1960' Austin-Healey Sprite
I've had this lovely little car since 2014, when I bought it as a part completed restoration project, which I finished. But I've known the car for over 15 years, as the previous owner was my mechanic, so I witnessed his slow restoration over a number of years.
The car has always been in the West Country, so is still not far from its original Somerset home. Like the previous owner, lack of time has meant the car's restoration has taken a very long time, but it is now finally finished!
I've only driven the Frogeye about 130 miles since its completion and whilst I love it, I now realise I need a more useable car, which is not quite so pristine as this totally restored example. So after all the work, I have decided to sell.
It is probably easier to say what hasn't been restored or replaced on the car, as everything is either refurbished or new. The body was originally stripped to a bare shell, new panels welded in professionally where needed and the underneath treated with a Shultz paintable protective coat. Many vulnerable components were powder coated, so the underneath can be kept as clean as on top. A ramp inspection is available in my workshop.
Engine, gearbox etc were all rebuilt and the car kept as close to its original specification as possible, including the lovely colour combination of Old English white with red interior. The car has a Heritage certificate. The only differences to when it left the factory are: i. the carbs are 1" 1/4 whereas the originals were 1" 1/8th, but a pair of those are potentially available. The current carbs have the correct air cleaners and fittings so very few would spot the difference. ii. Car doesn't have a front bumper but bumpers were an option so the car is still 'correct', especially the way the front number plate is mounted on a plinth, as all the non bumper cars were. You will see many Frogeyes with the number plate incorrectly stuck on the bonnet or even worse, mounted on the grille.....iii. It has the sensible addition of electronic ignition, which makes it much more reliable, but does not change how it looks under the bonnet.
It has all the correct instruments (many cars have newer instruments from later cars, which look similar but are not strictly correct)
As you may imagine with a fully restored example, the car drives beautifully and turns heads in its lovely colours.
Also, unlike some restored examples using new springs, this one sits correctly at the rear, not 'jacked up'.
I have the car's original factory hard top which is how it was sold, without a hood. This is unrestored as I never saw a time when I would run the car with it as it would only ever be used in the dry and cars like this should always be driven 'al fresco'.
I have many unrestored spares including a spare engine plus a few duplicated new parts, all of which could go with the car.
I have a full gallery of photos, including the restoration in progress - just let me know if you would like to see it.
I would consider a part exchange with cash either way for a less pristine, modified Frogeye, a Porsche 356 or 912 or a Mk1 MX5, again a usable one rather than a show car.
Viewing is possible at any time in South Gloucestershire, 30 minutes from Bristol or Bath, 15 minutes from M4 or M5 junctions.
- 16 September 2020