And it was 99% complete and barely had even surface rust. But the auctioneer admitted it had carb problems, perhaps explained by the aftermarket Weber side draft with no air filter. Battery was dead, wouldn’t even illuminate the idiot lights. Spare tire and jack was missing, and tears in the top around the rear window.

But despite being advertised as a 1969, this was the obese “rubber bumper” 1978 model. That was the sad end to the Sprite and Midget family tree, born at 600 kilograms fighting weight (that’s only 1320 pounds) beefed to 720 kilos in it’s 2nd generation with a lockable trunk and other improvements, Then from 1974 ’til it’s mercy killing fattened up with bashmobile bumpers and a heavier Triumph lump under the hood. To add insult to injury, to meet the stupid U.S. bumper laws, the poor Spridget had to stand on tippy-toes to get it’s bumpers up to the required height. Thus a Spritely 600 kilogram sports car died an obese full third heavier 800 kilo “convertible”, no longer deserving the “sports car” moniker.

I suspect this one is going to bother me for a while- the price was absolutely insane, and the guy who I let outbid me couldn’t even fit behind the wheel and knew peanuts about the car. He figured he could get it running and peddle it for $2000, and if it’s an easy fixer he can probably get $3000.

But I don’t buy cars to sell ’em, and no point in bringing home a once great sports car that’d been sadly hobbled by our “safety” regulations. BTW, The classic car price guide I looked at yesterday quoted a complete but non running ’69 at $1200. I would have readily gone at least $1000 for a 1969, and more for a 1st generation “frog eye” Spridget.

Maybe I’m just too cheap and picky- I passed on a restorable 1961 Corvair when my $200 bid was topped by the scrappers $225 offer. I later looked it up and found a parts car valued at $300 and a complete non operable restorable car at $1000. But again, I’m being picky- The 2nd generation (65-69) Corvair had a lot of worthhile improvements, and I ‘d prefer one of them… Unless it’s a Corvair wagon, van, or pickup, which GM killed off before the 2nd generation.

Oh well, plenty of auctions to come!