assembly – I plan to send the rocker assembly to Rocker Arm Specialists to have it rebushed, so I removed it for cleaning and mailing. First step was to lossen the fitting of the oil feed pipe to the head. Then removed the 12 nuts securing the assembly to the head. When replacing the assembly one MUST fit the oil feed pipe banjo bolt to the assembly BEFORE fastening the assembly to the head! This had apparently not been done previously which resulted in the stripping of the aluminum pedestal. I ordered a new pedestal.

Rocker oil feed 1

Rocker oil feed 2

Rocker oil feed 3_2

Rocker oil feed 4

Brake Discs – To prevent rust on the brake rotors I painted the centers of the front and rear rotors.

Brake disc paint

October 26, 2006

Back to Jeremy’s

The battery tray   as assembled by Martin did not have enough support at the rear brace, so Jeremy did a little modification so that it would have a solid mount.

battery tray brace

Martin had stitch welded the two pieces of the front inner fenders, and it wasn’t a pretty site. Jeremy took the pieces apart. Cut out some unneeded metal and welded the pieces back creating a much neater appearance.

Inner Fender Repair

Left inner fender repair

The Rotisseri – I had the yellow brackets in the photos made to fit Jeremy’s rotisseri. This week he got the two together and got the superstructure on the rotisseri. It turns quite easily.

Rotisseri 1

Rotisseri 2

Rotisseri 3

Painting – We ordered a pint of the Rosso Corsa Red paint to try a test panel. We painted the extra bonnet I had. It is beautiful! No modifications to paint formula required. It is definitely a Ferrari Red.

Ferrari Red 1

Ferrari Red 2

Seam Sealer – I spent a half day at Jeremy’s stripping out the seam sealer Martin had applied to the bottom of the car. The rotisseri made the job fairly easy, but it is a dirty, smelly job. Jeremy will now do a little more welding to fix a few places and then he will be ready to glass bead blast the assembly, do some body work to cover old pitting, and prime and paint.