Resurrected after 36 years: 1960 SCCA H Production Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite | Barn Find Hunter - Ep. 108 - Hagerty Media
Andrew Bolasky grew up in a musical family, studied music in college, and was headed toward a career in music when he had a change of heart and direction. Now the music that he makes comes from the engines of classic cars.
Andrew, who went on to earn a degree in classic car restoration from Ohio Technical College, works for the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He reached out to Barn Find Hunter Tom Cotter about a very special car that he just acquired, a 1960 SCCA H Production Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite.
“This is actually one of those cases where the car found me,” Andrew tells Tom. “Out of the blue, a friend messaged me.”
That friend, Jason, told Andrew that the car belonged to his father, and it had been sitting in a barn in Waterford, Maine, for 36 years. He reached out because the barn and the nearby inn had just been sold, so everything had to go. Andrew was soon on his way with a trailer. He took plenty of photos of the Sprite as he found it, and he thought Tom might be interested in hearing the story. After all, not only was the Healey a barn find, it had racing history. Tom was definitely interested.
During a walkaround of the car, Andrew points out that if you compare photos of the Sprite as it was in the barn and how it looks now, you can tell that: “A lot of paint was blown off on the trip back on the open trailer, and a lot of authentic Maine barn dust was washed away in a little bit of a rainstorm we had. But other than that I haven’t touched the car; it’s still in barn-find condition.”
The car’s previous owner raced it in SCCA events at Road Atlanta, Rockingham, and Summit Point between 1983 and 1984, and Andrew says it looks like he was working on the engine before the car went into hibernation.
Andrew, who also owns a 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne, hopes to restore the Healey to its previous racing condition and get it back on the track someday. “I want to keep it true to its original intent.”
Among the Sprite’s custom features is a wooden plate on the back that reads, “Hey Now.” Andrew called Jason’s dad and asked about it, and he said it had everything to do with the Grateful Dead song Iko Iko, which includes “a lot of Hey Nows.”
Somehow it seems appropriate that the race car has a musical background and found its way into Andrew’s hands.
“It definitely felt like it was my duty to save this car, because the alternative was that it was going to scrap,” Andrew says. “Justin was very sad thinking about that. He actually offered to pay for my gas there and back if it meant that his dad’s #4 didn’t have to go to scrap … and that hurt me right here [in the heart]. So, I made sure that wasn’t going to happen.”
— Jeff Peek