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


585 MY - 1960 Speedwell GT

Racing all its Life!

A recent owner of this car, Guy Harman, told me:
"585 MY was converted by John Sprinzel’s  ‘Speedwell Tuning Conversions’ in 1961 on a 1960 car ordered new by Keith Grant, and at an early juncture was prepared for motor racing. I believe that Grant along with Grahame ‘El Bianco’ White (now Exec Director of HSCC) extensively raced the car throughout Europe over the next 6 years from Silverstone to the Nurburgring.  Indeed it was alleged that 585 MY ‘reached 140 mph on the infamous switchback straight in the ’66 1000km Nurburgring.

Sometime during 1965/66 the car was modified with flared rear wheel arches and then (following a rear end shunt) with more dramatic aerodynamic bodywork and Kamn-style tail, rear wheel arch vents, and was re-painted - over a period it was a variety of colours from Healey Ice Blue to bright yellow!

One presumes that towards the late ‘60’s that the car was becoming uncompetitive on circuits and so began its career as an Autocross racer!  In 1968, 585 MY took Tim Baker to a BTRDA Autocross Championship win.

Keith Ashby bought the car in 1970 from a dealer who had somehow managed to register it as a new car with a 'J' registration. It was then painted Harvest Gold. Keith had the car for only a year and before selling it, stripped out its 1293 engine, close-ratio gearbox, LSD and competition shock absorbers. He recalls that he sold the rolling shell for £300 to someone in the Vale of Pusey.

The car then disappeared from the racing scene, only to be rediscovered by Hardy Engineering in the proverbial ‘barn’ in Berkshire nearly 30 years later in 1997, still with its revised bodywork and covered in Autocross mud!

Antonio Bertini bought the car and commissioned Rae Davis Racing to return it to its original early racing configuration, and obtain full FIA HTP papers.  Dimensions including the aluminium roof were taken from one of the few remaining original cars, with the modified Kamm tail back-end being removed. Bertini raced the car extensively in Europe including multiple outings in the Goodwood Revival, at Spa, Monza and the Vernasca Silver Fla Hill Climb, in Italy".

The car was next purchased by Guy Harman, in 2010, and prepared, once again by Rae Davis Racing, for HRDC events, with a 1,298cc engine and believed to be one of only about eight original Speedwell GTs known to be still in existence.  Guy sold the car to classic car dealer Brian Classic in whose care it remained for quite some time before it found a new owner in Guenther Lainer of Oldtimergalerie Rosenau.
Some of it's Racing History:
1963 – Snetterton
1963 – Brands Hatch,
1965 – Brands Hatch - Guards 1000 mile
1966 - Brands Hatch – Ilford 500 mile – Grant/White – 17th
1966 – Nurburgring – ADAC 1000 km – Grant/White – (2nd in class) 
1966 – GP Mugello - White/Hunter – 50th
1968 – BTRDA – Autocross – Baker – 1st
3 times at the Goodwood Revival – Fordwater Trophy

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5447 HX


585 MY - 9
Snetterton, 1963585 MY - 8
also at Snetterton
585 MY - 6
Brands Hatch - 1965585 MY - 7
Brands Hatch 500 - 1966
585 MY - 4
In the pits at the
Nurburgring, 1966
585 MY
Grant/White at the Nurburgring
(Photo: Klaus Tweddell)
585 MY - 5
Autocross, 1967
585 MY - 3
585 MY - 1
Goodwood Revival
585 MY - 2
Goodwood again
[The 2 photos immediately above are courtesy of Dirk de Jager - - permission requested]