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 ~ August 2020

Simon Hutch


Simon Hutch
Simon Hutch

1974 RWA MG Midget ORG 178M (needing) Full Restoration

I’ve owned this 1974 RWA project since 2008. She came to me when I was serving at RAF Wyton and I’d noticed the sorry sight of her parked up near the Officers' Mess with barely any weather protection. As the winter of 2007 progressed the thin tarp had disintegrated and she was left open to the elements. I eventually tracked the owner down and rescued her in 2008. I basically cleaned the accumulated leaf mulch from her now very rusty footwells and managed to get her back under cover, renting a spare Officers Mess Garage from where she’d been ejected in the first place. Well, out of sight out of mind and the years rolled on. As you can see she had no front wings so I hatched a plan to make her a Streamliner. I found her an original Williams & Pritchard Sebring Mk2 front and an Ashley hardtop. Both need work on the gel coat to bring them up to standard and the odd fibreglass repair. I made an error with the hardtop as I think it’s for the earlier flat rear deck Midgets and requires trimming to mount, the N/S rear quarter Perspex window is missing (the fittings are there) and it didn’t come with the boot section (the mounting holes need rebuilding). These and all the fittings are available as you all know from Motobuild. The shell was last on the road in 1983 and had some welding work carried out, new inner/outer sills and A pillars and a few footwell patches. I can’t say what the quality of the welding was like. The floors including the rear spring hangers are shot. The front inner wings are patched. I think the boot floor looks pretty good and the RWA wings are in fair order. One of the front chassis legs has a small hole between the towing eye mounts.
Also the Midget 1275 engine was replaced with a Marina 1275 unit using a lightened flywheel and brand new clutch according to the previous owner (the Marina crank flange has only one dowel and is slightly larger in diameter). Amazingly after all this time the engine turns easily by hand. Given the price of second hand units you could sell/swap or if the car is receiving a K Series or Zetec heart transplant sell the engine and box for decent money. Marina cranks are often used in Stroked out 1430 cc engines using S journal rods so there’s scope there. The dashboard is complete and all the loom looks there as well. There was no glass in the frame, good time to stick a laminated screen in. There is a soft top and frame and the original seats. Also, the heater, pedal box and a set of 1¼" SUs with manifold are somewhere in my loft along with a few other bits'n'bobs. I believe the steering lock was broken when they ejected it from the garage.
The previous owner eventually admitted he’d lost the V5, wings and glass during various house moves. I applied for and received the V5 last year. I have e-mails from him confirming my ownership of the car. The keener eyed amongst you may notice the registration no ORG 174M could easily be spaced to spell ORG1 78M for a giggle and we’ve always called her Orgy. Previous owner said he’d been quoted over a £1000 for the plate alone! Unfortunately, I was eventually booted out of the garage at the end of last year and although I could continue to store her, she is so far down my to-do list she would be better off with a new owner. I’d hoped she might end up a race/track car as is the fashion. I don’t want to break the fiberglass bits separately yet, I’d rather she had a chance as a complete package. The asking price is ,
£1500 or very near offer
Will definitely need trailering away and a car cover to tie all the bits down. No Export Enquiries and can supply a few more pics of the troubled zones but if you know Sprites then they’re not going to frighten you.

Email – Simon Hutchinson


News~ July 2020

1964 Welsh


James Thacker has pointed out that his Sprite, TZA 238 actually came 9th, not 12th in the International Welsh Rally of 1964 in the hands of Alec Poole and John Bilton. I have amended the web page accordingly. Not a bad result for a Sprite. Note familiar names like John Sprinzel among those entered.

Midget sidescreen

AT £400
As Mike Wood says:"These really need uniting with the sidescreen-less hardtop that pops up for sale periodically".


1963  SPRITE MARK 2 PROJECT FOR SALE ~ £3,000 o.n.o.
[Donor car with chassis jig and engine stand.]

M Hull

  [N.B. Third and fourth photos above are of Martin's new shell on the jig]

Purchased in 2008 and used as his everyday car Martin Hull replaced the original 1098 engine with a rebuilt early 1275 with EN40 B crank in 2009.  He had intended to rebuild it as a Sebring but his plans have now changed. It comes with the jig he constructed in order to build a complete new shell for his now-completed Mk II ‘Twin-Cam Special'; and also with a bare-shell roll-over jig and the stand on which he ran the engine.  The shell is rotten but the bulkhead and transmission tunnel would make a good start, and a shell could relatively easily be built up on the jig using new Heritage panels. The car has a  V5, is currently SORNed and there is a Heritage Certificate.

The cylinder head was overhauled with hardened valve seats, but not fully ported; the crank was reground and balanced and it had a 60 thou rebore; this work being carried out by SRD Ltd of Launceston.  I fitted a Kent 256 cam with new pushrods and 1.3:1 roller rockers.  It has a 1 1/2” SU on an Oselli Torquemaster manifold with a LCB exhaust manifold.  The intention was a flexible, torquey motor, which it was.   Later MartinI decided to convert to Specialist Components injection, and to this end fitted their Ignition Management Kit, which included crankshaft trigger wheel and ECU. He intended to go on to fit the 5 Port Injection System later.  The Management Kit is included, as are the bills for the above.  At present it is back on distributor ignition.  The new engine subsequently did a happy 9000 miles but when the rot became terminal the car was laid up, in 2013.  The engine was last run about 18 months ago and it smoked a little on starting so it maybe it could now do with new valve stem oil seals.  

The car comes with steel bonnet, front wings, boot lid, doors, original seats and steering wheel, and a Frogeye dash and Mk II instruments.   Full details with explanation of the jig/s with photos by email or call

MARTIN HULL on 01837 840157 

[N.B.Third and fourth photos above are of Martin's new shell on the jig.]    




David Scothorn has asked me to mention that
"having had to cancel most of their activities this year, the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, have announced that they will hold a COMBINED MINI/METRO & BMC/BL DAY ON SUNDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER.  For details click this link
The all-singing, all-dancing Abingdon Works Motorsports Celebration that was due to be part of the BMC/BL day has been shelved until 2021.  However, we are pleased to announce that we will present a display of BMC, BL and associated Works competition cars as part of Gaydon’s event on 6th September. The Historic Marathon Rally Group will also be present with a fascinating and varied collection of other makes of Works and privateer- entered cars.
BMM are constantly reviewing how to make best use of their facilities during the current situation and updates can be found on their website   Whilst access to the inside of the Museum may be restricted by numbers on 6th September, they will provide toilets and refreshments outside too. Admission will only be allowed with a pre-issued ticket which is £8 per car, though there may be a small number of complimentary passes, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
BMM need an indication of numbers of drivers, volunteers, and 'special guests'.  If you’d like to be part of what could turn out to be the highlight of 2020’s classic car scene, please email '', giving details of the car, name and address for a pass, and a mobile number.
For advice on accommodation we suggest you visit the Warwick Tourist Board website". 


Mike Garton
[photo courtesy of BRDC]

MIKE GARTON ~ 1936 to 2020
I was very sorry to learn of the recent death of Mike Garton one of the early and most successful racers of Sprites who competed at Nurburgring, Spa, Sebring and in other prestigious events through the 60's and into the 1970's. I only met him once just last year when he and his wife Lyn joined us for the Frogs and Friends weekend tour in the dales of County Durham. I recall reading his little tuning book on Sprites many years ago and finding it incredibly useful. Our sincere condolences to his wife, family and friends. Mike will be much missed in many club activities. See the BRDC's obituary for details of his illustrious career.

Austin Healey Sprite – Competition Car For Sale - £17,500
Paul Baker
Paul Baker
Paul Baker
Paul Baker
Paul Baker
Originally built in 1966 and registered in 1967, this Mk 3 Sprite has undergone a full nut and bolt rebuild by a marque specialist Alan Haste.  It has the sought after Williams & Pritchard Sebring GT front with an Ashley hardtop, polycarbonate side and rear windows and finished in Tartan red throughout. 
It has a rare 1293cc engine completely rebuilt by Allan Cameron to race spec with only 250 road miles.  All new parts used where possible and a huge list of modifications. 
This car would be ideal for Circuit Race, Sprint and Hill Climb or Rally use and eligible for the Healeysport Sprint and hill climb championship, the Equipe GTS series and numerous other race and rally series.
Engine spec: 1293cc A series block with 11 stud Oselli Stage 3 large valve head, Weber DCOE45, Omega cast pistons, Piper 285 billet camshaft with venier, Roller Rockers, ARP bolts, Lightened flywheel, Maniflow 2” race exhaust and manifold, Aldon distributor with Ignitor electronic ignition, alternator, FIA Cut Off and an Electric fan.
Transmission: Rib cased gearbox with HD AP Racing Clutch with remote bleed and a 4.2 diff
Suspension: All new front suspension with ¾” anti-roll bar.  Completely restored rear axle and rear suspension with Peter May Panhard Rod.
Brakes: New calipers/drums, Mintex 11/44 pads.
Interior: Sparco race seat, 6 point TRS seat belts, rear Roll cage and Odyssey Gel Battery.
Wheels and tyres:  MWS wires wheels with Avon CR6ZZ tyres.
Contact: Paul Baker by email or on 07802 608529 for more details and pictures.

With many thanks to all those who have contributed to the website this month including:
Paul Baker; the BRDC; David Scothorn; Martin Hull; Phil Zamlynski; Mike Wood; James Thacker.


Earlier items can be found at News 2020, 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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