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


317 AOV - ex-Haste/Dear Replica

now owned by George Wilkin in Northern Ireland

Built on the fully restored bodyshell of a genuine 1960 Frogeye Sprite with Heritage Certificate and a with a copy of its original warranty document, the car was fitted with lightweight GRP Sebring panels and aluminium doors. Used as a hillclimb car it was initially fitted with a 1330cc engine and won the Austin Healey Speed Championship in the hands of Alan Haste. Re-built in 2004/5 for use at trackdays which included Spa and Goodwood, it was later given an overhaul by Gordon Elwell before sale.

July 2022 - Trevor McIlroy (Belfast) advised me: "I have just purchased  317AOV number 27 of the Archers cars, previously owned by George Wilkin. George has now passed away.  I was advised by Mrs Wilkin he purchased the car from Bill Postin because he liked the look of it. George only drove the car up & down his farm lane a few time over the years. It spent virtually all of  its time stored in a shed within one of his garages.  The car was in remarkably good condition for being stored for almost twelve years. After some light refurbishment I competed in the 500 MRCI event at Kirkistown Co Down this weekend & managed second in the Historic class in the Sebring". 

The car's specification at time of sale was given as:
Full race 1380cc built by Gordon Elwell. The block was chemically cleaned and re-faced, before it was built up with a steel rear main cap and 4-bolt centre cap. It was then line-bored and fitted with Omega 7cc offset dished pistons; lightened con rods, polished, balanced and fitted with ARP bolts. It has a Kent STR930 cam, ground from blank; Titan 1.5 to 1 ratio full roller rockers, Longman GT15 full race cylinder head. Weber 45DCOE on matched inlet plus  3 branch exhaust manifold, etc. When set up on the rolling road by A-Series expert Peter Baldwin the unit produced 136 bhp at 7,000 rpm.
Gearbox & Clutch
Heavy duty diaphragm clutch mated to purpose-built 5 speed gearbox. This is a Ford Type 9 with carefully selected close-ratio gears in HD bearings. The unit is shortened & lightened.
Suspension & Brakes
Lowered and up-rated front springs, negative camber trunnions with phosphor bronze bushes; 11/16 " dia roll bar with rose-jointed drop links and Nylatron mounting bushes, lowered and softened rear springs, rose-jointed radius arms, new shock absorbers all round. 5½J X 13" Minilite replica wheels with Yokohama AO48s and 3.9 LSD. Later spec 1275 pedal box with separate master cylinders. Front discs with Mintex 1144 race pads. Goodridge Stainless steel overbraided hoses. rear drum brakes with race linings, Mintex M20.
4½ gallon alloy fuel tank with Facet pump and pressure regulator, aluminium radiator, 13 row oil cooler, 6 pint roll cage, race seat (plus passenger seat and belts). Front & rear tow points.





Kirkistown July 2022
Trevor McIlroy