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


5983 AC in 1987

5983 AC

Austin-Healey Sprite 5983AC was built on 13th February 1959 and delivered, less engine and gearbox, to the Donald Healey Motor Company. After being fitted with a tuned engine XSP 581-1, a close ratio gearbox, Girling disc brakes and wire wheels, the car was registered at Warwick on 2nd April 1959. The car also carried a Jensen-built hardtop and fabric-covered  sliding side screens. The colour of the car was Iris Blue, with an Old English White hardtop.

Primarily an experimental test vehicle, the car featured in numerous publicity pictures and test reports. Probably the first true 'Sebring Sprite', it was the vehicle shown in the RAC 'Homologation Paper No 47 - Sebring Sprite'. as Geoff Healey explained to owner Peter Seamen, it was not uncommon for number plates to be swapped from one car to another to meet deadlines for particular events, especially if regulations changed or a vehicle was damaged. Hence for Le Mans 1960 the so-called Falcon Sprite was built up from a second hand Falcon body shell and a crashed Sprite. Initially on steel wheels and later with wires, it carried the number 5983 AC. the fate of the original standard bodied Sprite is unknown, but the Falcon car now resides in America.

In the early 1990s the original registration number and chassis plate were reunited on a privately owned but Healey-converted Sebring Sprite. this vehicle has been around the Austin Healey Club scene for many years. In readiness for the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Sprite, 5983AC has been re-built yet again, using a near original body shell and as many original parts as possible.


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5983AC-5The car in 1959 x 2

5983AC resto
Undergoing its recent rebuild
5983AC Le Mans
The Falcon Sprite at Le Mans using the same reg. no