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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

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812 UYS

812 UYS

1958 South Africa built Sebring (CKD)

812uys
Looking smart
812 uys
Similar 'works' bonnet
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Neat tail
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The underside
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Girling calipers
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Girling 8" drums
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Brake servo and oil catch tank
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Underside of the catch tank in footwell
812 uys Ashley fastback hardtop and early type sidescreens

Now owned privately by Mike Authers of Abingdon, this car has a build date of 13th October 1958 when it was despatched, as a CKD (Complete knock down) kit to the Austin Motor Company of South Africa Blackheath as shown on its British Motor Heritage certificate.

It was owned for 35 years by Richard Hulse who was a founding member and later Chairman of the Austin Healey Club of South Africa established in 1973. Richard successfully raced a BN6 Healey in South Africa and also ran the spares for the club. He purchased the Sprite from the late Ralph Clarke who was the engineering director of the South African Blackheath plant who assembled BMC cars from CKD kits and also built their own versions of the BMC and British Leyland range of cars. The Blackheath plant built and raced Sprites plus A40’s and Mini Coopers. Ralph Clarke was responsible for building their own 1275cc Cooper S engines to fit to their SA assembled Mini Clubmans called Mini 1275GTS which was more powerful than the Cooper S it replaced.

This Sprite was fitted with Girling front brake discs and splined hubs with the larger Riley rear drums and a servo plus the Riley's 3.7 to1 ratio differential. A Healey 100 anti roll bar and a vacuum-assisted oil catch tank all came from the Blackheath plant racing department.

The car is fitted with a unique all-steel forward opening bonnet very similar to that of the Healey prototype Sprite MkII bonnet. It also has an Ashley fastback hartdtop and had a new 1275cc Blackheath built Marina engine with large valve head fitted in the 1980’s by Ralph Clarke before its sale.

Richard Hulse used the car for several long distance rallies in South Africa including the 1991 post-45 rally of South Africa (1000 miles), and the 1991 Pirelli Classic Rally of South Africa (2,424 miles). It was shipped to the U.K. to participate in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Austin Healey Club and came 3rd in their Concours, and after a tour of the U.K. was shipped back again.

Unfortunately Richard passed away and his daughter inherited the car when it was shipped to her home in Ireland. Now U.K. registered 812 UYS it was purchased by Mike Authers in September 2019.

Due to it having spent its life in relatively dry conditions it has no rust and has all its original panels. No heater or windscreen washers have ever been fitted.

The Sprite is currently being gone through mechanically in Mike’s workshop by Geoff Clark, who previously worked in the Abingdon development department.

The oil catch tank (over the left-hand footwell) is very professionally made and has negative pressure from the inlet manifold with a pressure cap fitted (just visible in the photo) a drain pipe running down to under the floor and exiting just below the sill. It also has a drain plug fitted (in the footwell) so considerable thought went into building this, rather than just bolting on a universal tank.

Mike intends to do some historic rallies with the car and drive it to the Healey Museum in Holland in April 2020.

812 uys
812 uys
812 uys
812 uys
812 uys
812 uys