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

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776 KNX in 2011

776 KNX ~ ch. HAN8-64-R-2

Baird Foster's April 2012 article in Healey Marque (USA) reveals:

The then owner (2012, Kurt Ritthaler) of this ex-Donald Healey works aluminium prototype, who lived in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania decided to try to discover whether his car was in fact the one raced at Sebring and Le Mans as 770 KNX. He had acquired it back in 1985 from Stephen Pitcairn who, in turn bought it direct from Bic Healey of the factory team in July 1964. It has an 1098cc XSP engine No: XSP 2173-2, and was first registered in the UK on 11th March, 1964. The car did not appear identical to 770 KNX in that it was painted red and had a different bonnet line across the scuttle, and lacked the oil cooler scoop under the front end. It also has an interior finish more akin to that of a road car.

Baird Foster took on the necessary research and has now written a fascinating article published in Healey Marque in the USA. As you will see he has dicovered there were two very similar cars entered at Sebring for the 12 Hour race which took place on 21st March 1964. This car, painted red, and numbered 67, was entered in the GT Class (up to 1.3 litres), the drivers being Al Pease (Canada) and Donna Mae Mims (USA). Unfortunately, after only 9 laps in Pease's hands the car had to be retired with rear axle failure. It was returned to the UK, the damage repaired and investigated before being up-graded for road use and shipped out to Stephen Pitcairn in the States a few months later.

The subtle differences to the No.61 Sebring entry of Clive Baker and John Colgate "are in the front oil cooler on 770 KNX and the cut line of the bonnet (hood) below the windscreen and where the bonnet met the front cutline of the doors".

Kurt Ritthaler gave permission for me to reproduce the colour photos you see here, showing 776 KNX as it is today ~ understood to be totally original and as it left 'The Cape' in 1964. I believe Kurt has sadly since died and the car has been sold ~ it is now owned by Ford Heacock (2019) who appropriately lives very close to Sebring in Florida.

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KNX prep
Preparation for Sebring 1964 (not 1961 as captioned) Photo: Geoff Healey
Healey MarqueArticle ~ April 2012
770 KNX rear qtr

Rear quarter today
770 KNX right side
Right hand side view
770KNX engine bay
The engine bay
770 KNX interior
The immaculate interior