John Rakos 1960 Sprite

About twenty years ago I saw an ad in the local Buy-and-Sell flyer advertising a Bug-Eye sprite, ‘as-is, where is’. I went to the address where a young man introduced himself as Mark. He took me to his back yard, where several ominous lumps lay under tarps. He informed that he was a police officer, and he was being transferred to Vancouver. The lumps were car projects in different stages which he could not take with him. He uncovered one which was the hulk of a bug eye sprite body. It was primed but not painted. Many spare parts were in cardboard boxes around it. The interior was stripped, wheels missing, in other words in need of a lot of work.
    He proceeded to tell me the sad history of attempting to restore this Sprite. About seven years beforehand he took the car to a body shop to have the body repaired and painted. The shop got as far as repairing and priming the car, when the shop went bankrupt. There were several liens on the shop so it was foreclosed and locked up by the bailiff. It took over a year before it was sorted out and Mark got the car back. He then wanted to get the engine sand blasted. Again taking it to an amateur (cheap) sand blasting place they neglected to protect the wiring. The engine was sandblasted all right but all the wires were destroyed. Mark got so discouraged that he just left the car sitting in his back yard for the next ten years.
    Thinking it would be fun to restore it I offered him $400, half the asking price. He did not take it. 
I figured that was the last I would see of that car, but a few weeks later I got a call from a woman.
    “I am Mark’s wife,” she said. Mark moved to Vancouver and left me with all these hulks to get rid of. Is your offer of $400 still on the table?” 
    “Yes, it is.” I said.
    “Good, it’s yours. In fact, our moving company will take it where you want it when we move.”
    I gave her my address. I few weeks later she phoned to say that they will deliver the car and all the boxes. I was going to be away that day but asked them to drop it on my driveway. 
They arrived at my residence, put a tarp on the driveway and started unloading the chassis. My neighbours noticed and thinking that some strangers were dumping garbage on my driveway called the police. I arrived home a few minutes later, to find two police officers  watching the movers, laughing, saying, “So that’s where Mark got rid of that hulk!”
The rest is a story of a two-year restoration, using fine parts from Victoria British. The car is now ready and goes to rallies and shows in my home town of Ottawa.