An honest Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite
EQUIPMENT – All-steel unitary construction, rear chrome bumper over-riders, Smiths instrumentation comprising of: speedometer and distance recorder, fuel gauge, oil pressure/water temperature gauge, passenger grab handle, dash mounted rear-view mirror, door pockets. Body coloured (BRG) Hardtop, Tonneau cover, Wooden Moto-Lita steering wheel, Battery immobiliser, internal car dust cover.
EXTERIOR – This Frogeye Sprite is finished in BRG – British Racing Green and is impeccable. A practical restoration in 2010 by the renowned British Car Service in Bremen, confirm the quality of this charming example. All chrome has a mirror finish; the black hood and rare one-piece side screens are included along with the optional unmarked tonneau cover. Worthy of noting is the screen which is still original along with the aluminium door and dash surrounds. The complete metal bonnet assembly is pristine with the correct round Sprite badge wearing the coat of arms. The rare Hardtop – also in British Racing Green – is a true find and a bonus to the lucky new owner. This is a remarkable survivor ready for immediate shows and fun outings.
ROOF UP OR DOWN?
INTERIOR – ‘The car that offers so much – for so little’ (when new this Donald Healey designed car cost a mere £669) is reflected in the sparse but functional interior. The body colour BRG dash and controls look quirky and all function precisely as they should. The re-covered original seats are striking in red leather with white piping and are accompanied by new carpeting throughout – including the boot. The after-market Mota-Lita steering wheel, with correct Austin Healey badging is a joy. The original steering wheel is also available.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION – The ubiquitous ‘A’ type B.M.C four cylinder O.H.V engine produces a healthy 43 bhp and a very commendable 52Ib.ft of torque. Excellent parts available and simple servicing will please DIY mechanics. The engine bay area has been restored in black offering a more functional environment. A New clutch, alternator, starter motor and stainless steel exhaust are nice improvements.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES – The immaculate chrome wire wheels have winged knock on/off wheel nuts and are shod in quality branded new 145/80R13 tyres. A conventional Lockheed hydraulic system operated by a pendant pedal to all four drums offers fair stopping power commensurate with braking systems of this period. The brakes were overhauled during the restoration in 2010 with few miles since.
HISTORY FILE – The Mk1 Austin Healey Sprite, commonly known as the ‘Frogeye’ or ‘Bugeye’ in America, was launched on the 31st March 1958 and remained in production until 1961. BMC (British Motor Corporation) produced almost 49,000 of these cars and few can match this example for sheer quality. British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, confirm the vehicles production date as 27.01. 1960 with a certified copy of a factory record certificate included in the history file. This example was dispatched from the factory in England direct to Germany in February 1960. Our history starts in May 1976 before changing in hands in the summer of 1978. The car then remained with the same owner for over 30 years before his passing in 2009. The last owner has meticulously maintained the car, including overseeing the comprehensive restoration in 2010. An incredibly rare Sprite Handbook will please the true Healey enthusiasts amongst you. Valued in 2010 at almost €20,000 with Condition 2 tending towards Condition 1.