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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

R


Sebring Sprite Latest News

News ~ September 2022

Marchal

A GOOD PAIR OF MARCHAL SPOTLAMPS FOR SALE

See [FOR SALE] page.

 

MORE ON THAT LENHAM (see below)

Dave Matthews was the first to respond with a photo of Garry Wilson driving his Lenham' as depicted on his Worldwide Austin-Healeys calendar of 1981. Close examination of the photo reveals that that car had been extended forwards by abour 6 inches to accommodate a more aerodynamic perspex windscreen and Garry WilsonLotus Elan front suspension. Coincidentally the car bears the same No.56 as John Tandy's photo which I am told was taken at Lodge Corner at Oulton Park probably in the 70's. Next came a message from Will Corry telling me that the Tandy car was owned by Trevor McCullough in Ireland back in 1989 and was then sold on to John Galloway who campaigned it at just about every hill-climb and sprint on the Emerald Isle over many years. He had a minor mishap with it at Craigantlet, around 2008, at a "Very difficult corner that has taken many big names in the sport over the years. A gentle accident all the same. He lost heart at that time due to age. A corner he had driven J Tandyhundred of times before but that was the end of his run in the Lenham". John died in 2019 and the car lay uncared-for in his garden for a lengthy period. But is this the same car which Garry Wilson extended ? If so it was clearly brought back to 'standard' Spridget by the time John Galloway owned it. Dave Matthews has managed to contact Garry Wilson who has promised to come through to me with his recollections and history of his car. More anon. [Pictured left: John Galloway with his car at a hill-climb]

Very many thanks to Dave Matthews, Will Corry and John Baggott for their valuable input.

 

A New Book entitled "Austin-Healey Sprite" by Malcolm Thorne is published by Crowood Press:

"With over 250 photographs, this book includes the genesis of the Sprite, from the Austin Seven and pre-war MG Midget, via Donald Healey's Riley- and Nash-engined models, to the Austin A30, A90 Atlantic and Healey Hundred".

Take a look at it here but I suggest you buy it through bookshop.org where it is priced at £23.75 instead of £30.

 
DAC
DAC
DAC
DAC
DAC
BRUNO VERSTRAETE: "Please find attached some pictures of my Sebring Sprite DAC952C at the Motorsport Rendezvous in Sankt Moritz. The car was standing next to some other exotic material from all different eras. It is remarkable how few car people know the background and story of the cars. Looking at which cars were beaten by this little gem, it surely deserves more… only by bringing it out it can be done. Unfortunately work didn’t allow me to drive the car through the mountains and on the hill climb. Will be something for another day".
 
3758UE

3758 UE

I see from the auction results that the original Ashley Sprite sold for £15,000
including commission. The purchaser was none other than Sven Eckhardt.

 

Paul Hawkins
see: PRIMOTIPO (courtesy of Joe Armour)

 
YFY

ROB CLUBBE REPORTS:
" Will has started the final push to get YFY 467 build complete! Deep dish Minilites now fitted.

YFY
YFY
 

CAN ANYONE HELP IDENTIFY JOHN TANDY'S LENHAM & TELL US ITS HISTORY?

J Tandy
J Tandy
J Tandy
J Tandy

JOHN TANDY wrote: "I recently bought this Lenham Le Mans modsports car for restoration and was wondering if you could shed any light on the car . I have no history for it and am trying to find out anything I can , the only thing I know is that at some point in its life it ended up in Ireland as a Hillclimber , where it was crashed and then left to deteriorate outside. I enclose some pictures of the car including what I believe is a picture of it on track from years ago".

Any information please via Feedback

 

2 FILM CLIPS FROM DAVID WYLIE, OWNER OF SPEEDWELL GT, 505 BZ:

"I’ve been pretty inactive in the Speedwell of late, but might drag it out of the garage for a small charity event at the end of the month (August).  Maybe I’m still smarting from having to pull out of the Members’ Meeting?!

Anyhow, perhaps of interest… quite a long film of the 1962 Circuit of Ireland featuring 505 BZ masquerading as a Sebring for homologation purposes (around 25m and 40m).  Having won in 1960 in an ordinary Sprite, Adrian was leading overall with 505 BZ until a secret time check demoted them and ultimately, he finished second in class to Peter Johnston who was driving the ex-Chris Williams Sebring (52 LPH – now Ronnie White’s car) which can be seen briefly too.

Also, Paddy Hopkirk demonstrating 2222 AZ, which surely would have been running Girling discs?  A friend in Belfast is currently restoring the car.  Interestingly (although perhaps that’s subjective), 505 BZ currently has the same gear knob which presumably was a ‘tuning’ part available from Paddy Hopkirk’s shop in Belfast".

MANY THANKS DAVID.

Simon Brien

Alloy doors
FOR SALE

(click above to go to 'For Sale' page)

9957RE

SEBRING REPLICA
FOR SALE
£17,000
(see For Sale Page)

 

News ~ August 2022

Manor Park Classics of Runcorn, Cheshire
have for sale in their auction on 10th Sept:
"1959 Austin-Healey "Sebring" Sprite
~ the original Ashley press car supplied new to Donald Healey Car Sales"

3758 UE
3758ue


Registration:
3758 UE
Odometer: 62,163
Transmission: Manual
MOT: Exempt

  • Current ownership since 1979
  • Entered from a deceased estate
  • RHD Home market car
  • Supplied with a BMIHT certificate
  • Offered with bespoke Ashley hardtop, bonnet and an additional hardtop
  • Fitted with rev counter and tonneau cover
  • Fitted with 1-1/4 ins carbs with brass tops, high lift cam, ported cylinder head, competition heavy duty springs and uprated lever arm dampers
  • Supplied with a spare bonnet
  • Girling disc brake conversion with wire wheels
  • Rebuilt dashboard
  • Comprehensive history file
  • Offered with a large selection of spare parts
  • Requires finishing
3758ue
3758 ue
3758 UE
3758UE
3758ue
3758UE
3758ue

 

News ~ July 2022

MIKE DODMAN'S SPRITE ARCHIVE

M Dodman
MDodman
MDodman
MDodman

The late Mike Garton, Austin Healey Le Mans Sprite, Brands Hatch 20/6/1965.

David Wylie ~ Very enthusiastic at the (very wet) Chateau Impney hill-climb 12/7/2015.

James Thacker, Chateau Impney hill-climb, 12/7/15.

NMY 208 in the hands of Adam Key, spinning at Mallory Park on 29/3/15.

MDodman
MDodman
MDodman
MDodman

An enthusiastic David Wylie (1293 Speedwell Sprite. Shelsley 21/8/2011) coming though the left-hander Bottom Ess with the tail stepping out nicely!

580 ENN driven byPat Cooper, 1275 A-H Sprite. Shelsley 4/5/2014

James Thacker, brake lockup coming into the “roundabout.”  Chateau Impney 12/7/15.

David Wylie - Chateau Impney 12/7/15, braking hard into the “roundabout.”
Mdodman
MDodman
MDodman
MDod

Another of 580 ENN.
Pat Cooper at Prescott 24/5/15.

994 DTA (Richard Pugh) and YON 455 (Allan Cameron) parked at Prescott 24/5/08

505 BZ - Toby Moody driving, at  Shelsley 9/9/07. 

505BZ  - a lovely high rear view of David Wylie - Shelsley 9/9/07, powering through the Top Ess right-hander.

Mdodman
MDodman
MDodman


A BIG THANK YOU TO MIKE FOR ALLOWING ME TO REPRODUCE THESE LOVELY PHOTOS HERE FOR US ALL TO ENJOY

The late Allan Cameron, Prescott 24/5/08  (shown in prog. as a 998 engine.)

204 XUM -
Peter Hall, 1380cc,  Prescott (Pardon hairpin). 24/4/10.

MEG 199.  Gordon Elwell, Curborough 12/7/1970.

 

ABINGDON WORKS MOTORSPORT GATHERING AT GAYDON ON 10TH JULY, 2022

JAMES THACKER has kindly supplied the following:
Gaydon"Here is a photo showing, left to right, Geoff Clark [ex Abingdon Special Tuning Dept] Bob Neville and Roger Enever. The latter pair are well known for owning and  racing the black  MG  Midget reg 138 DMO  and subsequetly many other cars including Roger being a a works driver for BMC at Le Mans and other long distance events in  Sprites, Midgets, MGB's and also an  Austin Cooper S and a Chevron B 8 etc.  Neville drove several  other cars too including MGB's and Porches. On the right, James Thacker owner of Mk 1 Sprite  TZA 238 since 1970.  Bob and Roger were pleased to see the car after a gap of very many years as in the 60's Alec Poole kindly let both of fhem drive the Sprite.   There is a photo of Roger  Enever drving  TZA 238 in John Baggott's book "Frogeye Sprite,  The Complete Story"
[ p188] . Enever, Poole and Neville were all BMC apprentices in the mid 60's and had the right connections in order  for the former two to each obtain the very first  "in line"  1275 engines for the [138 DMO]  MG Midget and [TZA 238 ] Mk 1 Sprite in which Enever and Poole were very much  recognised for their "giant killing"  acts against much larger sports cars.  Shortly aftewards they were chosen by  BMC to start a long career of being professional racing drivers. I believe that as a result of their success all three of them, Poole, Enever and Neville, are members of the Silverstone based  BRDC.

GaydonIn the photo on the right, is the ex Stirling Moss  Mk 2 Sprite, 9253 WD, owned by Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird,  TZA 238 and the ex Richard Budd Le Mans/Donald Healey Sprite  4 HAC now owned by Richard's son, Charlie. It was great to see this car out again as it has not been seen at an event for very many years.  Charlie Budd is to be congratulated on getting this lovely historic car re-commissioned to use again overcoming many teething problems. It was probably the only full race-engined car not to arrive via a trailer as it is only kept a few miles away; - it sounded really good! The  fourth car in the row is Ian Turner's ex Tony Griffith Mk 2 Sprite 6699 rebuilt by Ian and Mark. They very commendably  brought three Sprites  cars to the Gaydon event. In addition to 6699 WD they had Ian's also quite recently rebuilt Mk 1 with Sebring bonnet and Mark's  Mk 2 Sprite which he races  successfully in the Equipe GTS series. Mark's wife, Jen.  was the third driver bringing the Mk 1 Sprite with their daughter, Isabel. They all live not that far away  in the Banbury area".

 

Sebring Sprite Fastback 5116 HN (Archers Replica no.47)

184 FGJ
5116 HN
5116
5116


"I am very pleased to be able to advise you that, as of early April 2022, I became the proud new owner of the Ian Ashfield Blue Fastback 5116 HN. I have owned a standard cherry red Sprite -OAS 492 - for the last 13 years (which I still have) and have long been a fan of the Sebring Sprite Coupe. I have spent the last year, keeping my eyes open for one, finally falling for this beautifully built, specified, handling and presented car. It is absolutely stunning and draws admiring smiles and comments each time that I take it out. Actually, I was really looking for a car for mainly road use, so 5116 HN is over specified for the purposes I will put it to - but it is so nice that I couldn’t resist it. Obviously, I have the usual issues with the sidescreens wanting to take off, at speed. They have a strap attached to each, at the leading edge top corner, with a popper on the frame, but this doesn’t seem to work satisfactorily. I am currently experimenting with bungee ties (the ones with a ball on the end of the loop) which I have double wrapped around the roll cage, so that I can drop the strap behind it and pull tightly – which seems to be working. When my wife and I went to collect the car, from Ben at Mather Collectable Motorcars in Blockley, Gloucestershire, he also had Charlie Clegg’s 184 FGJ in the workshop, so I was able to take a snap of the two cars, together. Charlie (and his father Chris) were on their way to the Goodwood MM, that weekend. We were able to chat and compare the cars – including Charlie’s own, very clever, sidescreen solution. Thankfully, my wife found that 5116 HN was not nearly as loud as Charlie’s out and out racer - or I am not sure that she would have sanctioned the purchase. I knew that Charlie’s Sebring had one of the original aluminium fastback bodies on it, but hadn’t appreciated that his was the body from which the Archers mould was taken – and therefore from which my Archers Fastback body would have been created. The two cars are related! I am the Editor of “Headlines from Healey” magazine, the magazine of the Healey Drivers Club so I shall certainly be writing an article about my new acquisition. I am looking forward to taking the car up to Cheshire, for the Healey Drivers Club annual International Meeting in early May and to the Le Mans Classic at the end of June. All the best Martin, Regards, Rod Graham."

 
XXC

FROM TREVOR McILROY IN NORTHERN IRELAND

"I have just purchased  317AOV number 27 of the Archers cars, previously owned by George Wilkin. George has now passed away.  I was advised by Mrs Wilkin he purchased the car from Bill Postin because he liked the look of it. George only drove the car up & down his  farm lane a few time over the years. It spent virtually all of  its time stored in a shed within one of his garages.  The car was in remarkably good condition for being stored for almost twelve years. After some light refurbishment I competed in the 500 MRCI event at Kirkistown Co Down this weekend & managed second in the Historic class in the Sebring. 
My other Sebring XXC818 number 51 of the Archers cars will now be returned to road specification & used for  sunny days & Sunday runs. Could you please update the various  pages on the web site.  I have enclosed a few images of both cars for your records. 
Kind regards Trevor Mcilroy, Belfast". 

XXC818 at Cairncastle
hillclimb June 2022 (above). 
Kirkistown
317AOV at Kirkistown sprint July 2022 (above).
 

MONTE NEWS FLASH JUNE & JULY UPDATES

from Douglas Anderson - Click above

 

News ~ May 2022



M Straker

REAR HUB NUTS

Mark Straker is replacing his Sebring's rear hubs and the new ones from Orson Equipment come with a chamfered hole while his old ones were flat, using a K-nut (left). Brian Archer supplied me with Nylocs which he had put the correct chamfer on. They tended to work loose and he then got some aircraft quality ones (right) for me. We are wondering what others are using on your Sebrings? Feedback please.



RearHubNuts
 

KEN GRASING ASKS re: SPARK PLUG HOLDERS

 "Do you, or your readers, have a photo of the spare spark plug holder John Sprinzel used on the rally cars.  Something I read, possibly in Modified Motoring”, makes me thing the spark plug holder was of John’s own design".
 If you can help please reply using Feedback

 
Lenham Road Test
 

Mitchell Rogers has 2 sets of rear shock absorbers for sale

Mitch
Mitch
Mitch
A set of adjustable Rae Davis racing shocks hardly used and in good condition.
£500 pair

And a pair of Armstrong Adjustable 21s
again in good condition
at £500 the pair.
Contact Mitch via email


Mitch
Mitch
Mitch
 
Tony Bolton

TONY BOLTON'S PROGRESS

"Sprite tub is now complete, home for running gear and engine re-fit before the body is bonded and final fit".

Tony Bolton


SEBRING REPLICA FOR SALE

£19,500 o.n.o

NSU
NSU
NSU

“ Graeme Williams is selling his Sebring Rep NSU368 (no. 17 on my replica list). Built as a fast road car by Mike Sutton using a 1310 cc Peter May engine, it was fully trimmed by the next owner and the noisy straight cut gearbox replaced with a 5-speed. Graeme can be contacted by email if interested ”
Graeme can be contacted via email

9137WD
9137wd
9137wd
9137wd

1962 Sebring Sprite 9137 WD

"A very good replica of the 1962 Sebring cars, completely rebuilt on a correct HAN6 chassis. For road use it is currently fitted with a mildly tuned 10CC engine with twin HS4s, standard ribbed case 1275 gearbox, and 3.9:1 diff. However it comes with an additional engine, a period smooth case SCCR gearbox with a 1275 close ratio cluster, and a new LSD diff. Wire wheels with road tyres are fitted,including the spare, but also included are five silver wires shod with Dunlop L section CR65 racing tyres. I didn’t want to spoil the period features of this car with contemporary safety features including a roll cage, but with those added it would make an ideal competition car for sprints, hill climbs or many historic racing series. This is an impressive car.

£20,000. Call Andrew Burroughs on 07957 245056, or email

775JTF
775JTF
775JTF
775JTF

ONE OF ROGER BYFORD'S 2 SEBRING SPRITES FOR SALE

"in excellent condition throughout, superb rust free body structure. 1275cc with a 5 speed gearbox makes this a really good fun and fast useable car, diff is slightly noisy on car. It has disc brakes on front, adjustable rear shocks, Knock on KN alloy minilite style wheels, stainless steel exhaust. The trim is excellent, some holes drilled in the dash where it had a halda fitted once, a few very minor chips to paintwork. In 2018 car was at Fisher services for service, new brakes front and rear, king pins, etc. and hardly any mileage since. Although tax and mot exempt car will have a fresh mot. This really is a very nice car which also drives very well, it would be a lovely addition to someone's garage".

£17,995 Contact Robsport for more details.

Belated CONGRATULATIONS to Charles Rainford on his superb win in the Weslake Cup at Goodwood's 79th Members Meeting which took place last month.

For a full report and photos from the event go to Weslake Cup 2022

Winner

 

News ~ April 2022

STEVE EVERITT MEMORIAL RACE AT BRANDS HATCH on 20 March was won by No.68, Richard Bridge (Photos: John Baggott)

JB
JB
JB
Class A Midgets: - 6. Martin Morris; 20, Michael Chalk; 63. Stephen Watkins; 68. Richard Bridge; 74. Paul Bernal-Ryan; 77. Paul Sibley. Steve Watkins was winner of Race 2. Steve Everitt's old friend Graham Marchant presented the trophy.
 


TFR4 at Mugello in 1966. One of Dudley Lucas's favourite photos of the car.

Thanks for the photo Dudley. See also EAC 90C

EAC 40C
 

LATE NEWS

TONY WILSON-SPRATT tells me that with just 5 days to go before the event Goodwood decided to invite the WSMs so "WSM202, WSM208 and WSM401 with Paul Woolmer, Jack Willmott and Ian Hulett respectively are on the grid.  The notice is too short to include BXN which was the star last time out on Weslake grid with Richard Woolmer".

FINAL TEST DAY on 28 March included Julian Ellison in HNX 455D and Dave Burnett in the Ogle GT. (Photos: John Baggott
JB
JB
JB

CORRECTION - GOODWOOD:

Jake Stubbings tells me that "Qualifying will start 11:40 am on Saturday and the race will be at 9:25 am on Sunday".

GOODWOOD 79TH MEMBERS MEETING APRIL 9/10
Watch all the races on live-stream by clicking this link.

Saturday 9th April from 09:25 and Sunday 10th April from 08:00. Race 4, THE WESLAKE CUP includes a number of Sprites, including Guenter Lainer's Speedwell GT, Gordon Elwell's MEG, Charlie Clegg's Fastback Sebring, Mike Haigh's Lenham Le Mans, Ian Burford's Lumbertubs, the list goes on. The full grid is shown right (click it to enlarge)


Grid

 

News ~ March 2022

Warwick hardtop

WARWICK DHMC Mark 2 HARDTOP FOR SALE ON EBAY

Currently at £768 with 2 days to go, expires 4th April
(Thanks to Peter Healey for letting me know).

 

7140 RO - SPEEDWELL GT

Sven Eckhardt saw this advert (right) on ebay and of the course had to have it. He says: "As far as I know Bill Graham bought the car from Speedwell in 1964. I figure the ad was prior to that. How prior your guess is as good as mine.  There is progress: Chassis has been shotblasted (again) as well as epoxy primed. I shall reassemble the body in full prior to the final coat of paint and yes it shall be the last very snazzy livery of purple and gold which as far as I can see is as hip as you can get on a Mk I Sprite. May the force be with me. Recent photos below. Sven"

7140 RO
7140 RO
7140 RO
7140 RO
 
CastrolCabinet

VINTAGE CASTROL OIL CABINET FOR SALE

David A Rawsthorn says "I have a vintage Castrol oil cabinet looking for a good home. It measures about 3ft 6 long X 1ft 6 deep X 4ft 8 high. The pic I have attached is NOT of my cabinet, but one of a very similar one on eBay. The cabinet is located in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire 2 miles off the M11 motorway. The house has been sold and the cabinet has to go. Sadly I do not have space in my new property for it".
Contact David via email if interested

 

WILLIAMS & PRITCHARD SEBRING GT2 FOR SALE AT £20,000

JBW
JBW
JBW
JBW
Currently being offered for sale on ebay by Nik Aveyard


"Suitable for Hillclimb or Race. Absolutely top specification everywhere, with lots of unique tweaks we have learned over 35 years campaigning Midgets, running at the front, with many class wins in other cars. This car has done two hillclimbs in 5 years since build: so really needs a home with someone that will use it. Can vary things like diff ratio to suit desired use. Cost to build now would be well over £35k, making £20k look something of a bargain. Full spec on request - but I’m sure you can get an idea from the pictures. 1380 MED motor with our spec cam:130bhp and more importantly 110 ft/lb; SC/CR gearbox; Quaiffe LSD; Adjustable lever arms all around. Absolutely loads of custom work on the suspension, dashboard, cage, shell etc. If you are in the market for this kind of car it's the best available".

NOW SOLD (30 March 2022)

 

An update on JAX 12 from Paul Rogers, March 2022:
"Over several years I have been in contact with the afore mentioned 'policeman' -  Stuart Peters, now living in Nova Scotia, owner of the car prior to myself. Both he and I have searched for the whereabouts of the car subsequently. Peter McLoughlin suggested that after his ownership it went to  Colin Comer, and interestingly it can be seen on a screenshot - partly hiding behind a Mercedes -   confirming this. You may like to access this picture (see right). Colin told us that the car then went to a Frank Boucher. Frank has a range of car dealerships in Janesville, some 75 miles or so from Milwaukee; he is a car collector as well. He has confirmed that the car is still in his collection
and is being offered for sale at US$100,000".

 

News ~ February 2022

Orson Hubs

NEW GIRLING SPLINED HUBS FOR SEBRING SPRITE?

An order has now been placed with Orson Equipment to manufacture a new batch of these hubs, If anyone else is interested please let me know without delay using Feedback

 


6699 WD


NEW INFO ON 6699 WD FROM MARK TURNER

"Did I ever send you this about 6699WD from Bob Kemp at the AH Club, (see right ) its filled in its early history which is great?  However it's also cost me a load of money as I then had to buy a blower :-)  I've also managed to get a set of Type 10s for it so it can go back to original.
I've got a spare dash in the car (below left) as it had an awful lot of gauges (right). I've still got the original with the writing on the back.  The question is would the boost gauge have been in the dash where the indicator repeater was or in some other position?  You can see the dash as it was, quite a job to work out what everything is with the spot lights and extra gauges.  I'm sure this would have been with the 1275 so it had lost its original speedo and rev counter and probably the boost gauge."

6699 WD

6699 WD
6699 WD
6699 WD
 

5435 WD RETURNS FROM CANADA TO THE UK

Mark Straker (son of Tony, who owned this car from 1969 to 1976) has brought the car home and it currently awaits bringing it back to full roadworthiness.

5435 WD
 

WOR

1959 AUSTIN-HEALEY SPRITE
UNFINISHED PROJECT
Shell and bonnet shot blasted.  Includes engine, gearbox, back axle, brakes etc.  Many new parts.
Interesting registration number WOR 796
Can be inspected in Central Scotland
£5,900
Contact D Anderson 01382 731755 dglanderson1@yahoo.co.uk


WOR
WOR
WOR
WOR
WOR
 
Bonnet mould

SEBRING BONNET MOULD FOR SALE

on ebay currently at £0.99 expires 11th Feb
to be collected Botley, Oxfordshire
bonnet mould
 

79th GOODWOOD MEMBERS MEETING - 9th & 10th APRIL 2022
Weslake Cup

I am hearing whispers that a number of our historic Sprites will be appearing in this year's Weslake Cup. Sven Eckhardt plans to bring 4444 DA over from Germany, OUMF will be out in their newly completed Sebring Coupe, and I believe David Wylie may be bringing his Speedwell GT. I am sure there will be others which I have not yet heard about. I shall hope to watch the race on Live streaming.

 

ABINGDON WORKS MOTORSPORT CELEBRATION - 10 JULY 2022

DAVID SCOTHORN WRITES: "The Abingdon Works Motorsport Celebration seems to be attracting entries to BMC/BL Day at Gaydon from some prominent Sebring Sprite members and original cars. Although not 'made in Abingdon Comps Dept', it is very encouraging they want to come to this part of the event, and I will be happy to find them an area to display. Here is a bit of background:
Presenting an Abingdon Works MoAbingdontorsport Celebration of BMC/Leyland ex-Works race and rally cars, which will be joined by other makes, including those from the period of the Historic and Classic Marathons. Likely to be seen are up to 50 cars, including ex Works MG's, the 1964 Spa-Sofia-Liege Healey 3000 ,  the Aaltonen/ Ambrose 1962 RAC Rally Mini Cooper 977 ARX, London-Sydney and World Cup Rally Landcrabs, Triumphs, Fords and Hunters, and not least 'Puff the Magic Wagon', Austin Maxi, MCE 7G. Several well known personalities will be attending, who are associated with the cars displayed. This part of the event is organised by members of the Historic Marathon Rally Group and Mini Cooper Register".
https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/whats-on/bmc-leyland-show

 
Tony Bolton
Tony Bolton


TONY BOLTON'S NEW FASTBACK
517 UYO

Tony Bolton

Tony Bolton has sent me these up to date pictures of 517 UYO, his new Fastback Sebring. He says:
"Doors and bonnet all hinged, just a little work required on the inner arches and a few gapping adjustments before body removal for re-blasting and priming. Just on the front bonnet is there a side catch that looks good, I previously had a spring clip but would like something period but comforting to the eye?"
I know one or two people have fitted the Triumph Herald/Spitfire side catches - any other ideas? Feedback please. .

 

A FEW MORE OF MICHAEL TOUGH'S ITEMS FOR SALE ON EBAY

M Tough

Lucas L549 NOS Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite MGA Sebring

Asking £35 on ebay expires 4 Feb

Mtough

Another Lucas L549 NOS Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite MGA Sebring

Asking £35 on ebay expires 4 Feb

MTough

Enots Aston Style Fuel Filler NOS genuine Sebring Sprite Mini

Asking £45 on ebay, expires 6 Feb

MTough

Girling Master Cylinders NOS 3/4 5/8 Sebring Sprite Replica

Asking Price £40 on ebay expires 4 Feb

MTough

Enots Aston Style Fuel Filler NOS genuine Sebring Sprite Mini

Asking price £25, on ebay expires 4 Feb

MTough

Lucas 700 Headlamps NOS Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite etc

Asking price £75 on ebay expires 4 Feb

MTough

Lucas Voltage Regulator NOS 12v Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

Asking price £30 on ebay expires 4 Feb

 

News ~ January 2022

JUERGEN SCHAEFER ON SEBRING SIDE-SCREENS FITMENT

Juergen

In reply to Andrew Quine's query:
"Indeed these screens have been a nightmare for some years to to me till I reached the present status as per attachments. My comments: For orientation of location I taped the frames into the aperture above the closed doors with a rather generous  gap at the bottom to the door skin outside, to be filled by one of these self adhesive foam stripes which expand to almost 2 cm thickness once off the roll and protective strip pulled off. Used by builders. The bent  steel shells are very stiff, can only be re-shaped in a vice off the frames. Frames are very flimsy and tend to be sucked out at even moderate speed, so need rather high pre-tension to  ensure they are pressed tightly against the body at all times to minimise ingress of air and water. This pre-tension  is provided by the angle between baseplate and shell of the clip and very hard to control. Rectangular is not enough, I've have had a few tries of tap-welding (?) plus opening the slot in the shell.
Following  Martins pic, I would suggest to replace the short lozenge shaped rear base platelet by an L-shaped bigger one to lend the frame a bit more stiffness.  The required angle is so big, that the frames' top always slips into the aperture, to be then crushed once you close the door forcefully !! I Always have to pull out the window a bit with one hand, then close the door not fully, but ensure the frame will rest outside and then press home for the last inch. Means, your locking mechanism must snap in properly  and easily.  I have no door handles and locks on the outer skin!! Even with this pre-stress, the screens tend to open, which can be blocked by a little clip attached to the rain gutter
at the upper front corner, see pic from outside. The frame does slide underneath that clip ! The sliders provided by Archers are rather thin and tend to rattle within their guides. I have obtained better ones from a boat builder, originating from Switzerland. A little steel blade prevents the rattle, a steel grip outside  gives a handle to open the slider and get access to the door handle inside ! German TUEV  required me to use only "stamped" material to be prepared by authorized qualified builders, thus engraved into the window material, see pic. Archers could not provide this (even in the good old days pre-Brexit). I used  Makrolon/Lexan, anti-scratch and anti-UV coated, supplied by a local provider of speed boat  building stuff.To answer another question of Andrew Quinn, I have no "cladding" around the doors, just pure aluminum or paint ! Saves thousands
of micrograms !  I hope the above helps, if more questions, don't hesitate... Another matter: The third pic is for weightwatchers and those in need of room: I've replaced my sofa-soft MAZDA MX5 seats by Tillet 's which a friend has covered with hand-stitched real cow hide. I still have to work on spring rates and dampers ...... And one more: Anybody tried these famous Weller steel wheels, 5.5" wide, and either 165/80 or 175/65 x13 rubber ?? Regards, Juergen" (Schaefer)


Juergen

Juergen
 
SideScreen

FITTING SEBRING SIDE WINDOWS

Andrew Quine recently obtained a new pair of side-screens to fit to his unfinished Sebring Rep. He asked me for advice as the mounting brackets came un-welded (see photo upper left). I provided some photos from my 28 year old car but am wondering if others who have tackled this more recently might like to add their own experiences. Also of interest is what door/side window trim to use (see bottom left). Feedback please.

SideScreen
SideScreen
Sidescreen
 

R Friend

ROGER FRIEND HAS NOW SOLD HIS FROGEYE

"Have sold the Sprite to Japan, sad to see her go, had some great fun and race results , thanks for all your help over the years , Now concentrating on the Le Mans Triumph Spitfire. Kind regards Roger"

R Friend
 

MICHAEL TOUGH'S SEBRING PARTS

Michael tells me he has now sold the Sebring top and screens, leaving him with the Sebring bonnet (asking price £400) and the fibreglass Frogeye rear end (asking price £250). These are now SOLD. He is also offering various NOS and Girling parts for sale on ebay.
Michael can be contacted by email or on 07505 777369

MTough
 

ALLOY BODIED SEBRING COUPE REPLICA FETCHES $42,250 (£31,700) IN ONLINE AUCTION

4646 UE has sold (26th Jan) after being auctioned on bringatrailer.com (see lower down this page)

 

NEW GIRLING SPLINED HUBS FOR SEBRING SPRITE?

Dave Wood of Orson Equipment is considering making a further batch of front or rear hubs to the original specification should there be sufficient demand. Please let me know if you would like to be added to a list of potential purchasers, via Feedback.

Orson Hubs
A pair of rears
 
Creative Classics

FOR THOSE WANTING A VERY ORIGINAL SEBRING

i.e. with aluminium top and possibly rear panels try Darren Welch at Creative Classics
He built and fitted Ken Grasing's Sebring bodywork.

Creative Classics
 

M tough
M Tough
M Tough
MTough
M Tough

Due to a change of plan Michael Tough is offering the following new Sebring parts for sale:

"Archers/Aldon Automotive - Sebring coupe top, Sebring bonnet, frogeye rear end, laminated front screen, rear screen, and fitting kit/window seals, bonnet brackets etc £1750 TOP SOLD - see later ad
Falcon Le Mans "Mike Lempert" steering wheel + NOS lucas frogeye horn button (missing spring clip) £450
NOW SOLD
Weston Speedwell rev counter complete with bezels, instructions and fittings £350 NOW SOLD
The Sebring kit is collection only from Edinburgh or arrange your own courier".
Michael can be contacted by email or on 07505 777369

M Tough
M Tough
MTough

MTough

MTough
MTough
 

NMY

Pete Shepherd informs me that his ex-Halls Garage Tifosi Sebring is now running a 1293cc engine, Weber 45, and will soon have a full race cam.  The suspension has also undergone a full overhaul, Neg camber kit, adjustable shocks and stiffer springs etc.  The body has also had a bit of a face-lift with white bib added on the nose. 


NMY
 
RobGordon

RON GORDON'S RACING BUGEYE

"I have not made the progress on my Sprite as hoped for.   With you connecting me to PowerTrack I was able to finish the hydraulic brake components.   I recently received the license plate back from being restored by Tippers on your side of the pond.  Front suspension, fuel system and engine assembly are remaining".
It is looking fantastic Ron. Can't wait to see it on its wheels and in running order.

 
4646ue

4646 UE is for sale in the USA

Ken Grasing and Ron Gordon have both tipped me off that this alloy-bodied Coupe is on the market through bringatrailer.com Currently bids are at $11,000 with 5 days to go.
25 Jan - it's now reached $21,000 with 24 hours to go.

 
5116 HN
5116HN
5116HN
5116HN
Also still for sale is the ex-Ian Ashfield Fastback Sebring (Rep) at £28,950 through Car & Classic

 

WJB


WJB 707 ( the ex-Ian Walker Sprinzel Sebring Sprite is for sale on Classic Trader at £116,305

WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
WJB
 
Girling Hub

WANTED

Mike Authers is in need of a RH Girling Sebring front splined hub
"Second hand is fine. Or swap for a LH one as I have two".
Email Mike Authers if you can assist.

 
JOHN BAGGOTT has reminded me that the story of the Star Sprite bonnet is included in his book "Frogeye Sprite ~ the Complete Story" on pages 86 to 89.
 

 

SVEN'S PROGRESS

Sven

Sven

Sven

Our good friend in Germany, Sven Eckhardt continues to be busy (when not in the operating theatre). He tells me:
"I have done a bit on RO - fitted a cage. But no progress last couple of months. 
Been busy finishing the Fastback. Only needs putting the bonnet on and starting up after all the fluids have been put into the correct orifices.
Engine Swap in the Sebring ~ 72 brake out of a 1060 feels naughty. Sounds serious too
A respray of the Blue Frogeye is being done at the moment
Put an application in for the Weslake Cup for 4444 DA at the Members Meeting.
And yes there has been the odd operation!"

 
Lucas
Lucas
Lucas


Lucas

SOME CLOSE-UPS OF KEN GRASING'S DEMISTER FOR WHICH HE IS LOOKING FOR (6) NEW SUCTION CUPS

They look to be about 1½" (40mm) diameter and ½" (12mm) deep" and are for the Lucas WH1/WH2 demisters.
Any suggestions please contact me via Feedback
Ken tells me: "(The) cars are safely garaged away for winter and (I am) mostly working on components; either sourcing, repair and/or modifications.  These include: Trafalgar windscreen washer system, two speed Lucas DR-2 wipers, SCCR smoothcase gearbox, Lucas C-40 generators, Westin-Speedwell tach, cold drawn seamless tube for ROPS and FIA approved seats for alloy-bodied coupe. I’m also looking for Universal Lamination hardtop for early, nine-stud, windscreen Sprite".

 

79th GOODWOOD MEMBERS MEETING ~ WESLAKE CUP

Ding Boston tells me that O.U.M.F have been invited to compete with their newly completed Sebring Coupe in the Weslake Cup on 9th-10th April 2022. I also learn that Sven Eckhardt is entering 4444 DA for the race. Will there be other Sprites in that event?

 
812 LJO

MIKE WOOD's MARK 2

"I am making very slow progress on getting my Mk2 Sprite back on the road, some pics and comments."

812 LJO
 

JONATHAN WHITEHOUSE-BIRD CLARIFIERS XSP NUMBERS
"Ron White's unit (left): XSP 1862 - 4S63, a 1,098 c.c. motor, that I believe was originally fitted to Healey's 1963 Le Mans Sprite entry - 58 FAC.
Will Corry's unit: XSP 1862 - 2 (right), again a 1,098 c.c. motor, that was, I believe, fitted to 1411 WD when it competed in the 1962 Sebring 12 Hr race".
See Tim Partington's comment at the beginning of this month (below).

 

STAR SPRITE BONNETS

Dave Matthews writes: "One I haven't heard of before!"
Take a look at 142 FBH and a few photos below from my collection (right):

starspritebonnet
Star Sprite
Star Sprite
Star Sprite
Star Sprite
Star
Star
Star Sprite
Star Sprite
Star
Star
Star
Star
 
W AND D

Mike Wood says: "This looks like a promising Wheeler and Davis shell for someone who wants to make a Sebring Sprite replica a using a semi-elliptic donor":

Wheeler & Davies Stage 1 Bodyshell
New & Unused
For Sale on Ebay - current bid £2,750
Expires 11th January 2022 NOW SOLD £3,350

W & D
 
DAShells

DAShells

DAShells

DAShells

I heard from Lex Veen who edits the Healey magazine in the Netherlands: "I found some pictures of a -in my opinion- very handsome nose-job of a Sprite and wonder if you happen to know this one. Looks Japanese".
I was able to tell him that the design came from D & A Shells of London and later was made by Fibresports. Sadly after a fire destroyed their moulds there were no more bonnets to this design. Jonathan Peck in Scotland acquired one (which had been fitted to PMO) some years ago which had wide wheel arches and he has produced a mould from that.

 

A REVIEW FROM JAMES THACKER

"Not sure if you have heard that Alec Poole has just published a book about his life in motorsport with the title " A Life by the Poole" . I heard about it a little while ago from Martin Ingall who set up and runs the excellent Sebring Sprite [latest news]  website and I wrote it on a wish list on the back of an envelope with, I admit,  quite low expectations of it being a very memorable piece of literature. I thought I should read it having owned  TZA, the car that Alec   made his name in, since August 1970..

Unknown to me Matty spotted my list I had left around in the kitchen and she very  kindly gave me a copy for Christmas  and my first impression is that it is going to be very interesting and amusing. Definitely not a typical motor racing  book of chronological facts and statistics but although it is time order it is  crammed with  anecdotes about people and amusing  incidents during his long time in motor sport.

The list of racing/rallying  people in the 60's 70's and 80's etc is like a who's who;  Clark Moss, Vatanan, Hopkirk , John Watson , Bernie E. Eddie Jordan, Gordon Spice, Dave Brodie, Tom Walkinshaw  and very many others but also  people from other spheres ranging from Jimmy Greaves, Peter Sellers/Britt Eckland,, Billy Connolly,  Charles Haughey, Dolly Parton, Nelson Mandela  to name but a few. Lots of photos that I  have never seen before too.

I am definitely not on commission but thought I would mention it to you ".

 

Alec poole book

Bryn Rossiter mentioned to me ALEC POOLE'S BOOK: ‘A Life by the Poole’ was published on 11 December 2021 and can be obtained from the website alifebythepoole.com’ for £19.95, plus postage. Sales to the EU & Rest of the World to follow in February 2022. (Part of the proceeds will go to Katharine House Hospice, Banbury, Oxfordshire.)
"
Unsurprisingly in this age of political correctness, I had difficulty in finding a publisher either willing or brave enough to take on the task! But thanks to help from mates along the way, ‘A Life by the Poole’ has made it into print – hopefully for your enjoyment".

 
AndyClarke
Andy Clarke
AndyClarke

ANDY CLARKE SEEKS HELP IN RESEARCHING HIS SPRITE'S U.S. RACING HISTORY

"Hi Martin - I'm trying to research any history I can on My Mk1 Sprite which I've restored over many years, It came back to UK from USA in the early 80's. It had some clear evidence of use on track, - things like jacked suspension on one side, oversize wheels and studs, racing slicks, sponsor stickers etc . One of the most notable items is the bonnet which shows signs of having (had) full fairings over the headlamps back to therear edge of the bonnet, see photo attached, I wondered if you have seen anything similar in the photos you have seen?? Feedback if you can help please.

 
KEN GRASING SEEKS SUCTION CUPS FOR LUCAS WH1/WH2 WINDSCREEN DEFROSTERS

He has three of them and all are in need of re-work. If you can help please get back to me via Feedback

Lucas
 

CONFUSION OVER XSP ENGINE NUMBERS?

Tim Partington recently pointed out to me that the XSP engine which the guys from CAR SOS tried to purchase from Ronnie White in Northern Ireland had the number XSP 1862-2 which is the same number I had recorded for the Sprite Mark 2 registered 510 DWD now, I believe, owned by Will Corry. I have not so far been able to contact either of them to be able to check this out.

 

Earlier items can be found at News 2022, 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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