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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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Sebring Sprite Latest News

News ~ December 2021

OVERHEATING WITH A SPEEDWELL MONZA BONNET

Paul Bos writes:
   " This past summer and into the fall I was able to get out in the Sprite and do some driving. Our summer temps often hit near 40C and with our fuels in California often containing more alcohol I have had a few cases of vapor lock. I have sourced a Weber heat shield and am considering wrapping my header pipes, fuel lines and now that I have converted to an alternator an electric cooling radiator cooling fan will be installed.  The Speedwell Monza bonnet seems to have issues with getting heat out and air in. The question I have for you and your readers is how have they cooled the engine compartment and provided cool/cooler air to the motor? 
I observed fender vents were used as early as 1959 in the Alpine Rally standard bonnetted car using an Austin of England vent and in some period films I observed a NACA vent on some cars. That was not surprising as Frank Costin was the first to use a NACA duct in a car. I realize that you may not be dealing with the same ambient temperatures as we do, but possibly someone could provide their thoughts on getting heat out of these bonnets. 
Regards, A. Paul Bos, Escalon, California".

 

News ~ November 2021

838 BWT
838 BWT
838 BWT

Oxford
Universities
Motorsport
Foundation

When we moved house back in 2018 I found myself with masses of Sprite parts which I could not take with us to our small cottage in Teesdale in County Durham. I had not yet had time to build a garage so the cars had to be stored elsewhere. Ding Boston of Oxford Universities Motorsport Foundation expressed an interest in taking the spares and came down to Kent with a big van and cleared the lot. Since that time OUMF have completed the build of their own Sebring Sprite,838 BWT, for their students to race. Ding says:

"The parts have been an absolute godsend and have saved the day on so many occasions as we have struggled to get the Sebring completed. I am delighted to say that it debuted with the HRDC 'Allstars' race on the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone a couple of weeks ago, and (the car) actually finished its first race 5th in Class. A huge relief on its first time out and a great credit to the many students who have played their part in its race build over the past 6 years! They wereoverjoyed to see that it attracted a column in Autosport the following week - which I guess maybe indicates how many people have been following its progress over so long. They plan to race it again next season with the HRDC - but not before an enormous oil leak is staunched!
We didn't make it to the NEC this year as the past two years have been awful for recruiting new members to the club without the Freshers Fairs here at Oxford and other forums for broadcasting what we do, plus all the other dismal effects and restrictions of Covid. I will try and put something together about the project shortly, and have attached a couple of Jeff Bloxham's photos of it in action at Silverstone, and a team photo too".


I am thinking it might be appropriate to award the SEBRING SPRITE MEMORIAL CUP to the OUMF team for 2021.

 

SPEEDWELL-STYLE DOOR HANDLES IN CARBON FIBRE

J Wootton
J Wootton
JWootton
J Wootton

JAKE WOOTTON and TOM CONNORS have been working hard to get the first batch of Speedwell handles out and these are provisionally sold. At present they have no more complete handles available and they don’t plan on making too many as they involve so much work. However they still have 8 laser cut back-plates remaining for a few more pairs. They are making them to order, and they are not cheap at around £100 per handle. They also have the 45 degree brackets to go with them. Feedback

 

ELLIOTTS RESTORATION

JASON ELLIOTT, formerly of Halls Garage, has now branched out on his own with his son, to form ELLIOTTS RESTORATION. Apparently they have a full order book to keep them busy through the winter. They can be found at:
Unit 3 CARDGE FARM, LANGTOFT FEN, LANGTOFT, PETERBOROUGH PE6 9QB
Email is elliottsrestoration@outlook.com and phone number is 07780 815264
The website is: www.elliottsrestoration.co.uk
They have a few interesting projects based on Midgets and Sprites in the pipeline and will be keeping me up to date. 

 

URGENT ~ ARTICLE IN CLASSIC CAR WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS A NEW THREAT TO TUNING OF CLASSICS

"Government plans to prevent vehicle 'tampering' could decimate industry dedicated to tuning and improving Britain's older cars". I won't reproduce the whole article here but suffice to say you may want to express your views before the deadline of 11.45pm on 22 November - so just 10 days away. The government website to go to is:
https://www.tinyurl.com/vehicletampering

 
Saddle Clip

FOR THOSE USING FORD TYPE 9 5-SPEED GEARBOXES:

Ford specialist Burton Power has developed a new saddle clip for the gearlever and selector shaft on Ford Type 9 and Type E gearboxes. The clip which is usually plastic is known to wear quickly and even eventually snap. The new clip is made from GRP which lasts longer. HD reinforced plastic saddle - gearlever to selector shaft on Type 9 5-speed gearboxes Part No. GBT9538 Priced at £15 incl VAT. Click on link above for more.

 

RARE A.G.THORPE FIBREGLASS BONNET FOR SALE

Hill-climber Steve Casson wishes to sell this item and is seeking offers in the region of £250. He says "It is not in great shape but should be easy to bring back to life. It does have an extra bulge in it that is a bit crude but would be easy to remove and patch over". Contact Steve by email or by landline: +44 01483 458105 or mobile:+44 07880 736373 [Guildford, Surrey]

 

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE LATEST PHOTOS OF 1966 LE MANS ENTRY, HNX 455D

 
MTough

MICHAEL TOUGH'S SEBRING PROGRESS

"Didn't have any aluminium sheet to hand but managed to make a couple of cardboard and one steel mock up of the switch panel for my car ( thanks to detailed pictures from Jonathan ). Couple of minor adjustments and I will make up the final aluminium one.  Luckily my workshops at school have box folders so a nice easy lunchtime project!"

MTough
 

THE EX-IAN ASHFIELD SEBRING FASTBACK UP FOR SALE IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE
BY MATHER COLLECTABLE MOTOR CARS, AT £28,950 (see Car and Classic)

5116 HN
5116 HN
5116 HN
5116HN
5116 HN
5116HN
5116 HN
5116 HN
 


Tony Bolton

NEW FASTBACK SEBRING UNDER CONSTRUCTION

It's always good to hear of a new Sebring Sprite being assembled. Tony Bolton, who previously raced a Sebring-fronted car, is now building a Fastback version and has asked to join the Sebring Family. Reg no. of the new car, which is based on a US import, is 517 UYO. Blasting and welding is by his local restorer, Faircharm Restorations,
and the bodywork is supplied by Steve at Hall’s Garage in Bourne. 


Tony Bolton
Tony Bolton
Tony Bolton
Tony Bolton
Tony Bolton
 

HNX

It was good to hear from Julian Ellison that he has acquired the ex-works Sebring/Le Mans car formerly registered HNX 455D and has brought it home from Germany to the UK. It is currently undergoing a re-spray to its Le Mans red and Julian hopes to run it in the Le Mans Classic in 2022. He also hopes he may be invited to run it at the Goodwood Members Day or the Revival at some stage. Latest photos of the car below:


HNX
HNX
HNX

PHOTOS OF THE NEWLY...
HNX

....REPAINTED CAR
HNX
 

Lempert Falcon Le Mans Sprite replica steering wheel, stored unfitted so perfect: Offers invited NOW SOLD

Bryn
Bryn
Bryn
Please contact Bryn Rossiter via his email address
 

MANY THANKS TO JONATHAN WHITEHOUSE-BIRD FOR SENDING IN THESE PHOTOS OF EAO FOR THE BENEFIT OF MICHAEL TOUGH
(see last month's entry)

EAO
EAO
EAO

 

 

News ~ October 2021

THE SEBRING SPRITE MEMORIAL CUP

in memory of Brian Archer & presented by the late Ian Ashfield

DM Trophy
Pictured left is last year's winner of the 'trophy', Dave Marriott with his lovely Sebring Replica. I would be interested to hear of any Sebring Sprite displayed this year (perhaps at the NEC Classic Motor Show, or elsewhere) and worthy of receiving this wonderful award for 2021.
 

NEWS OF 5 ALUMINIUM-BODIED FASTBACK SEBRING SPRITES BUILT BY MARCUS FELLOWS

MFellows
MFellows
MFellows
Mfellows

"Andrew Forster gave me a b*******g the other week for not keeping in touch with the progress on the alli-bodied fastbacks so I thought I had better send you an update and pics before he tells me off again. Sebring AMF number 2 as we refer to it, (the red car), has been sold on and is now racing in the UK in the Equip series. Number 1 is still in my hands and has completed a CSCC series K race with the 1Lt engine. The pics show it out at Anglesey taking first in class in both races. Numbers 3,4,and 5 are now in Germany being prepared for race and road use. I'm in the process of preparing some more tubs in plan for numbers 6, 7, and 8. But as you know new panels are hard to come by at the moment so I'm limited in what I can produce. However, I have updated my body jig and should hopefully be able to produce a full new Stage 1 tub in the not too distant future, rear shrouds and bonnets are another matter. Marcus".

 

PMO & S221 JOIN THE STIRLING MOSS MEMORIAL PARADE AT THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL

Woolmer
Woolmer
Woolmer
Woolmer

"PMO & S221 were part of the Stirling Moss Tribute at the recent Goodwood Revival, an amazing static display of ex-Stirling Moss cars including the 722 Mercedes, & a fast track parade on each of the 3 days. PMO was driven on 2 days by our daughter Elizabeth (next generation), me on the Saturday. S221 was driven by Charles Clegg each day. 
It was fantastic to have the 2 cars back together. All the best Paul (Woolmer)"

Woolmer
Woolmer
Woolmer
Woolmer
 
AQ

ANDREW QUINE'S COUPE IS READY FOR ITS FIRST ROAD TEST

Quite a long time in the gestation due to a change of ownership part way, it is great to see this car now at the point of completion. Archers #74

AQ
 

& MICHAEL TOUGH BEGINS A NEW SEBRING

"(I have) started a new project based on a new Wheeler and Davies shell and panels from Andrew Forster. It is going to be a coupe. Shell has been sitting at back of Frogeye Spares for over two years, was a cancelled order Frogeye shell with 1/2 elliptic rear spring adaption. Taken me 3 weeks to carefully remove the surface rust it had accumulated but no-where near the work of an original rusted out body. I am going to base its detail on 410 EAO and S221. I have managed to pick up some NOS lights, Weston speedwell rev counter and a Falcon wheel. I used to have loads of reference pictures from
J W-B's old EAO restoration website but have lost these now as were on an old computer.
If you have any detail shots of the interior/dash I would be very grateful ?"

 


BOB HEPPELL FINISHES ARCHERS SEBRING No.108:

RIM
RIM
RIM
RIM
RIM
RIM
RIM

"Finally finished my build. Andrew tells me this will be car number 108 - last car in original series. The registration number is OIG 2175. The car is based on a 1970 1275cc MG Midget, but using all Frogeye parts including dash, doors, and instruments. Finished in Jaguar Lightning silver, engine is mildly tuned with larger valves, some head polishing, 4 branch exhaust, and 5 speed Type 9 gearbox, vented discs, roll bar, oil cooler, alloy radiator Mini-Lite knock-on wheels, have made a couple of body modifications: firstly have done away with the external bonnet catches, and raised headroom by 1½ inch. Built more for comfort rather than outright speed".

 

AND HERE'S ANOTHER

" I have a lookalike with same number ID on the core. No idea where it comes from, I found it in a rear axle of a Sprite MK 1 or 2 which I bought for the casing. Never found time to take it apart but Colin Dodds from down under told me it is an "all or nothing" LSD as described by Bill and Chris. Here are some pictures! Regards Kees (van Beijmerwerdt)

Kees
kees
kees
Kees

MORE DETAIL FROM CHRIS DIMMOCK (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA):

"The “No Spin” diff was patented, and manufactured, by the Detroit Automotive Products Corporation. Hence “Detroit Locker”. Mine has been with my Healey 3000 since 1969. When you stand on the power, and don’t lift off, it propels the car in a straight line wherever you aimed it! Link to allcylinders.com website"


Detroit Locker


Spridget Detroit Locker

Spridget Detroit Locker

AND ANOTHER - FROM CHRIS DIMMOCK

"I have a Detroit Locker for my Healey 3000. Detroit Lockers are still used in NASCAR last time I checked, and they are awesome. Reliable and bulletproof and no more maintenance than a standard diff. Perfect! They lock, and then if you lift, they unlock. Straight away. No slip. Ratchet and pawl design. Once you understand that’s what they do, they are awesome on the track!! They have only 2 downsides. Firstly, a wet road makes them undriveable. On the road, you pretty much have to push the clutch in on low speed corners, because it might lock/ unlock 10 times… Because when they lock/ unlock, the rear of the car steps out 3 feet or so. Which is fine in the dry. But go for the power in a Healey 3000 in the wet, just a fraction too early…. And you’re not sliding - its “come home spinner”!!!"

"Happy to chat about my experiences with a Detroit Locker in my Healey 3000 https//:www.myaustinhealey.com I used my Detroit Locker on the road, and on the track, for probably 6 years. The day I spun at Oran Park Circuit, in the wet, and thought 'thank you God, I didn’t go off the track on the inside, slide down the steep grassy hill, and end up in a lake' - was the day I took it out. Because it stalled. And I had 6 cars bearing down on me. I was backwards, parked/stalled on the corner exit like, with 3 flooded webers… looking at oncoming cars! Because of their talent, everyone missed me. But it was caused just because I was just a nanosecond or 2 early on the power…"

 

A REPLY FROM BILL McDONNOUGH OF HARDY ENGINEERING

"As you can see in the pics we have the big brother version out of a Healey 3000. This one came in a diff core unit years ago and we have never been brave enough to put it in a car. It is what the Americans refer to as a ‘Detroit Locker’ Generally advertised as a ‘ no spin’ device. Helps you off a junction etc. We have no history on the unit we have I’m afraid. It looks very 60’s in its manufacture but these would have had to have been specials with the coarse English spline design (Ford were on a fine spline from the late 50s) There is mention of the Morley brothers having an ‘experimental’ LSD fail on them in a 3000 rally car in period so I take this to not be a Salisbury ( plate/ clutch type) idea from the Jaguars as these are tried and tested as a standard fit in E types etc. Both these units are not converted but ‘new builds’ and Jack knight have always marked their products with JKD which we do not have here. Ours is marked ‘qvp’ ? I cannot see how these would have had that big a market at the time?? More likely in the 70s/80s then? Maybe we both have items of period racing history….or maybe we do not? but it is always nice to think someone famous once gave these LSDs torment in a works car !!
Very interested to know how the A series one performs?
Best Regards. Bill McDonough.
Hardy EngineeringHardy Engineering Transmissions Ltd
268 Kingston Road, Leatherhead' Surrey KT22 7QA
01372 378927

Hardy

Hardy

Hardy
EMoser

 

 

CAN YOU HELP IDENTIFY ERICK MOSER'S LSD?

Martin, Thank you for all the work you do keeping Sebring Sprite running so efficiently. I write to see whether the site visitors can help me with a puzzling vintage Sprite differential.
I recently bought it from a guy in the US who raced with it some years back in a Frogeye. The alloy pumpkin has the cast numbers from the BMC Special tuning catalog along with “4.55” (it is indeed a 4.55 ring and pinion) and a date of “14.5.59”. The Special Tuning catalog mentions a “clutch type” LSD, but this is a locking type with the numbers 64540 on the carrier and ATA7091 on the ring gear. I’ve provided a bunch of photos. It works fine, I’ll be running it in my tarmac autocross Frogeye.
Is it perhaps a different BMC competition product? Could it have been offered by Jack Knight Developments or something? Is it an early Hardy Spicer diff in a special tuning case? I can’t find any solid leads to answer these questions. Perhaps some of the competition Sprite experts can shed some light on it.
Thanks, Erick

Feedback please.

EMoser
EMoser
EMoser
EMoser
EMoser
 
Stained Glass

STAINED GLASS PANELS

My clever brother made me this stained glass panel for my birthday and says he would be willing to make more. The cost would be passed on to a charity. If anyone would like one please let me know.

Stained Glass
 
bloemen

 

AN UPDATE ON
RENE BLOEMEN'S ALLOY SEBRING REPLICA

Considerable further work has been carried over recent times including more detailing of the bodywork by Ton Blankespoor.

Rene hopes to have the aluminium bonnet finished by the end of this year, after which it is intended the car will go for spraying in early 2022.

 

bloemen
bloemen
bloemen
bloemen
bloemen
bloemen
bloemen

 

News ~ September 2021

Tifosi

In response to my enquiry for Sebrings for sale - my thanks to Pete Schumann for pointing me to a car being offered on racedirect.com (left). Also to Simon Boardman who has several Sebrings (right), and to Gary Downes who is in the process of building two aluminium-bodied cars. Kai Eriksen has also offered his car (Archers No.22)

S Boardman

My apologies to those who tried to contact me and found my Feedback page was not working. It should now be functioning correctly.

SEBRING SPRITE WANTED

I have a contact interested in purchasing a Sebring Sprite within the price bracket £20K to £30K sterling. If you have one for sale or can point me in the direction of one please contact me via Feedback. Thank you.

 

PETE SCHUMANN'S VISIT TO GRATTAN RACEWAY, MICHIGAN


Steve Coleman's 2 ex-works Sprites were there:
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
Pschumann

Pschumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann

PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
Below:
Pete climbs aboard Joe Parlanti's Abarth
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
PSchumann
Plug Holder

"I thought your readers might enjoy a few pictures of some recent Sprite racing here in the USA at Grattan Raceway in Michigan and a few other things. Since I was visiting the area on a vacation from Virginia I went and checked it out the August 14th, 2021 Vintage racing at Grattan. While there I met Steve Coleman who owns two historic Sprites that he restored and races he was very cool and let me try both on.  There were 20 or so Sprite's racing but no Sebring Sprites that day. There were Formula V and other classes of cars racing as well.
This past Sunday here in Northern Virginia we had a Festival of Speed in Old Town Alexandria Virginia, I brought my Sebring (Former Bill Prout car and Ian Prout raced car) and was next to my friend Joe Parlanti's 59 Abarth Zagato a good rival of the Sprites this car is still campaigned by Joe and recently raced at the Pittsburg PA Vintage races. That's me climbing in Joe's Abarth. I also recently sold my white Bugeye Sprite and bought a very well done MGB. 
Pete Schumann"

 

News ~ August 2021

Parts for sale to suit Sebring Sprite

Lempert Falcon Le Mans Sprite replica steering wheel, stored unfitted so perfect: Offers invited Still Available Nov 4th

Bryn
Bryn
Bryn

Please contact Bryn Rossiter via his email address

 

Blue plaque unveiling ceremony at Healey Court, Warwick

Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird has kindly sent me "some images from the recent blue plaque unveiling ceremony at Healey Court, Warwick, on Saturday 3rd July 2021, followed by a small gathering of Healey cars and invited guests at, what once had been, 'The Millwright Arms' public house opposite (now named 'The Black Pug').

The plaque highlights the former site of the Donald Healey Motor Co Ltd showroom (the old cinema) at Coten End. The company moved to this location, from 'The Cape', Warwick, during 1963.

Sadly, the original building was demolished during the mid-1980s.

In addition, on the following day, Sunday 4th July, a gathering of all types of Healey cars took place at the British Motor Museum, Gaydon. The focus of the event was the 60th anniversary of the Mk.II Sprite".

JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
James Thacker's ex-Alec Poole TZA accompanied by Jonathan's ex-works Sebring Sprite
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB
JWB

 

and, at Gaydon:

JWB
JWB

 

Earlier items can be found at News 2021, 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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