Bugeye Seats

The MKI “Bugeye” Sprite seats were not particularly comfortable or supportive. This image shows the MKI seat design:

MKI Sprite seats

The previous owner was apparently aware of this shortcoming because the seats in the Bugeye are from a MK2 Sprite. These look very similar to a MKI Big Healey, but are not quite the same. Note the horizontal seam in the seat back – it distinguishes the Sprite seat from its big brother..

MK2 Sprite seat upholstery

We are going to have Geoff Chrysler, owner of Rightway Heritage Trimming, https://www.rightwayheritagetrim.com provide the seat upholstery. Unfortunately, new foam cushions for the MK2 seats are not available and Geoff is not pleased with the premade seat covers available from the usual vendors, so he will make and install the new covers himself. We will be going with red and red piping. We will send the foams we have along with the vinyl covers to Geoff so that he can use them as patterns. Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Sixty-one shows the deconstruction of the lower and upper seat cushions in preparation for sending to Geoff.


Our next step was to prepare the seat pans, the seat bases and the upper seat backs for shipping. Unfortunately, we discovered that the seat pans were not usable without some major rust repairs. Bugeye Restoration Video Episode Seventy shows the seat components and their condition.


We discovered that Kilmartins http://www.kas-kilmartin.com.au  in Australia fabricates the correct seat pan so we ordered a pair and had them sent directly to Geoff. One of the seat backs had a pivot hole that was out of round so my friend Randy kindly brazed a washer on the inside of the seat to provide a nice new fit.

Seat Pivot repair 1

The seat bases were in good shape but the slider tracks were not. We drilled out the rivets that fasten the slider tracks to the base and removed them. We have purchased some used tracks that we will secure when the seat assemblies come back from Geoff’s shop.

Seat Base

Several of the pivot bolts had stripped threads. We located some new weld studs that seem identical to the originals and Randy welded them in place for us.

Seat Pivot Studs

We media blasted the seat backs after repairs, treated them with a rust preventative and painted them with two coats of POR 15. Now they are nice and shiny and ready to go to Geoff.

Painted seat backs

Interior Removal

This will be a gradual process, but we did begin the removal of the interior components. Most of the interior will be replaced with new parts, but we will save everything until the new pieces are installed near the end of this project.

The first action taken was to remove the shoulder harness mounting points for both seats. We will probably replace these with retractable belts when we are at that point in the rebuild.

Shoulder Harness Removal

Shoulder Harnesses

At :13 in the video Episode Twenty-Two summary the soft top frame stowage bracket is removed. Each bracket is held in place with three self-tapping sheet metal screws.

Soft Top Frame Stowage Bracket in Place

Soft Top Frame Stowage Bracket

Next was the removal of the rear shelf carpet and its securing snaps. The process begins at the 1:00 minute mark in the video.

Rear Shelf Carpet

At 1:25 minutes into the video, the rear upholstered quarter panels and hardura covered wheel wells are removed.

Quarter Panel and Wheel Cover removal

Because the hardura wheel covers are glued in place, they left quite a mess when removed. We will need to try some adhesive removal to clean the surfaces.

Hardura Residue at Wheel Wells

We discovered that the covers were originally red. A previous owner had dyed or painted them black.

Hardura Covers removed

Although not removed at this point, it was noted that the wiring harness to the rear of the car is routed through a hole in the frame that is covered by the rear quarter panel.

Wiring Harness Behind rear Quarter Panel


At 4:24 into the video, the RH side seat, seat rails and carpet are removed. Each seat rail is secured to the floor with two bolts into captive nuts.

RH seat, seat rail and carpet removal

There is a wooden packer piece between the carpet and the floor for each seat rail.

Wood Packing Pieces at the Seat Rails

The upholstered panel under the RH door was then removed. It was held in place with four self tapping oval head screws with cupped trim washers.

Upholstered Panel Under the RH Door

Episode Twenty-Two summarizes the removal of the interior components highlighted above. https://vimeo.com/770800213/f36ec43100

RH Side Front Kick Panel  and Carpet – On November 17, while working on the final installation of the fuel delivery system it became necessary to remove the RH side front kick panel and front carpet. The kick panel was held in place by three self-tapping oval head chrome screws with cup washers and the two slotted screws that hold the door check strap in place. Once the fasteners were removed the kick panel was lifted out of the car exposing the wiring harness that is routed to the rear of the car.

The carpet was held in place with two floor snaps at the top of the carpet.

Video Episode Twenty-four summarizes the removal of these components:https://vimeo.com/773034332/b4bf5c4504

RH front kick panel

RH Side Front Carpet



Chapter 54 Restoration Assembly, Week Twenty-Four 5/28/2007

After the LH side rail was carpeted I installed the carpet piece for the driver’s side footbox toeboard. This was the most difficult piece to glue in to the car because it is a little harder to get to (as in standing on your head!) and because it is one piece for two panels. It also incorporates the vertical panel by the gearbox surround. After several iterations of fitting I was pleased with the result and glued it in place. Then on to the RH side.

RH footbox carpet

Next came the two pieces of carpet that are glued to the vertical kickboard bulkhead behind the front seats and the rear seat surround. With some minor trimming they fit nicely. I then glued the two small pieces to the LH and RH side of the rear of the car where the soft top and its frame rests when folded down.

RH rear panel carpet

LH rear panel carpet

Rear seat carpet

The hardware for the rear vertical upholstered panel was then mounted to the car and the panel was dropped into its position.

Rear seats

 The RH side rail carpet was glued to the rail as per the left side installation.

Heritage Upholstery and Trim provides a piece of vinyl (as per original) to cover the RH kickboard panel as it is an “open” piece. I wasn’t pleased with its appearance so I cut a piece of extra carpet I had to cover the opening and I was very satisfied with the results. It looks much better than the vinyl! I then carefully drilled holes through the LH and RH kickboard panels into the car superstructure and screwed them in place #6 stainless flat head screws with trim rings.

RH Kick Panel

After some trial and error fitting and trimming I put the floorboard carpets in place, cutting the rear most pieces to accommodate the seat rails and their mounting strips. I am going to try using velcro for these pieces rather than snapping them in place since I would have to drill holes in the new floorboards for the snaps. I will see how the velcro works and return to the snaps if my solution is not satisfactory.

The two vinyl covered rear quarter panels were installed next. Four #8 flat head stainless wood screws were used on the vertical rails and two #6 pan head screws were used on each of the top horizontal panels. The front seats were then put in place and tightened. I installed bolt extensions on the fasteners on the driver’s seat seat rails to slightly angle (tilting rearword) the driver’s seat. This proved to offer a better driving position for me.

Assembled interior

Assembled interior 2

I am going to delay fitment of the gearbox extension cover and gearbox cover carpet until I have the engine and gearbox in the car just to be sure I end up with a good fit.


Rear View Mirror

The parts manual does not provide much information on the rear view mirror. The assembly apparently came from Lucas and was installed as an assembly. Perhaps there is Lucas documentation available someplace, but I did not find it. My original mirror was pretty dirty and the height adjustment post would not tighten properly. A new mirror assembly is available from SNG Barratt, but I decided to use my original. I did purchase a new “Interior Mirror Mounting Clamp/Boss – C20697/1”, that addressed my sliding adjustment problem:

Mirror Mounting Clamp/Boss

Mirror Mounting Clamp/Boss

I also had my original mirror re-silvered by Tim Inman at Inman Historic Interiors www.historicinteriors.com/Resilvering.html The resilvering costs about $65 including shipping. The finished product looked like new. Reassembly is pretty easy but it does require carefully bending four tabs that secure the tensioning spring for the mirror ball joint. The image below shows the mirror casing and the spring assembly with adjustable post.

Rearview Mirror Before Assembly

Rearview Mirror Before Assembly

The image below show the installation of the post and tensioner spring with mounting plate:

Installing Rearview Mirror Components

Installing Rearview Mirror Components

The image below shows the tensioner spring plate tabs bent back to secure the spring plate:

Tensioner Spring Tabs bent into Position

Tensioner Spring Tabs bent into Position

A very fine sprung wire holds the tensioner plate to the mirror assembly as seen in this image:

Rear View Mirror Retaining Spring

Rear View Mirror Retaining Spring

The mirror casing cleaned up with some polish and hand buffing:

Polished Mirror Casing

Polished Mirror Casing

The final step was popping the mirror back into the casing to complete the job!

Resilvered Mirror Installed

Resilvered Mirror Installed

Of course, the generous use of Walnut veneered wood and supple leather hides make a Jaguar!

Wood Trim

I will have all of the wood professionally refinished. possible vendors include:


Classic Dashboards is operated by Simon Lorkin who is located in France.

British Autowood operated by Saul Chaplin is in Altamonte Springs, Florida: http://www.britishautowood.com/index.htm



Leather Trim

I have not yet decided if I will have the leather and vinyl work custom stitched or if I will go with one of the primary suppliers:

John Skinner at: http://www.jaguar-trim.co.uk


BAS Ltd. at: http://www.basjaguartrim.com/mk2daimler250.htm


Aldridge Trimming at: http://www.aldridge.co.uk