Dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Archer who fulfilled his dream to re-create John Sprinzel's Sebring Sprite Coupé

Mike Curtis's Replica

1367 VU - Mike Curtis's Coupé

Mike Curtis took over this Sebring project after the previous owner was made redundant at Christmas time in 2008? He decided to build the car to Historic Touring /Alpine Rally spec with a full bolt-in roll cage, and a 1098cc engine fitted with a Shorrock supercharger. He was hoping to complete the shell by the spring of 2010 using the donor car which was a 1963 Sprite Mark 2A. The H frame/box sections were found to be in remarkably good order, as were the front suspension mounts, but pretty much everything else had to be replaced. The shell had been plated with repairs too numerous to list over the years, and the passenger floor pan was three layers thick! Before commencing the repairs, Mike constructed a lattice-work of tubing welded to the shell to prevent any movement out of square. He sought Brian Wheeler's assistance to weld together the rear bulkhead and found him very helpful in discussing the project with him. The floor pan then had to be welded in after being trial-fitted. Mike made himself a heavy duty bespoke jig out of box section steel which bolts to the floor pan and rear suspension points to ensure zero twisting when these are finally cut out - and it also forms a reference point for various other parts such as the new door pillars, the scuttle/A-posts, and the boot floor which was full of pinholes. He says: "Frankly, unless you have some fascination with improving your welding skills 'on the job' (as you must have) a rebuild like this is not for the faint-hearted!!" You can say that again, Mike!






These photos show some of the fairly drastic reconstruction Mike undertook on his Mark 2 shell
before fitting its Sebring bodywork.
Big progress was made by Mike during 2009 and by early 2010 the Coupé top had been trial-fitted.
These photos (Jan 2011) show the car being readied for painting and include one of Mike's own "crumple zone" at the rear!
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The car on its wheels - August 2011
March 2012 ~ the roll cage is now installed
M Curtis
Feb 2014: Mike is going through final fitting of the doors which continue to be a frustration – changing shape daily! He wishes he had gone for all alloy versions, but they came with the abandoned package he bought. Note the modified front – he wanted to get a better bonnet fit with less wobble!. He has also decided to make the rear window open with a frame as his FIA seats don’t make access to rear easy. Nearly there ..
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Mike Curtis
April 2015. The car is finally off to the paint shop. Congrats to Mike for all that effort.
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M Curtis
M Curtis
The car is finally completed and ready for the road - June 2018
August 2018
During July and August Mike was able to take the car on its first few outings on the Yorkshire byways near his home, and by September he had covered 750 miles and was due to visit Andrew Forster for a rolling road session at 1,000 miles.