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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 ~ September 2019

K Grasing
k grasing
k grasing
k grasing
k grasing

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
dac
dac
dac
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"

 

News ~ August 2019

k grasing

k grasing

KEN GRASING MAKES PROGRESS

 With the fuel cell finally fitted in his new alloy-bodied Sprinzel Coupe, it will be making an appearance at the 2019 Austin Healey Conclave in Deadwood, South Dakota early next month. Ken is now concentrating on the build up of his 1958 standard-bodied Sebring Sprite, and says: "John Skinner provided Cherry Red leathercloth for dash covering and the dash went in this week".   He expects to have the windscreen and DHMC hardtop on the car shortly.  "We’re planning on having the FIA inspection for the HTP on all three cars done in October.  I thought that when we have the cars all gathered in one place for the inspection I’d get some pictures for your website.  I will also get some pictures when we have the alloy-bodied coupe at the conclave 6-11 September".

 

AN ENQUIRY ABOUT SEATS FOR A SEBRING FROM MARK
"What seat works [best] with the Sebring that keeps it period but also provides great support for track days? I ask as the original [Sprite] seats are pretty poor at keeping you in the seat when you take a corner fast".
Feedback please.

 
SPRITE BONNET AERODYNAMICS
IAN WATTS replies to Gil Duffy's query -

"With regards to the aerodynamic difference between a Frogeye and a Sebring having one of each, both of which have the same engine, brakes, and suspension, I feel I am in a good position to compare the two. With the longer, lower and more efficient bonnet and hardtop the Sebring is faster, quieter, less tiring, and goes round corners better. It also uses less petrol. It is a little harder to get in and out of and the heater sucks up fumes from the car in front".

 


BOOKS FOR SALE
Haynes Super Profiles
MG Midget & AH Sprite (except Frogeye);
MGB; and
Morris Minor Series MM.
£7 each + postage
Also a spare copy of Donald Healey's book:
"The Story of the Big Healeys".

Ring: JOHN BAGGOTT on 01892 862656

JB books
 
P Bower

FROGEYE/POSSIBLE
SEBRING PROJECT
FOR SALE

PBower
P Bower
Pete Bower is offering his project for sale. Full details are shown on the attached PDF.
Asking price is £5,250 for the part-restored rolling shell with narrow axle, wire wheels and hardtop.
Other parts are available such as adjustable rear shockers 998cc engine/carbs and alloy doors.
Contact Pete by email if you are interested.
 

Does anyone have any information on frontal area or drag coefficients for Frogeyes Sebrings and MG Midget fronts?
Gil Duffy is trying to make his daughter's car go a bit faster! Feedback please.

 
Sebring 69
Liane Engeman/Donna Mae Mims/Janet Guthrie (Austin Healey Sprite), Sebring, 1969 (6th). [Courtesy of Rogger Williams via Facebook] A great photo I've not seen before.
See also 'A Bit of Detective Work, Part 2'
the car also raced in the Daytona 24 Hours that year, see 'Racing News'
and see 'The Third Prototype'
 
712 PTB
712 PTB


712 PTB

712 PTB

Brent Fowler has recently acquired the ex-Graham Bloor Sprite that was one of the Team of three cars created in the early 90s by Graham, Alastair Chalmers and John Hopwood. Now running in the CSCC Swinging Sixties series when time allows and under the Hill Farm Racing banner and with technical assistance of Tim Cairns. Brent purchased the car from Ian Hadrill last year, previous owner was Ivor Watson. Any information about previous history would be welcome. Current photos above, middle one by David Stallard".

 

MORE ON XSP ENGINES ~ THIS FROM SPEEDWELL GURU, ALISTAIR ROSS

"Just noticing the recent questions about XSP engines, I bought an XSP
engine from [Jonathan] Peck, this looks to be relatively untouched and I have
yet to investigate the condition of the engine, but there are some
numbers stamped onto the cylinder head casting on the flat area next to
the thermostat housing, Maybe the XSP guys could tell me what they mean.
They are S556, AV 18 8 (crossed out) 19.4cc (could this be the volume of
the head chambers) TDC (no number)?" Feedback please
A Ross
 

ALAN PARKES' VERY NEAT SEBRING BEING OFFERED (on Facebook) by South Norfolk Classics AT £14,995

9957RE
9957RE
9957RE
9957RE
 
xsp
xsp
xsp
xsp
Some pictures of one of the 'works' racing engines complete with crossflow head and fuel injection kindly supplied by Neil Blaney. I think this was the engine once offered for sale by Jeff Brenner in the USA. Sent in to assist Graham Hill with his fuel injection set-up. Many thanks Neil. Meanwhile if anyone can tell us more about the casting numbers on these heads it would be very helpful. Feedback please.
 
BOB HEPPELL IS BUILDING A FIBREGLASS BODIED FROGEYE having sold his Sebring to Graeme Williams


Heppell


Heppell
Heppell
Heppell

Bob has been building a fibreglass Frogeye which he completed a couple of months ago. However his love affair with the Sebring is not over so he has now decided to convert the Frog into a Sebring, ordering various parts from Andrew [Forster]. The bonnet shown is fibreglass but uses some metal parts/panels from a steel bonnet to make it more rigid. He did not want visible exterior catches, so has used spring-loaded catches going through the door post as per Jaguar E Type.

 

News ~ July 2019

PERIOD PHOTOS OF EX-WORKS CARS, KINDLY SUPPLIED BY KARSTEN STELK

ENX
ENX
ENX
693LAC
An old postcard showing one of the two 1966 works Le Mans cars, ENX 415C. I think the attribution on the reverse is partially incorrect (assuming it is intended to refer to this particular car). The Makinen/Hawkins car which raced at Sebring in 1966 was another (HNX 455D). It was the '65 Sebring car (DAC952C) which raced at Daytona the following year. As stated Harris and Moore raced the car at Spa while it was Mike Garton who accompanied John Moore at the Nurburgring, the sister car being driven by Alec Poole and Clive Baker.
One of the two ex-works Le Mans (66) cars in the hands of Howard Fawsitt, in the Nurburgring 500, in 1967
John Moore in 693 LAC,
at Brands Hatch 1965

All 3 of these photos show the ex-works cars during their ownership by Richard Groves and in his team colours of green and silver.

Many thanks Karsten.

 

XSP NUMBERS
GRAHAM HILL (No, not the late great F1 driver but another) has recently acquired some cross-flow heads which have interesting serial numbers stamped on. Would anybody have a record or knowledge of the markings? On another topic, he recently saw a Mini with an XSP number attributed to it which I find a bit suspect. XSP 4770C - any thoughts?
If you can assist with the above please let me know via feedback. Graham is also looking for detailed photos showing the injection system fitted to the cross-flow head on the 'works' cars.

 
ADO
ADO

SPECIAL PROTOTYPE SPRIDGET FOR SALE

ADO

“Unique, one-off aluminium bodied light-weight Midget for sale on rolling chassis.  Excellent tub and 5-link rear suspension.  Would make excellent competition car.  Wheels in the photographs are not included in the sale, but I have other wheels.  Offers over £6,000. For more information call Douglas Anderson on 01382 731755 in the evening or email him"
Douglas's ADO project is moving on well and he is now at the stage of preparing the body for paint. Thus, he now needs to make room in the garage by selling the initial aluminium car. Hence this advertiserment.

 

STEVE EVERITT MEMORIAL TROPHY ~ BRANDS HATCH, 28 APRIL 2019

DW Brands
Stephen Collier leads

There were 2 heats for this event, both of which were won by Stephen Collier, seen left leading David Morrison and Stephen Watkins into the Druids hairpin. It was the Sunday race which counted so it was Collier who received the bronze model of the late Steve Everitt's race car. [Photos courtesy of Dennis Wharf]

DW
Steve Watkins leads David Morrison
DW
Jon Simpson (14) had a win in Class D

and Robin Lackford (57) won Class E

(Apologies for the late reporting of this event due to health issues.)

Brands
 
4444DA
4444DA
4444DA
4444DA
Sven
NEWS FROM SVEN ECKHARDT & 4444 DA
"We´ve been to Donington and Elan Village. DA has taken part in another rallye and has been driven on two circuits:
Padborg in Denmark and the Nordschleife. My codriver for the Adenau classic was Andreas Baensch, (Sven and Andreas shown left). I feel privileged to be her current keeper. Sven".
4444DA
 
Kees
Kees
Kees
Kees
Last Week we had the pleasure of a visit from Kees Van Beijmerwerdt and his brother, Bert, who were on their way to the ferry at Newcastle after visiting Halls Garage, Bourne and a Sprite friend in Carlisle. Kees is currently building a Mark 1 Sprite with original Ashley bonnet and hardtop which he picked up in his home country, the Netherlands. At Halls they saw my former project - the replica of the Jacobs Midget, now beautifully finished. I even brought JJO out of hibernation for the occasion which was very enjoyable.
 

M Fellowes

£29,500

Sebring adds Spa 3 Hour race to list of victories.
The FIA Alloy bodied Sebring fastback of Marcus Fellows won the prestigious 'performance index' at the Spa Summer Classic last month finishing well clear of the opposition including a number of Lotus Elans and AC Cobras. The car driven by Marcus and David Smitheram,  aided by a team of helpers including Andrew Forster, ex Archers Garage now Aldon Automotive, Kevin Forster, and Jake Henry, (Aldon), using a 1275 engine, is an exact replica of the original fastback design built to FIA and appendix K spec. The car is still for sale with a fresh engine and gearbox following the victory with more details available on Race Car Direct

 

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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