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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


Sebring Sprite Latest News

News ~ November 2019

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SOME RECENT PHOTOS OF PAUL GREGORY'S SEBRING FASTBACK

which was built by Severn Classics (Stephen Griffiths) back in 2012.

Paul is really a Lotus man but says of his Speedwell bonneted car: "It’s light, brilliantly easy to maintain and has nearly unlimited potential for making better. Meanwhile it delivers, as is, unlimited smiles thru the twisties whilst driving at the posted speed limit. I’m delighted to be part of the Sebring Sprite family".

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HNX 455D (left) is currently up for sale at an asking price of 240,000 EUROS
as is the Speedwell GT, 585 MY (right),
this at 139,000 EUROS
both cars being offered by
The Old Timer Galerie in Germany

 

TOP TRUNNIONS (see lower down this page)

Glenn Clarke says: "I believe these were used when using Austin A60 front shocks. These shocks were great for triangulation - used in the early sixties".

 

KEN GRASING MAKES FURTHER PROGRESS ON HIS COLORADO RED SPRITE
& SEEKS ANOTHER DHMC (HIGH SIDE-SCREEN HARDTOP).

red sprite
k grasing
k grasing
WANTED
DHMC (High side-screen
hardtop)
Please let me know if you can help via Feedback

Regular visitors to the website will recall that Ken Grasing in the USA has been building up 3 Sebring Sprites, a Sprinzel Coupe, a Bonneville (supercharged) car and a more standard rally car, the latter pictured above. He has a liking for hardtops so now wishes to obtain either another DHMC (high side-screen) top or "a Universal Laminates hardtop, as would be appropriate for the early nine-stud windscreen Sprites", not one I think I am familiar with.

 
TZA
At the Classic Car Show at the NEC last week, the Brian Archer Trophy for 2019 was presented (by Alan Anstead) to James Thacker and his ex-Alec Poole Sprite TZA 238

AND ANOTHER REASON FOR CONGRATULATIONS, JAMES:

James also reports" I entered TZA in the Classic Sports and Saloons pre-1975 class at the last meeting at Shelsley Walsh on 21st September, in which were 6 were bigger-engined cars - a 2.2litre Triumph TR4A,  a 1.6 Lotus Elan, a 2.3 Porsche 904, the 5.7 HWM Stovebolt Special [Simon Taylor's car]  and a 3.9 V8 Morgan. It was a case of 'deja vu' from the mid 60's as the little Irish  green one-eyed 1330cc Sprite managed to win narrowly on scratch and on the handicap basis too. A very unexpected but enjoyable result at the end of the season in glorious weather. We were also in close proximity in the paddock to the genial A/H  Healey Sport  Championship competitors".

 

ANYONE RECOGNISE THESE TOP TRUNNIONS?

simon Hutch
Simon Hutch
Simon Hutch
Simon Hutch

Simon Hutchinson is: "Looking for some information regards to the attached top trunnion pics. I picked these up from Malcom Self when he was having a clear out and think he said they were reproduced from a Speedwell design. Although they don’t look like they would give a great deal of Neg camber change (Peter May Type in pic for ref) , the pivot is that much higher I suppose it could do a bit. The pivot on the top arm has a grease path to the steel sleeve so no bushing required. If anyone knows the history behind this design I would be much obliged. I think I’ve about 15 pairs of the things in a bag!" Feedback please. [See Glenn Clarke's response higher up this page]

 
812 UYS
812 UYS
812 UYS
812 UYS
MIKE AUTHERS has recently acquired this South African built CKD 1958 Sebring Sprite fitted with Girling discs and Dunlop wire wheels, Riley rear drums, and 1275cc engine. It has a South African Blackheath plant bonnet in steel as well as a Blackheath ‘works’ oil catch tank and brake servo. Mike has been trying to find out more information about the car and particularly its bonnet which Jonathan Whitehouse Bird thinks is unique. Jonathan had seen the car before when it visited the U.K. for several Austin-Healey celebrations. It has recently been permanently imported.
812 UYS
The car is now registered 812 UYS, built 1958 in South Africa and fitted with an Ashley Fastback. If anyone can supply further information please do so via Feedback
*!" UYS
 

 

News ~ September 2019

WANTED: QUARTER ELLIPTIC SPRINGS

Morgan Sparrow is urgently seeking a replacement quarter-elliptic rear spring for his Mark 1 Midget. If you have anything available please email him direct. (Library photo right)

Qtr elliptics
 
B Blayden
B Blayden
B Blayden


Bob Blayden's latest mods

Bob Blayden has been tinkering with his green Sebring and has fitted new front rotors (discs) & pads, and drilled rear brake drums. He has also pulled off the Weber carburettor & fitted twin 1½” SU carburettors all working &  going great A He and his wife, Ann took the car to Tasmania the other month and had great time. The Sebring attracted a lot of attention whereever they went. It was entered in the Devonport Motor Show & Bob was interviewed on U-Tube about the car - you can watch it if you go to Danny Smith Devonport Motor Show .

 
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ULRICH BOECKMANN WRITES:
"I just found some old black and white photos of my Sebring bonnet during the conversion to a Sebring Sprite rep.  between 1990 and 1992. I remember, that I purchased this bonnet (in) 1990 from a guy in Northern Germany. The air intake for the radiator was a little different as you can see on the fotos- and I keep it up till today. So the Mk I grille doesn’t really fit on it, cause the “nose“ is a little bit longer. Was it usual to optimize the cooling of the radiator in this way (if that is indeed the term to be used) ? The color of the bonnet was similar to French blue and the color layer underneath was white.  There was no reg number fixed on the bonnet or any (of the) rest of it , so I have no history to it. But the guy told me that he purchased it in England (around the) end of the eighties".
Certainly Ulrich's bonnet looks different to the normal W & P Sebring front we have come to know so well, having a slightly extended 'mouth' or air intake with no flange on which to mount a standard Frogeye grille. Does anyone know whether someone marketed this as an alternative style bonnet in period? Certainly if Ulrich bought it in 1990 it predates the Archer Sebring kits which started to come off the line in 1993. MEI
Your comments would be appreciated via Feedback

 
1411 WD

A 'new' photo of 1411 WD kindly supplied by Karsten Stelk of Mike Garton's ex-Le Mans works Sprite at Brands Hatch in 1963
 
Alexander
Alex
UP FOR SALE BY AUCTION: ALEXANDER SPRITE 1959
Guide price £48k to £53k but best bid so far £8743
Alex
 
K Grasing
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Ken Grasing's alloy Sebring coupe among the Healey’s on Main Street in Deadwood, South Dakota for Austin Healey Club of America 2019 Conclave (Sept 6 - 11).  

First bath, ready for the trip
 

LAWRENCE MAUDSLEY ON SEATS FOR THE SEBRING:
Re: Sprite seats. I have a Cobra seat which was fine in my car but somewhat heavier than the Tillett B6 which I have now fitted. It is for sale with the mounting plates.

Email if interested.

LAWRENCE MAUDSLEY IS OFFERING:
4no. 13" X 5J Minator alloy wheels for sale, along with a set of standard front discs. The wheels are bare of tyres but in good used condition. He is looking for reasonable offers. Also he has a set of 1275 rods and a 1275 crankshaft, a Minisport CA5 camshaft (equivalent to a 731) and duplex going begging.
Contact him by email if interested.
 

FASCINATING INFO FROM JOHN SPRINZEL REGARDING THE SEBRING BONNET AND COUPE TOP

bonnetI was unclear as to who designed and first marketed the Sebring bonnet we all know and love so asked John for some guidance. I had suggested that Costin was involved in its design and that Williams & Pritchard made it while Speedwell marketed it. This is John's detailed and informative reply:

"Martin. No sir, neither Speedwell nor Costin nor Healeys had anything to do with the Sebring Bonnet which I designed after Donald showed me the photo of the Mark Two Sprite prototype. In particular I wanted to keep the grille which we had not done on the Speedwell front. I took the drawings to W & P with whom I had worked on the Speedwell GT which was Frank Costin's design. They obviously changed it a bit to suit their production methods The alloy prototype was introduced while I was working at Healeys, on the November 1960 RAC Rally. The actual production versions and the full Sebring bodywork were produced after I bought the Speed Equipment division and moved to Lancaster Mews. I think Cyril Simson's S221 was the first and was raced at Sebring in 1961. Because the Speedwell didn't have much room for the right hand during quick correction movements, I got W & P to make the screen part a bit wider. We made the outline with me sitting in the car while they bent rods around me for the final shape, and we resisted the "fast-back" trend as Frank had always felt the cut back top was smoother and quicker.  W & P didn't start to sell their own version of the Sebring fronts until we liquidated the first company and were reborn as JS Racing Ltd. I still shudder at the thought that we had nowhere to store the replaced metal bonnets, and had to pay our dustmen a fiver each to take them away!"

 
FROM LAWRENCE MAUDSLAY:
re: Sprite seats. I have a Cobra seat which was fine in my car but somewhat heavier than the Tillett B6 which I have now fitted. It is for sale with the mounting plates.
 
DAC
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BRUNO VERSTRAETE took his ex-Sebring race car DAC 952C to the Arosa Classic hill climb recently - (more a mountain climb) 76 turns and 7 km long.

"Great fun. Brake failure cut the event a bit short but good to go back!"

 
SOME INFO I GLEANED FROM ANDREW FORSTER (formerly of Archer Garage)
"I am still making Sebring parts, including seat bases, dashboards, Sebring bonnets and fittings, I have recently made a Monza bonnet for a customer and I am about to start a coupe top after which I plan to do a Fastback body for another customer, in Ireland. It takes me a while to get the panels made with only having one day a week working on them but it’s getting there. 
I am awaiting the finishing of some more polished side screen frames but haven’t got any pedal boxes at present.
I can’t get any aluminium doors at the moment as the chap that made them has been ill and given up fabrication. I am looking for someone else to make them instead. I have got the aluminium cut ready for folding for the aluminium wing tops and edges. 
I still have got badges and sill plates and have made up the reverse gate locks as per the original cars". 
If anyone is looking for any of these components please contact Andrew by email.
 
A REPLY TO THE CAR SEATS ENQUIRY:
         In response to Mark's seat query:

"I had Cobra bucket seats in mine and I found them to be quite good I no have Cobra Junior bucket seats. These sit a little bit higher and I had to make wooden spacers to raise them up. Not so good for track days I feel.
Photos available if needed. Glenn Castle"

 

Earlier items can be found at News 2019, News 2018, News 2017, News 2016, News 2015, News 2014, News 2013, News 2012, News 2011 or News 2010

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