SORRY NOW SOLD – SIMILAR WANTED
A very early production Austin-Healey Frogeye Sprite in amazing condition.
All-steel unitary construction, rear chrome bumper overriders, number plate illumination, floor mounted headlamp dip switch, non-cancelling directional indicators, self-parking windscreen wipers, headlamp beam warning light, ignition ‘on’ light, 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. Factory options: Heater, laminated windscreen, rev counter, windscreen washer, tonneau cover. Retro fit accessories; Wooden Moto-Lita steering wheel.
This Frogeye Sprite is finished in a high-lustre Primrose Yellow as supplied when new and is impeccable. Passers-by smile at the cheeky, pert and charming character so strong that it is out of all proportion to its size! The fastidious previous owner wanted panel gaps to be perfect and this is reflected in the vast expenditure to create a real show winning example. All chrome has a mirror finish and only the front screen shows signs of aging. The windscreen frame still has a row of nine lift-the-dot fasteners only fitted to very early production cars and so sought after today. The black hood and rare one-piece side screens are included along with the optional tonneau cover unmarked. The complete metal bonnet assembly is pristine with the correct round Sprite badge wearing the coat of arms. This is a remarkable survivor perfect for immediate shows and fun outings.
‘The car that offers so much – for so little’ is reflected in the sparse and functional interior. The dash and controls look wonderful and all function precisely including the optional heater. The re-covered original seats are perfect and even the ribbed rubber floor covering now all but extinct, is protected by tailor made carpeting throughout. The original jack and wheel brace remain with the car. A compact environment for two offering tremendous bundles of fun and worthy of an enthusiast.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
A familiar ‘A’ type B.M.C four cylinder O.H.V engine produces a healthy 42.5bhp and a very commendable 52Ib.ft of torque. This is enough for a top speed of 81mph and 0-60mph in 20.5 seconds. Excellent parts available and simple servicing will please DIY mechanics. A positive earth electronic distributor has been fitted. In December 2010 the remanufacture of the complete engine was carried out by Ivor Searle at a cost of £1169.13. The original SU 1 1/8in carburettors and rocker cover have been retained and the vehicle runs on unleaded. The 4-speed gearbox was overhauled in July 2009 at a cost of £517.50 and offers light and precise gear changes.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Period style alloy wheels are pristine and shod in quality branded tyres all with ample tread. The spare is housed in the correct rear cavity. 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 Mk1 Austin Healey Sprite, affectionately known as the ‘Frogeye’ or ‘Bugeye’ in America, was launched on the 31st March 1958 and remained in production until 1961. The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust have confirmed this vehicle to having been produced on the 19th June 1958 and a certified copy of a factory record certificate is included in the comprehensive history file. Buyers will understand the rarity and desirability of very early production cars. Purchased by Dennis O’Callagan in August 2009 after an exhaustive search this vehicle has been subject to a no expense spared mentality to create a real show stopper with fantastic reliable driver appeal. A thick A4 file of invoices and history combined with an itemised breakdown of costs will please the next owner and confirm the exciting ownership experience that lies ahead for the next custodian.
MOT June 2015, Tax exempt, HPI clear.
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