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

 

4444 DA ~ ex-Stan Annis

(Previously registered WLY 154 and then E 700)

The ex-Eric Davis/Stan Annis Sebring 4444 DA (now owned by Sven Eckhardt) seen (top right) on the 1961 London Rally "where she finished 3rd overall beating a certain John Sprinzel who came 5th". The car currently has been awaiting restoration for quite some time but still has its tall-sidescreen DHMC hardtop No.322.

Past owner, Paul Webb, told me: "Eric Davis's registration E700 was on this Sprite which had an Ashley bonnet and a tall sidescreen DHMC hardtop at the time he sold it to Stan Annis. Stan Annis bought the car in around July/August 1961 and ran it with the E700 reg for a short while until he transferred his own registration 4444 DA on to the car. The E700 number was then transferred to Eric's new car which was coupé bodied and was I assume built for Eric by John Sprinzel who says Eric was his storekeeper. Soon after acquiring the car Eric replaced the Ashley bonnet with a W & P Sebring one. I'm unsure whether the 8" rear brakes and Lockheed PL (Thin Disc) front brakes were fitted when Eric had the car or were subsequently fitted by Stan Annis".

According to Tom Coulthard in "Spritely Years" the car was originally registered WLY 154 and was "Cherry Red, then later light blue, then cerise and light blue, then cerise". Eric Davis was from Bromley in Kent and belonged to the Sevenoaks & District Motor Club. He won the Bexley Light Car Club's Capricorn Rally (Jan '61), came 3rd in the Regent Rally (Feb '61) and gained a 1st in class on the Moss Trophy Rally in May. "Over 6 feet tall and heavily built, Stan Annis was 32 in 1961". He ran a garage business in Wolverhampton (called Raymond Stanley Cars) with Ray Gibbon another keen rally competitor.

1961 Rally Reports

Bournemouth
Liverpool Rally
London Rally
Bournemouth Rally
Liverpool Rally
London Rally


25 May 2014: In a message received from Stan Annis, he offers to tell Paul about all the modifications he did to the Sprite, and his belief that the car was damaged in an accident after he sold it.

[My thanks to Paul Webb and to Tom Coulthard]

2017 ~ and the car is now owned by Sven Eckhardt of Rosenheim, Bavaria and a full restoration commences:

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Sven explains "I have started work on 4444 DA at last. You have seen the pictures - The drivers side outer sill, outer footwell panel and A-post, missing floor and reinforcement panel (are now) in good condition (note original pic date of the floor section November 1996 - Andrew reckoned Brian Archer fitted that one). Sills, A-post and footwell panel have been fitted and the rear bulkhead tidied up. I have removed the complete passenger side floor section having welded in a new floor strengthener and repaired the inner rear bulkhead. All the repair sections were pop rivetted in. I am going to tidy up the rear outer bulkhead today and start fitting the floor section. Felt a bit bad about chopping up your old bonnet to make it fit but then again there was no other way and its the result that counts ey? Maybe I shall be finished in time to exhibit the complete car at the NEC this year". [The old Sebring bonnet with my racing decals from 1981 was secondhand when I bought it. After a few races on my Frog 5123 YG I replaced it with a Frog one. It then went to Tony Ellshof for his restoration of PMO - ended up with Paul Woolmer following Tony's death, then to Paul Webb and now to Sven!! - MEI]


Stan Annis guides Sven on his rebuild:
"The Halda Speed Pilot looks like the Speedpilot Neuere Ausfuhrung in Black nothing to reflect light for the navigator, he also had a Magnified map reader with a plastic bottom with a miles & inches scale on it which he used on the 1 inch to a mile map. The speed pilot was used mostly on long sections so that we did not exceed the 40mph average over 20 miles on public roads. We did not use it on special stages.  Most of the rallies in the UK  were on Ordnance survey maps that were 1 inch to the mile; the navigator was given the map references of the controls & the direction to approach - he then had to plot his route, he was also given the times allowed. You were allowed 29 minutes lateness before you had a failed section so you could make up time between controls but 30min late at a control was a failed control The navigator also had a black curtain to stop reflected light on the screen so has not to effect the driver. Today it seems that it is one special stage after the other; this is because we could not average more than 30mph on the roads by law which soon became very easy. My navigator Richard Binns was the first to set a rally on Forestry roads where the 30mph did not apply  & the special stage was born; it was The Express & Star Rally. Hope this of interest  for you it has been a nostalgic trip for me."

 

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DA 4444
Oct 2017: In these photos the car is fitted with my old bonnet, and has one of Sven's new DHMC-style replica hardtops (which Sven was about to deliver to its new owner). The battered rear end will need some panel beating before the car is painted. The interior and underside are now resprayed in Cherry Red (Stan Annis left those parts in original colour when he repainted the exterior and Sven wants to keep it authentic).
 

 

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Sept 7th 1961 on the Jeans Gold Cup run by Liverpool MC [Motoring News]
4444 DA
New registration and bonnet for the London Rally - here crossing the Elan Bridge
[Autosport 29 Sept 1961
Bournemouth
October 19th, 1961 on the Bournemouth Rally, the car repainted in Triumph Powder Blue with a purple hardtop.
[Motoring News]




Elan Bdge
The Elan Bridge today