banner

Dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Archer who fulfilled his dream to re-create John Sprinzel's Sebring Sprite Coupé

 

News 2018

News ~ September 2018

HEALEY NEWS BULLETIN
Hello, Last month I announced that the WHMCA Bulletin had run its course. I had spent the best part of twelve months 'showcasing' the contents of the Warwickshire County Record Office's Healey Motor Company archive. Subscribers and the many other regular visitors to the website, are now well aware of the type of material that is in the archive and how to access it via the online catalogue.  I indicated that I would like to keep the lines of communication open by sending you information on Healey cars that  I came across.  I have been touched by the number of people who have contacted me to say how much they had enjoyed reading the Bulletins and that they were a little sad that they had come to an end. Providence must have been listening to those people because an unexpected email has set me on  course for establishing a new bulletin - the 'Healey and other fine cars News Bulletin'. I hope that you like it and most importantly, I hope that you like the concept enough to submit your own stories and photos of interesting cars that you either know well (own) or have encountered by chance. See what you think. Here is the link -
http://www.carsceneinternational.com/healey-news-bulletin/
With best wishes, Nick Maltby  

 

765 BXN
The ex-Mike Youles, ex-Will Corry racer has recently been sold to Yasugi Morizumi and Jap Shigeru in Japan
Mini Legend

BOOK FOR SALE

John Baggott bought this book recently, only to find he already had a copy. Offered for what he paid: £15. Ring John on: 01892 862656

1310LV

FIRLE HILL CLIMB 16th September 201765 BXN8

1310 LV, James Rainford's newly completed Lenham Le Mans had his first outing, and Pierre Lequeux was there with 2080 PO. Not a competition, more a demonstration.

2080 PO
4646UE
4646UE (Alloy-bodied Sebring Replica)
SOLD AT BONHAMS AUCTION
AT THE GOODWOOD REVIVAL FOR £40,250
4646ue
Decal

FROM THE U.S of A
"The news on my end is that I've been putting miles on the Sebring!!!! What fun. So far this year there are over 100 miles on the car with more to come. I'm remembering, some old brain cells, that there was or is a decal for the Sebring? If so, can/would you send me a picture of it. The stage 3 engine and the 5 speed trans sure make the car fun to drive. As a side note, car insurance is more than expected. I put a value on the car of $25,000.  Is that about what the Sebrings are going for in England? Best Regards, Phil Zamlynski".

Sven
Sven

SVEN ECKHARDT
recently took his Sebring Sprite back to its roots in Ireland where it was assembled (as a standard Frogeye) from a CKD kit at the end of 1960. This was its first time back in the Republic of Ireland for over 30 years. Sven left Ireland in July 1988 and took the basket case Sprite back to Germany with him.  On 16/18th of August he met up with friends, Leonard and Enda Bone as well as Helen Cowan seen behind his car (left) for a 30 year reunion in Dublin. The other fellow is Sven's friend Franz-Josef Bueschges from Munich. The lower picture shows Sven and Co with the Bowens and Pauline Jones on a run in Wales.

     
2824 MV
NEW OWNERSHIP
Jeff Brenner of Pennsylvania USA has recently sold both his Speedwell GT, 2824 MV and the 1966 "Display" works Sprite HAN8-R-202 to Emilio Cruz
Brenner Steamliner
 
Roger Friend
ROGER FRIEND has a new project so his racing Frogeye is now on the market - at £35,000 Contact him by email
K Grasing
Another photo (Richard Rooks) of Ken Grasing's new Sebring at Elkhart, Wisconsin during the 60th Sprite party
 
ROGER SIELING reports:
"The Falcon Sprite came out of Ken's shop yesterday and it looks so good. It's got to be straighter than its ever been". (9/9)
Falcon
Falcon
Falcon
Falcon
 
KEN GRASING:
Sprinzel Coupe
First public appearance
(14/9)
Ken Grasing
KG
Ken Grasing's aluminium bodied Sebring as it arrived in the States from the UK back in June (19/6)

Very many thanks to all of you who have sent me good wishes for my recovery. I am making some progress and hope now to get back up to speed with the website. It will take a while to catch up. It is really appreciated that so many of you value the site and wish to see it continue and develop further. Thank you again. Martin

 

News ~ July 2018

APOLOGIES FOR THE LACK OF RECENT UPDATES
I am currently suffering the after effects of two years renovating our cottage at a range of 300 miles, followed by the traumas and stresses of moving house and the continuing workload now we are in residence (including difficulties of trying to obtain planning consent for a garage). As a result I am suffering from depression and anxiety and find working on the computer is far from easy. I hope to get back to it as soon as I am fit again when I will bring things up to scratch. 18 July 2018

Woolmer

Bugatti T35 unblown at Prescott Driver's School - Wednesday 13th June
DAVID MORYS sent me this photo of Robert Clark supported by Paul Woolmer. Paul prepared and was mechanic on the car for today for the new owner. "The car had only been recently bought in France so it was a bit of a learning curve, blowing oil out of one of the crankcase breathers which was preventing them from running too much. Pumped but jet lubrication to the journals so a bit of adjustment required me thinks not the work of a minute and though I deal with technical drawings I'm too wise to offer advice!" DM

SPEEDWELL DOOR HANDLES WANTED
Randy Zimmerman is after some Speedwell handles, old or new. If you can help or point him in the right direction
please email him.

REPORT FROM ROGER SIELING ON THE FALCON SPRITE:
" Progress on the Falcon Sprite: It's hopefully gonna get the doors recontored soon. Our goal is to have it finished and running for the Sprite fest at ELVF and Put in Bay September this year.
I notice you don't have a number for the Girling brake caliper pistons. They are 64325434. I have just re-established an old contact in the parts business and they were able to supply to me a set of 4 of these pistons, made in 316 stainless steel. I should be able to get more, should any other member of this forum needs replacements.  Roger

SPEEDWELL MODIFIED MOTORING MAGAZINE - ANYONE HAVE ANY SWAPS?
Ray English tells me:

"While sorting through boxes of literature that I have had stored away for years I have come across a copy of Speedwell's Modified Motoring magazine - Volume 1 Number 3.  I already have this one in The Sprite Room Collection so I would be interested in swapping it for one that I do not have in my collection. At this point of time I have the following  issues in my archives:
Volume 1 Number 2 ( Summer 1958 )
Volume 1 Number 3 ( Autumn 1958 )
Volume 2 Number 1 ( May 1959 )
Volume 2 Number 2 ( Autumn 1959 )
Volume 3 Number 2 ( Summer 1960 )
Volume 3 Number 4 ( Winter 1960-61 )
Regards, and Happy Spriteing, Ray.
PS: DID YOU KNOW that the Editor John Simpson was actually John Sprinzel  -- I have a letter ( remember when we used to write them to each other) from JS telling me why he did this.
Feedback

 

News ~ June 2018

NEWS FROM JUERGEN SCHAFER

"Just having returned from an extended trip to the Donnington Historic Festival, I'm happy to report, our Spridget behaved properly and found a very positive reception by admirers within EU. At Donnington we got special treatment by being waved away from "All Cars" to the "Invited Clubs" lane on entry and after paying the entry fee, we obtained access to the infield as our car seemed to be interesting enough for an exhibit. Not knowing where to go, I proceeded to Redgate corner, where last year we had met with a nice lady in charge of her (late ?) husbands yellow Midget and crawling up there, we immediately spotted the little beauty, together with a number of quite attractive other MGs, mostly B's and C's. I have to apologize to members of the MGOC for intruding onto their territory, because I took a shortcut through Mazda and Triumph exhibits and realized too late that this was their club only. Hoping to see again that lady, I did not want to go away and nobody complained anyway, despite my MG Car Club sticker. Unfortunately, we did not see her or any other person belonging to that car all Saturday and we did not return on Sunday because of other commitments.
The racing did not disappoint, whilst no Spridgets were showing up, the  Speedwell A30/35s, A40s and a very hot Morris Minor Low Light  were very lively driven, albeit with varying skill. Particularly impressive was the looping the loop of an Academy A35 in front of us, fortunately all without bodily hurt.
We covered alltogether more than  2500 km, most of the time pottering at British or Belgian Motorway limits. With closed sidescreens the wind noises of Andrew's little insert slide windows are very unpleasant, so for the outbound leg which included heavy weather, we had to go slow, but the return was similar in speed, as we took off the screens to enjoy the cooling air against the hot sun. The engine rumble at around 3 to 4000 rpm in fifth is fine and consumption at a rate of 5 to 6 liters per 100 km as well, so the excessive prices of  V-power and excellium fuels becomes bearable. Germany still offers 100 to 102 octane (Shell, Aral), but Belgium only 98, despite also calling it V-Power and Britain is worse, with 97 excellium and V-power without any octane numbers indicated!
I had some tuning session at Dominic's Midland Classic Restoration rolling road to re-map the 123 ignition, which helped, but did not solve my pinking problems fully. Below 3000 even lightly touching the pedal can create ugly noises at load, even in lower gears, above 4000 I don't hear it, which Dominic diagnosed that as likely due to my advanced age hearing. I had obtained in Donnington's paddock a small flask of Millers octane booster, however did not see a real improvement on our way back.
From my 1460 Peter May engine, which gGrman TUEV did not like in my subtly modified car,  I had taken the H4s also for the "original 1100" now installed and Dominic suggests that gas speed and subsequently vaporisation and combustion are suffering. Recommendation is to go to the original small H2 set which I had refurbished by Burlen years ago and I will follow that, apart from taking the heavy boot off.
Driving barefoot is not an option, it gets very hot there!
Another issue might interest also: Whilst trying to optimize the ignition over here in Germany, I had faced starting problems. The engine took very long to fire and then surprisingly often just when was giving up and  shut off the starter. Dominic measured now a heavy voltage loss from 12 to 9 Volt before the voltage stabilizer when the high torque starter was drawing. I had moved the starter battery from the engine room to behind the drivers seat  using there a rather small gel  battery and the extra long line seems to have caused too high loss. We put it back to the front and this works now.
And one more: Thanks to Alistair Ross kindly providing me a computerized outline of my car for the weather vane, I have got laser cuts, which clearly showed an extreme "rake", what may be Adrian Newey's trick on the Red Bull F1's, but my rear wheel arches look rather empty. Overall the car has very low ground clearance, despite me now having raised the front  by removing a sort of lowering kit and installing silicone spacers for the springs.
Combined with the standard 4.22 axle ratio, the small 165/70-13" wheels create high revs and noise, which are quite annoying on long motorway drives. Can anyone advise on  a 14" wheel ? Are there historical applications documented?"

RH
RH
RH
RH

Original Dual Oil/Water Guage for the Mk2 Sprite (also ideal for Sebring Replicas based on non-Frogeye Sprites) - with the correct Mk2 part number (GD1502/06) £25 on ebay (exp 10 June)

Downton twin-SU inlet for Minis
£130 on ebay
(Expires Sun 10 June
An original early Downton inlet manifold to fit the Weber DCOE (or Dellorto DHLA) to the Sprite/Midget:
£175 on ebay
Expires Sunday 10th June

An original Speedwell Throttle Pedal
£50 on ebay
(expires Sunday 10 June)

Richard Hart has the above items for sale on ebay - be quick, expire Sunday 10 June.

RICHARD HART'S RESEARCH REVEALS SOME FASCINATING HISTORY OF AN XSP ENGINE.

"Ever since first reading Spritely Years, I have been curious about the fate of the XSP engine fitted to 5983AC - the first Sebring Sprite press road test car - in 1959. In his book (p.152) Tom Coulthard notes that it was registered 'on 2 April 1959 with the engine number XSP 581-1.' Since this car was listed in Spritely Years as being then used as the basis of the Super Sprite prototype of 1960 (which used a Coventry Climax engine), it suggested that engine XSP 581-1 had gone to another use. Subsequently, I have read on your site that the surviving Super Sprite prototype "XQHS" was built up from an even earlier pre-production Sprite shell - though the Philip Young article you have on the XQHS page states there may have been three Super Sprite prototypes originally built...? So perhaps 5983AC was also re-modelled in this way...?
Adding to my general confusion on the matter, nearly 20 years ago I happened to meet Louis Cassoni, who was JS's salesman at Lancaster Mews. He told me the story of how he had written-off a supercharged Sprite demonstration car in a road accident - and how he read the road test of the car in a magazine while recovering from his adventure in hospital. Judging from the significantly deranged state of the steering wheel he showed me, that was salvaged from the wreck, it was clear that both he and the car had been quite knocked-about, and that either might have been fortunate to survive.
Many years later it occurred to me that this crashed supercharged sprite was probably 5983AC in it's later supercharged form, as road tested in 'Motor Sport' (Nov 1959) and 'Motor Rally' (Dec 1959).
[When I met Louis Cassoni, I had thought he might have been referring to the later white 1960 supercharged sprite that was tested, I think, in 'The Motor' - but this might have been a replacement demonstration car to replace the crashed one...?] So perhaps now it seemed possible that 5983AC might then have been broken to scrap...?
[The registration was, of course, transferred to the Falcon Sprite - but only in the spring of 1960 before the Sebring race - when the Falcon appeared at Nassau in Dec 1959 it was unregistered... If the registration had been switched, perhaps other parts of the car had been re-used elsewhere...?]
A couple of years ago I stumbled across a list of all the Briggs-Cunningham team cars online
Although mildly curious, I made note of it, but thought nothing more about it...
...until several months ago I looked at it again, and spotted something I had missed:
The 1960 Briggs-Cuningham Formula Junior Cooper chassis FJ/3/60 is listed as having "engine # BMC XSP 581/1"
The exact same engine from 5983AC in 1959. I can only imagine the convoluted chain of events leading to a sprite XSP engine ending-up in a formula junior Cooper in the USA... Perhaps Briggs-Cunningham was over in Europe as part of his Le Mans preparations, decided to buy a formula junior car from the Coopers, and then bumped into Geoffrey Healey, who offered him the spare XSP engine - possibly forgetting to mention it was from a wrecked car...?
Perhaps...  ...but who knows...?
(Since Rob Walker bought his Formula One Cooper for Stirling Moss from John Cooper as a bare rolling shell, and then bought engine and gearbox direct from Coventry Climax and Colotti respectively, maybe Briggs-Cunningham did something similar to save on his already-stretched racing budget...?)
Anyhow, whatever the fate of the first 5983AC, it seems that this is where the XSP engine ended-up.
I have no idea as to whether the engine still exists in the ex-Briggs-Cunningham formula junior Cooper, or not.
I hope you find this a useful addition for your XSP page, Kind Regards, Richard Hart".

Everitt
photos:John Baggott

LAST MONTH'S STEVE EVERITT MEMORIAL RACE
AT BRANDS HATCH

Left, Stephen Collier's Midget leads the Frogeyes of Paul Campfield and Ian Burgin into Paddock on Lap 1, and right, Graham Marchant explains the history of the Memorial Trophy to 2018 winner Stephen Collier.

Everitt
Webmaster's Note: I must apologise to all our regulars site viewers and contributors for not having kept the website fully up to date recently. Since our house move we have been extremely busy working on both house and garden and it has been very difficult to fit in the time to work on the site. Hopefully we are now getting near the stage where I will have a place to hide in order to do this valuable work. Please bear with me in the meantime.

 

News ~ May 2018

MARK 2 RESTORATION PROJECT FOR SALE
ALISTAIR ROSS tells me he knows of "a MK2 AH Sprite which needs to be cleared. He says: "The car is in bits but dry
stored and looked pretty solid and is for sale. If anyone is interested I can put them in contact with the owner".
Contact me in the first instance on Feedback.

AHC CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF THE SPRITE AT SHELSLEY WALSH
(photos by Kess van Beijmerwerdt)

Shelsley
Shels
Shelsley
Shels
Ian Grainger's W & P and Gordon Elwell's MEG
The ex-Simon Leeming 'works' Mark 2 Rep
Daryl Davis' Sebring
A gaggle of Frogs
Shels
Shels
Shels
Shels
Sven Eckhardt's recently completed restoration of 4444 DA
SYB
and a few more.
I have done my best to caption the above but would welcome further detail from someone who was there please. Feedback.
FROGEYE FOR SALE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Lau
Lau
Lau
Lau

1959 Austin Healey Sprite MK 1, cherry red, 30 000 miles after complete restoration and overhaul, very well maintained. Imported form the US in 1990. On Dutch licenceplate for myself since 1994. Heritage certificate available. Very reliable car with the 948 cc A engine and smooth-case gearbox. Diff. changed to 3.9, but 4.2 available. Bunch of spares including steel-rims and front fender.  Complete documentation available. Member of the Dutch AHOCN since 1994 and participated in all events in Europe. Selling the car because of my age of 72 yrs. The car needs to find a good home. 19 000 euro negotiable.
Contact: Lau de Smet on +31 164 241591 or by email

A BIT OF SPEEDWELL HISTORY from GLENN CASTLE
"I was away for a short break in Upton upon Severn this weekend and on the way home we stopped for a break at Stow on the Wold. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Cafe belonged to the Grandson of Len Adams ! I have pasted the text below from his site A lovely chap and well worth a visit for good food and drinks.

https://www.speedwellsatstow.co.uk/

'Speedwell' stands for many different things; a flower, a telephone directory of old for Golders green, a printing company, a car tuning company and now a restaurant. Most importantly all these things are linked. 

Meet Sam Adams, owner of Speedwells at Stow and also grandson of the late great Len Adams, one of the designers of the Speedwell Sprite. When Sam decided to buy his parents restaurant he thought it needed a face lift. After 12 years of trading it had evolved from its humble origins as a basic Coffee House into a restaurant serving British classics, warming breakfasts and great coffee. With this evolution it was apparent that the name "The Coffee House" no longer fitted and a new name was needed. With much thought the name of Speedwells was chosen as a tribute to Sam's family history ... and it seemed a great name for what was to come. 

So a little brief history for you here... It all started with a Coffee House. Not The Coffee House that we used to be but a Coffee House in North London in the late 1950s. Len Adams used to meet 2 friends who were also car enthusiasts: John Sprinzel and George Hulbert. John raced as team Speedwell ( the name of his father's printing company) and on one of their meetings John mentioned he had a race coming up but he wasn't happy with his car, after which George looked at it and reworked the cylinder head. John won his next race after which he was interviewed in which the word Speedwell was mentioned several times. The next day Speedwell printing company received several phone calls asking where they could get their cars tuned to perform like John's had. This gave the three gentleman an idea and soon Speedwell tuning company was created. The business took off very quickly and over the next couple of years they performed hundreds of tuning jobs, took on budding racing driver Graham Hill  , and had several race wins attributed to the speedwell tuning company infact they won on 14 races out of 19 in one year. But as they say all good things come to an end and during the 1960s the men went their own ways".

James Thacker sent in these photos from MGCC Castle Combe on 11th Sept 1971, Richard Budd's car is number 142 and Chris Westell 137.
Budd
Budd
Budd
"Above [sorry the quality is  not that good] shows Richard Budd and my cousin Edward putting their helmets on before  going out on the track. My wife Matty is by Richard with a clip board and wind-up stop watches"
"Next photo is on the grid with Richard's special alloy bodied Sprite [142 ] nearer the camera alongside TZA  [134]
"Third photo is the start of the race with Chris Westell 1150cc Midget taking an early lead; followed by Edward Thacker in TZA  [1071cc] and Richard  Budd's 1293cc Sprite.
763

As a comparison to Roger Friend's picture of 763 Finchley Rd today, attached is a picture of Speedwells in the day, taken from the same angle (care of Peter Eva)
ALISTAIR ROSS

WISHING A HAPPY 60TH BIRTHDAY TO THE BUGEYE SPRITE. 
Cheap and cheerful, headlights stuck up on the very heavy front, with a top that leaked onto the passengers at the slightest drop of rain. A hard-to-get-at spare wheel in a boot without a lid, an engine that overheated as no air got through the radiator dropping oil pressure to 5 lbs per sq. inch, valve bounce if you got up over 70 mph and brakes which faded on the second downhill dash.Sprinzel
Yet within a few days, John Anstice-Brown won the Leinster Race outright in Ireland, Doug Wilson-Spratt won a club rally in the UK and Ray Brookes, Tommy Wisdom and I took Sprites to a 1, 2 and 3 in class on the tough French Alpine Rally – the only manufacturer to finish all the cars that started.
The Sprite went on to win RAC and Autoport Championships, finish on the podium on quite a few International Rallies, and win hundreds and hundreds of races and rallies right up unto this day.
So enjoy your birthday and salute the enthusiasts who have kept them running so well over sixty years.
John Sprinzel

Ollie

CONGRATS TO OLLY FRIEND who achieved success at Oulton Park at the weekend. He not only won the class but also came 9th overall in the Equipe GTS race, against MGBs, TVRs, Alfas, on a 30 car grid, and to think they only got the engine back from Swiftune on the Wednesday evening.

A-Series
[courtesy of John Baggott]
Showroom
SPEEDWELL'S FORMER SHOWROOM
Roger Friend sent in this "shot of where Speedwell's showroom used to be - big enough for two, maybe 3 cars, in the 60s".
(above) Sample A-Series engines being run at BMC's engineering quality assurance department
Craig
Craig

TREVOR McILROY recently gave 171 DKA another outing at Craiganlet Hillclimb leaving his Sebring, XXC818, in storage.

Craig
RICHARD BUDD'S FUNERAL
I understand that the funeral is to take place at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Warwickshire on Wednesday 23rd May at 2pm. Richard's widow, Corrine would like anyone who knew Richard from the MGCC and/or his time racing his MGB and Sprite to be there supporting her and the family. Unfortunately his good friend James Thacker will be away at the time and it is too far for me to get there from Teesdale so we are hoping others may be able to get along to celebrate Richard's life.
RICHARD BUDD
I was very sorry to hear from James Thacker that Richard Budd, owner of the ex-works car,
4 HAC had passed away. James says: "I had known him for 50 yeas and competed against him in speed and circuit events in his alloy bodied  Healey Le Mans prototype' 4 HAC

I remember one of my first races in TZA being wheel to wheel with Richard  in the Sprite/Midget race at MGCC Silverstone in 1971/2 and seeing him at extremely  close quarters drifting the Sprite around Becketts on opposite lock and Richard in an immaculate cream shirt and MGCC tie before the days of compulsory fire-proof overalls".
We send our sincere condolences to Richard's wife and family.


4hac
776
My thanks to all those who have kindly tipped me off to the fact that 776 KNX is being offered for sale once again at
US $ 245,000. This was one of the two Sebring works entries in 1964 and is in amazing original condition. Contact: Dan Rapley
More photos and information.
776

Bower

FROM PETE BOWER: "Just a couple of photos of my Sprite as it undergoes its evolution.  It has a new Monza bonnet after the damage at Castle Combe, The alloy doors will follow on soon but need a little re-work first.  A new lighter and more aesthetic roll (hoop) and a super light alloy race seat.  The engine has had a head re-work, a new cam and  a Weber 40.  Its showing a healthy output on its first rolling road with the promise of more to come..."


Bower
SVEN ECKHARDT's RESTORATION of 4444 DA is nearing completion just in time fore the 60th anniversary celebrations. Well done mate.
4444da
4444da
4444da
Blayden
BOB BLAYDEN enjoyed himself among the historics at the Australian GP and is now accompanying his friend Russell on a 5,500 mile round trip of Australia by Frogeye.
Blayden
Blayden

 

News ~ April 2018

1071 head

FORMULA JUNIOR 1071 CYLINDER HEAD FOR SALE
ON EBAY expires 2 May
£2,700

A FEW SHORTS FROM SILVERSTONE EARLIER THIS MONTH AND TAKEN BY DENNIS WHARF
615 DHT
793
IMG
IMG
[captions follow]
Joe
Joe
Joe
Joe
JOE ARMOUR TOOK HAN9-R-237 TO THE "Austin-Healey Owners Club of Australia National Rally this past week.  Picture credits go to Kim Aubanel.  Looks like Joe has road plates on the car, so wonder if he drove it to Bathurst for the meet.  It sure looks great". NEIL ANDERSON
T McIlroy
T.McIlroy

TREVOR McILROY
at CROFT (N.I.)

"some images of our first hillclimb of the year - the TSCCNI Croft Hillclimb Holywood Co Down, just outside Belfast.  Its the first round of the ANICC Championship, the next will be 5th May Craigantlet, again just on the outskirts of Belfast. 
As you probably know all hillclimbs in N.I. run on closed public roads. I will use Craigantlet as a shake down for XXC818 before heading off to St Goueno Brittney end of May".

Geoff Buggy
Lancer
Lancer
Lancer
PHOTOS FROM GOODWOOD - COURTESY OF JOHN BAGGOTT
John spotted Geoff Buggy's Moto-Build constructed Sebring with flapping side-screen, plus this rather strange looking Austin Lancer. Basically it's a Riley 1.5 with re-shaped front and rear to create a more modern look for the Australian market. Hard to understand why BMC would do that to such a pretty car! [Thanks to Daniel Lackey of CCK Historic for forwarding copies]
ADO

ADO
ADO 34/50 MAKES PROGRESS
Douglas Anderson tells me that his ambitious project is beginning to take shape.

“The cold weather has hampered the work on the moulds, but now that the worst seems to be over we are getting ahead with the first lay up of the bonnet.  It is taking longer than usual for the fibre glass to cure but we are persevering. Here is a photo of my colleague Bruce who is helping me with the project.  He is an expert in glass fibre.
We are still at the design stage with our idea on an independent rear suspension set up for the ADO but things are looking very promising.  We think we will be able to offer a simple but effective set up.  I will keep everyone up to date on the progress on both fronts.
Douglas Anderson’

Qtr Lts

Michael Karrer in Southern Germany has come across these rear quarter-lights for a DHMC Mark 2 hardtop and wonders if anyone would like to buy them. He is looking for offers.
Email him if interested.

Qtr Lts
5506ar

THE ROBSON SEBRING
once again on display among the daffodils at Goodwood for the 76th Members Meeting

LATEST EDITION OF THE WARWICK HEALEY ARCHIVE
Click here
Warwick Archive
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP
Aus GP

2018 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX ~ Melbourne, Victoria
" Just a few photos of the Healeys that ran in the Historic demonstration laps at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix on the weekend. All the cars presented to a very high level and are a credit to their owners The Sprite of Bob Blaydon was great to see and the first time I have been able to view the car and take photos it. The car is a credit to Bob and the high quality of workmanship and finish achieved in his build of which he should be justly proud. Also a couple of other larger Healeys in the same  display. Regards,  Alan Mead, Kyneton, Australia".     

 

News ~ March 2018

More clips from YouTube:
51st TARGA FLORIO ~ 1967
"This was the 2nd visit to the Targa Florio, again with the Sebring Sprite, but many lessons had been learned from the previous year. Various suspension modifications ..."
and a couple more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgQY36ABPx4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB_QfXFOtQ4
melbourne
Got a message from nephew David in Melbourne yesterday to say "Drivers parade before the F1, all in Sprites. Vettel's needed a push." Seems that was the push he needed!
TEMPORARY OFFICE
is a pile of boxes in the barn attached to our cottage but at least we are back up and running, after 2 weeks, with the website!

office

50th TARGA FLORIO (1966) ON YOUTUBE
The first outing to the Targa Florio with the Sprite ~ Jack Wheeler and Martin Davidson aka 'Harry Martin' made the long road trip to Sicily to compete on ... [sent in by Christoph Klamert]


rims

NIKOLAJ MORTENSEN HAS FOR SALE:
13" x 4½" Steel wheel rims.
" Since FIA wanted me to use 13 x 4½" steel rims on my Midget, I got these specially made. I had to order 5 sets or more, so I have some sets left. Of course Midget PCD 101.6mm, 4½ inches wide and 13 inches diameter. Look really good and very period. They have been used on my Midget for a full race season without any problems. Price for a set of 4 rims brand new - £550. Please email me for more info or if you would like a set."

 
YOU'RE PROBABLY ALL GETTING FED UP WITH TALK OF OUR HOUSE MOVE OOP NORTH!
However it is now imminent so from tomorrow 13th March until 21st I shall be off-air and otherwise engaged.
Please keep all the little bits of info coming and I will catch up shortly. Back soon. Martin.
FROM MIKE CURTIS: (on 2-speed wipers)
"re: wipers - I have gone to a great deal of trouble fitting a later two speed motor (round body and to be honest I am not sure its worthwhile, I'd describe the typical speeds as very slow and not so slow! I think I'd stick with one speed...its largely guesswork seeing in the rain in a Midget at the best of times!!"

TWO-SPEED WIPER MOTORS (A reply to Ken Grasing's earlier message)
"Ken, On the subject of 2 spd wiper motors, I can't imagine that the round wiper motors were very available, even in the mid-60's. They started appearing maybe as early as 69 on street cars, but the square bodied motors were available in cars such as E-type and Lotus Elans much earlier. I would guess that's what you should fit.   Roger (Sieling)"



ANDY ACTMAN'S SPARE BONNET is for sale on ebay, currently at £80. Expires 17th March

 

A Actman bonnet



PMO auction

REMEMBER THIS?
The auction in which the rusted remains of PMO 200 were sold for the princelt sum of £15,000 enabling Paul Woolmer to restore the car to its former glory.

SS Grille
This NEW STAINLESS STEEL RADIATOR GRILLE for Sebring or Frogeye has just become available from Halls Garage, Folkingham Road, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 0NS at £105 inc VAT
Contact Steve Hall by email
SSGrille
108 CPX - ANDY ACTMAN'S SEBRING REP
would appear to have sold at auction on Saturday (3 Mar). Anyone know who bought it? It achieved £17,360 - quite a bargain if you want a rapid race Sebring a good bit less than expected, and that included the trailer.
GARAGE CLEAROUT
I am grateful to Bob Hinchliffe for suggesting I offer some of my stuff to OUMF (Oxford Universities Motorsport Foundation) who are building a Sebring Replica. I am pleased to say they took the lot which saved me the pain of putting them in the skip.

KEN GRASING: WHICH 2-SPEED WIPER MOTOR?
" I’m trying to determine what the Sebring Sprite used for a two-speed wiper motor.   I’ve seen two sets of preparation notes, attributed to John Sprinzel, and the notes from Brian Moylan’s book “Anatomy of a Works Mini”, describing changing the single-speed wiper motor for a two-speed unit.  I’m trying to figure out whether they changed to two-speed shunt-wound motor, the DR2/3 rectangular housing style, or a permanent magnet type, cylindrical housing type.  The two-speed DR2/3 type is quite expensive, relatively few were made, and most offering them want a core unit in exchange". 
Please let us know if you have the answer - via Feedback as usual

WANTED
DONOR CAR FOR SEBRING BUILDER
OR AN IDENTITY
Anybody got a basket case going cheap?

Feedback please

Warwick

WARWICK ARCHIVE
The latest bulletin from The Warwick Archive has recently been released. I had a hand in creating the captions for some of the Sprite photos. View the bulletin



Rad

ROGER FRIEND
has a radiator for sale which has had only 2 hours use having been changed for an alloy one. The outer cowling has been removed, the rad in as new condition
£50
Contact Roger by email

 

News ~ February 2018

GARAGE CLEAROUT
If anyone living in the SE of England needs any spares please get in touch as I'm clearing my garage/workshop before our move. I have a pair of wire wheel front corners (wishbone, kingpins, stub axles, discs, hubs, spinners, calipers, etc) and a rear axle casing with splined hubs on nitrided EN40b shafts with spinners, a couple of 1275 cranks and an early 1098 one, front and rear hubs, stub axles, & masses of other smaller parts. Try me: Martin Ingall All must go in the next 2 weeks.

ARTICLE FEATURING TWO WSMs COMING OUT IN OCTANE MAGAZINE
Issue 788 [Lorraine Noble-Thompson, Facebook]

I see Moto-Build are now offering a Speedwell GT top as well as the Monza bonnet. The roof is not an accurate copy as it uses the Sebring windscreen. I imagine this is copied from that of the late Keith Hopwood who built his RAM 35 replica around it. Side windows?? £600 for a top. Link to ebay

Speedwell Roof
Sebring kit
ARCHERS COUPE TOP
sold on ebay
last month
for £600
SUCCESSFUL RACING LENHAM GT (Richard Perry/John Hillberry) for sale on ebay
Asking price £20,000
Ends 7th March
313 htr
Giordano-1
NIKOLAJ MORTENSEN PURCHASES BRIDGEHAMPTON SPRITE
from Tony Giordano and transports it from the USA to Denmark.
Hence the following two items are now for sale.

NM


NIKOLAJ MORTENSEN'S RACE ENGINE FOR SALE

Small bore block bored out and fitted with liners, 1275 stroke makes it a short stroke engine.
Special steel main caps and pockets for the valves.
1275 Crankshaft balanced with flywheel and pulley.
1275 Pulley, 1275 Flywheel lightened
Sump reinforced and with thread for oil temp sensor
Con Rods polished.
12G940 head,
engine backplate, front plate, and front cover all sandblasted and coated.
Full Race 649 Camshaft, Alloy valve cover, Rocker assembly, Side covers with breathers, Water pump pulley, Fan blades reinforced.
£1200 for the lot.

Contact Nikolaj via email


NM
NM
NM
NM

FOR SALE IN DENMARK - NICOLAJ MORTENSEN'S
Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 1961.
Very good condition, 1275cc engine, refurbished gearbox ( Ribcase) New front disc brakes, new rear dampers, new dynamo, new master cylinder and much more. Very good and solid body, Royal blue with red interior in also good condition. Original and rare steering wheel, steel bonnet in mint condition,
This Healey sprite is one of the best Sprites avaliable for the price. Comes with new hood, Tonneau cover and sidescreens. Original gearbox and wheels included.
Danish V5 and Heritage certificate.
Worldwide delivery possible.

Price - £18.000
Contact Nikolaj via email

NM
NM
NM
NM
NM
Shorrock Gauge
RARE SHORROCK BOOST GAUGE FOR SALE
in good working condition - £300
Contact Mark Maguire by email NOW SOLD
Shorrock Gauge
XOH
XOH 276 - WORKS DAY VIDEO
on YouTube

[To save time you may wish to start 8 minutes in]
Ron
Ron
Ron
RonG
I am pleased to welcome RON GORDON to the Sebring Sprite Family. He tells me:

"My car is finally off the rotisserie after many hours to repair racing incidents and hasty bondo repairs.  No panels were replaced.  The underside is final painted.  The top is ready for final primer and block before paint.
Pictures attached". See also Ron Gordon Sebring.

108CPX
The 1st of the Archers Sebrings (that of Andy Actman) goes up for auction on March 8th (Guide Price: 19/23,000)
Found this great article by Geoff Healey among Brian Archer's old papers
Super Tuning

BRAKES FOUND ON KEN GRASING'S '58 BUGEYE

The following are a few pictures of the rear brake arrangement found during our recent automotive archeology session with the 1958 Sprite:.

K G
KG


Right: Brake backplates, showing E-Brake arrangement and wheel cylinder.

KG

Rear drum brakes, exterior with bolt-on wire wheel hub.  8” x 1-1/2” drums

View from left rear, noting width of hub outboard of body line

KG

Left: Brake Adjuster

Right: Wheel cylinder
KG
The final set of pictures (below) are of the pedal box arrangement which uses the original two Girling master cylinders with an extension to the pedal box, and adds a third master cylinder, splitting the front and rear circuits.  An equalizer bar was then added between the front and rear brake master cylinders.   
KG
LEFT: Overhead view of pedal box.   An extension, to the left on photo, is bolted and tack welded to main portion of pedal box.  Brake pedal was moved from normal siting, straight ahead of brake master cylinder push rod, to position between the 2 brake master cylinders.  Upper end of brake pedal, where return spring attachment hole would be sited, has been cut off and heim joint (rod end) welded in place.  Pin forks have been removed from the ends of both brake master cylinders and replaced with heim joints (rod ends).  Balance bar or equalizer bar extends right and left from brake pedal to master cylinder push rods.  Return spring now attached to 2A5573 retainer-return spring, rather than the extended Sebring pedal.
KG
KG
KG
KG

Pedal box arrangement, LHD car.  Note large size of cutout in top of footwell box and wiper motor swapped to opposite side.  

 2 views of underside of modified pedal box,  with detail of brake pedal modifications

Revised brake line plumbing, right hand inner fender.  New line, running from second brake master cylinder, passes across bulkhead and then traces original line to new 4-way connection, located just aft of original 4-way connection.  Brake line to rear brakes now plumbed to be fed from second brake master cylinder, isolating front and rear brake circuits.   

FRONT BRAKES
"Gentlemen,  I’ve finally had an opportunity to begin a bit of automotive archeology on the 1958 Sprite purchased in 2016.   A former race car it had been campaigned in southern California under the Mini-Tech banner, a Santa Barbara, California firm.   Following are a few photos of the front disc arrangement. More on the rear brakes and pedal box in next post. Regards, Ken Grasing"

K Grasing
K Grasing
K Grasing
K Grasing

R/F brake- caliper, disc and hub

R/F Brake – Spindle and adaptor (note ARB, behind)

R/F brake – Caliper

P Bower

PBower

1.0 litre BMC A-series Short Stroke Inline

Bonneville Salt Flats record-holding engine.  Featured in MG Enthusiast magazine, February, 2015.
This engine holds the current Bonneville I/GT record in a stock bodied MG Midget with a two-run average of 122.539 MPH. Full Spec pdf

For Sale at £2250 (the crank alone would cost more!)

The You tube video of the successful run is here
(Note, 123...Mph in a standard bodied (steel) Midget with a very substantial roll cage , (725Kg estimated weight)

Contact Peter Bower by email if interested.

TREVOR McILROY'S PLANS FOR THE 2018 SEASON
"We have just had our entry confirmed for June at St Goueno France, - ferries and gite booked. We will be keeping the Sebring for the prestige events this year.   I will be contesting  the Northern Ireland Hill & Sprint championship in our Lotus 7.  The Frogeye will be driven by my sister Fel in a few events here at home. I intend to take the Sebring & Frogeye to Bo'ness Scotland in September  for the two-day hillclimb event, and we will be over for the Silverstone Classic in July". 

5 SPEED A SERIES GEARBOX?

FROM ALISTAIR ROSS:
"This is something I have been trying to find out for some time and have quizzed Speedwellians about it. John Venner Pack thought that VP was fitted with a FIAT 5 speed box (did they exist at that time?) for its trip to the Belgium speed records. 5447 HX was fitted with FIAT engine and possibly a FIAT gearbox? certainly something went on at the gearbox end as the chassis rails were cut back to get a bigger bell housing into the space, Derek Surrey who worked at Speedwells at the time remembers this being done. I have never got to the bottom of the 5 speed box story for sure"

FROM KEN GRASING:
 "Just a quick note in response to your recent posting on 5 Speed gear boxes.   While recognition form 26, page 5, shows “No. of gearbox ratios …5” and then lists 5 ratios in the chart I believe this include reverse gear.   If you look at the ratio shown for 5th gear in the alternate ratio column you’ll see this is the reverse gear ratio for the standard frogeye gear box.  Regards, Ken"

5-SPEED GEARBOXES - FROM PETER BOWER
" Not strictly Sprite but related I think.  I have a new build 3 synchro SCCR 'B' series box for sale right now.  It is a five speed, with the 5th gear as the lowest ratio and in the reverse gear plane..  The point is it gears a sharper get away or longer legs if you use a higher diff ratio.  I note the Speedwell GT uses a similar describer system in its Homologation description (No26).  I guess BMC Comps must have done the same for the A series box, in much the same way.  I would like to know more about the sprite application if anybody can shed any light? Cheers, Peter". Feedback please.
[I know DHMC used a 5-speed MGB box in the Sprites which ran at Le Mans but don't know of an A series 5 speed box?]
 

 

News ~ January 2018

FROM ROGER SIELING:
"In addition to my Falcon Sprite running at Nassau, there was a Formula Junior race in Dec 1961. Perhaps other years too, but my concern is w/ this race Dec 1961. I also own one of the two Lotus 20 cars entered by Team Rosebud from Texas. I am wondering if David's book shows any serial numbers of these cars since they were being shipped from the USA to the islands. Somehow, over the years, my car has lost its ID plate. The other Rosebud Lotus 20 is known, so finding numbers of both cars would be quite beneficial. I know its not Sprite related, but it is another project in my stable.     Roger" Please use Feedback if you can assist

MARK SHORTEN
missed out on that Sebring project so is looking for one. If you know of one please let me know. Feedback
SHORROCK C75b

Michael Lehre is looking for a kit for his Sprite Mk 1. If you can help please email him


Latest edition of the Warwick Healey Motor Co archive is now available here
Warwick
EAO
EAO FOR SALE
I see Jim Lowry is looking for a 6-figure sum for the ex-Andrew Hedges car
AS WJB HEADS OFF
to her new home
with Guenther Lainer
in Germany
WJB
Thank you to all those who have agreed to buy various of my spares and my apologies to those who were disappointed.
MY BIG GARAGE CLEAROUT
As we are moving house in March the big garage clearout has commenced. Here are just a few of the many parts for which I need to find new homes. If you are interested in any of them please send me a message via Feedback. Martin
Parts
Parts
Parts
Parts
Smiths Oil Temperature gauge with oil cooler hose take-off £20 SOLD
Pair new repro Spridget 7" brake drums (unused) £10
SOLD
12" Moto-Lita leather covered steering wheel (unused) no boss. £35 guide SOLD
Set of 4 Champion N9Y sparking plugs at original price of 5 shillings each, i.e. £1 the set SOLD
Parts
Parts
Parts
Parts
1275 cast iron exhaust manifold ~ offers
Pair new headlamp bowls, with inner and outer chrome bezels, rubber seals and fittings. £15 SOLD
Pair little used Peter May lowered, stiffened competition quarter-elliptic rear springs £30 pair SOLD
9/16" and 5/8"
anti-roll bars with some fittings
£25 the lot SOLD
Parts
Parts
Parts
Parts
4.22 to 1 diff assembly with rebuilt/recalibrated speedo.
£120 the pair SOLD
3.9 to 1 diff assembly with Mark 2 speedo.
£150 the pair SOLD
4.55 to 1 diff assembly with rebuilt/recalibrated speedo.
£200 the pair SOLD
Pair 400 lb competition front springs £15 pair SOLD
 
Project
SEBRING PROJECT FOR SALE ON EBAY
This restored bodyshell with Sebring bonnet, aluminium doors, K-Series motor and Ford Typoe 9 gearbox is offered at £2750. Apparently no rear body/top with it though. SOLD
Sebring Project

Newcastle

Newcastle

Newcastle

The McIlroy Sebring Frogeye on display last weekend, "Where the Mountains  of Mourne sweep down to the sea" ~  Newcastle Co Down. 
In very good company with no less than four Works Mini Cooper S cars. 


Moss retires
Photo: Oli Ver

SIR STIRLING MOSS RETIRES FROM PUBLIC LIFE AT 88
A message from Stirling's son, Elliot: "To all of his many friends and fans around the world, who use his website for regular updates, my father would like to announce that he will be closing it down. Following his severe infections at the end of 2016 and his subsequent slow and arduous recovery, the decision has been made that, at the age of 88, the indefatigable man will finally retire, so that he and my mother can have some much deserved rest and spend more time with each other and the rest of the family.
The entire and extended Moss clan thank everyone for all their love and support over the years and we wish you all a happy and prosperous 2018".

Ebay
More interesting "stuff" on ebay if you have money left over from Christmas!

ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE A FLY-OFF HANDBRAKE CONVERSION for your Sprite (brought to my attention by Nick Conklin)
Try the link
Falcon

2 articles from the US magazine 'CHATTER' back in 1997 are this one (left) about Roger Sieling's rebuild of the Falcon Sprite, and (below) the Speedwell Streamliner which took several speed records

Safety Fast
Neil Anderson kindly
sent in this lovely cover of Safety Fast from Dec 1967 after the 'works' Sprite finished 15th overall at Le Mans and took the "Motor" trophy. The car was used to advertise the production Sprite soon after.
Sprite 4 ad

StreamlinerThe Speedwell Streamliner

vsl827
VSL 827
Adam Quilter's ex-Ronnie Coia Sebring - I recall seeing it at Goodwood way back in 2008.
[Facebook]
Giordano-1
TONY GIORDANO
has now sold his Bridgehampton Sprite. The new owner lives in Denmark
NASSAU (BAHAMAS) SPEED WEEKS, THE FALCON SPRITE & MORE ON BATTERY LOCATION & ENGINE STABILISERS:
(read entries from bottom upwards to have them in the right order)

AND FROM ROGER SIELING, this time on battery position and engine stabiliers: "Martin,
One other item which may assist a couple of posters on the site re: Battery relocation and engine brace. The "Motor Trend" Falcon Sprite article was documenting the December 1959 Nassau Speed weeks. There is an engine shot from behind on page 2 and it clearly shows the engine end of the engine brace. I still have the original brace which was still fitted in 1971 when I rescued the car from the farm field. Since the body height is lower than a standard Sprite, there is no room for a battery in the standard Sprite location above the gearbox. In the case of the Falcon Sprite, it was mounted in the passenger footwell. The normal battery position for a standard Sprite was filled w/ a pair of ignition coils. Only one was connected into the ignition system, the 2nd one partially wired in but carried as a quick connect spare. I have begged anyone who was a contemporary of John Christy as to what might have happened to his photo archive with no luck at all. I can't even find anyone who could tell me when he died, but I can't imagine he is still with us. I did correspond w/ John while he was alive and asked about additional photos he would have taken in preparation for the article, he told me that it was too much bother to dig them out. I do have a series of 3 photos of the Falcon during an extended pitstop at Sebring 1960. I thought I had made duplicate copies to have here in Florida, but I can't seem to find them. I do remember one of the photos is from the front w/ the bonnet open and one can see that the head is off the engine. If I could find it, I believe it would also show the engine brace and dual coils.    Regards, Roger Sieling"

AND FURTHER FROM DAVID (MORYS):

"Dear Martin, I meant to say one new name as we have Leo Picard from your website. As John Colegate raced the car later on when in Picard's ownership I wondered if it was actually him driving the Falcon at Nassau however he was entered in another Sprite with a different race number 101 that weekend. Of the four races I mentioned both cars were entered in three of them the only exception being the 5-lap GT race when the only Falcon ran with Leo Picard.
I think this is maximum I can extract from the book and I think if anybody is interested "The Bahamas Speed Weeks" by Terry O'Neil may be available second hand. They sell for around £90.00 so our researcher informs me. Our copy was a donation from Alan Cameron's family to be sold for funds to support the Bugatti Trust. I have been tempted but another book... no! Best wishes, David".

David then replied: "A bit more information for you this time for 1960 and 1961. From your webpage:
"The car later returned to the US where it was raced as a 'works' entry for the 4th and final time, at Nassau, in the hands of John Colgate ~ once again winning its class. He was placed 18th in the Governors Trophy and 20th in the Nassau Trophy. After the race, in December 1960, the Healeys sold the car, in the States, to Leo Picard who subsequently had John Colgate race it for him at Thompson Raceway. Other local owners included Jake Kaplin and Bernie Symonds in Rhode Island and Kit Kettering in Brockton Massachussetts, before passing into the hands of Tom Bratten who ran a firm called Auto Technia in West Palm Beach Florida. The business went broke and Tom returned to Dayton Ohio and his engineering job with GM Delco. Tom's son believes the Sprite was sold to buy his mother's wedding ring and that person is probably responsible for the car's eventual abandonment in an Ohio farm field. This all had to have happened in the period of 1961-1965, since the car still had its GM class markings from racing during the period before SCCA changed the class to DSR".
My information from the book:
"The 25 lap Governor's Trophy race was held on the 3rd December and as mentioned in your blurb above finished 18th overall but again it achieved 1st in class G. For the 54 lap Nassau Trophy race, 4th December the car finished 20th overall and was 1st in class G again. Interestingly 1961 brings up a few results and names FalconI haven't seen before. In the 5 lap GT cars under 1500cc heat on the 3rd December the car was placed 5th overall and 5th in class G. The picture attached shows the car driven by L. Picard and the distinctive bonnet hump and screen plus the race number 57 are clear to see on the grid. Then in the 21 lap Nassau Trophy race on the 3rd December the car was placed 18th overall and 8 in class G. Again driven by L. Picard. The car was out with L. Picard for the 23 lap Governor's Trophy race on the 8th December and was classified 38th but not running at the finish having retired on lap 7. The 56 lap Nassau Trophy race on the 10th December was contested the car finishing 23rd overall and 3rd in class G. On this occasion the driver listed is F. Darling.
Looking at the results sheets the cars appear to have worn the same racing number for the entire duration of the Speed Week so we have two new names Mr. Picard and Mr. Darling. Best Wishes, David"

Following on from DAVID MORYS's excellent contribution earlier in the month, I received this FROM ROGER SIELING:
" Interested in David Morys's book on Nassau Speed Weeks. Aren't there any photos or lap charts from the 1959 and 1960 when my Falcon Sprite was competing? I'm always looking for additional photos and written knowledge on the car."
xoh
xoh
xoh
xoh

Robert Visser's restroration of ex-works rally car XOH 276 is now complete.

xoh
MODIFIED

LATEST COMMENT ON CHANGES AT THE DVLA

have been published in "Classic Car Weekly"
and "Enjoying MG"
and these copies were kindly supplied
to me by John Baggott.
Enjoying MG
Ken Grasing spotted this TJ Fuel Injection for Weslake 8 port head - on ebay at £3,999 that is if you are lucky enough to own the rest of it. Located in Denmark.
There will no doubt be numerous events this year to celebrate 60 years of the Sprite. The Midget & Sprite Club's event is at Wroxhall Manor on 26th August. Tell us about others please.
Spridget 60th
STABILISER BAR & BATTERY BOX ON SPRINZEL SEBRING COUPES (see also higher up this month's page).
EAO
JONATHAN (WHITEHOUSE-BIRD) ENLIGHTENS US:
" Contemporary evidence would appear to indicate that 410 EAO, S 221 and WJB 707 had both items in question, although sadly, no period interior photographic evidence has yet surfaced to prove, irrefutably, that the battery was relocated to a position behind the passenger seat on all three cars.
I've attached a number of period b/w photos of the ex-Andrew Hedges, W&P, alloy coupe - 410 EAO.  The first shows the engine compartment (viewed from the rear) of the car taken at the August Bank Holiday meeting, at Brands Hatch, during 1961. The second and third show EAO's engine compartment, during Les Arnold's ownership, in 1962.
All three shots clearly show the presence of an engine steady bar, while the 1962 images reveal that the lack of a battery, sitting in the original mounting point, in front of the windscreen, 'proves' that it was fitted elsewhere.The colour shots show the original details reinstated on a restored 410 EAO during 2008. Kind Regards, Jonathan".
EAO
EAO
EAO
EAO
EAO
AND AGAIN, FROM KAI ERIKSEN:

"Thank you for Chris Clegg's and John Hopwood's pronouncements. I think they are correct when they says the car was competing as a GTP in the period so there was a lot of freedom with modifications. But I have found an article about Sebring Sprite S-221 in Autocar, dated 25. August 1961, with a photo from the engine bay and in the text there is commented that: “The battery shifted from under the bonnet to a position just forward of the rear axle”.Anyway, I do not want to argue with FIA about this and will relocate the battery and remove the engine stabiliser bar. Best regards, Kai"

FROM CHRIS CLEGG:

"As you may know, I have not renewed S221's 2008 HTP papers since the introduction of the new regime a few years ago, and so they may not be representative of the FiA's current thinking. Also, those papers classify the car as a GTP !, not a GTS car. That said, S221 has an engine stabiliser bar attached to the rear nearside of the cylinder block and the battery has always been located under the rear decking in front of the axle. I have never seen a period photo of S221's battery box and I can't find a good photo of S221's engine bay in period, but there is a photo in Spritely Years on page 157 of what I believe is S221's engine bay in 1960, but the supercharger blow-off valve obscures the position at the rear of the engine where the stabiliser bar would have been mounted. This photo does, however, show that no battery was positioned in front of the bulkhead, so presumably it had been relocated to its current position in the rear of the car. 
I think that Jonathan W-B might be able to help you more, because when he wrote a series of articles in Revcounter in 1997 on his restoration of 410 EAO, he included a photo of his car's engine bay in 1961 which clearly shows a stabiliser bar.The photo was on page 7 of the July 1997 Revcounter, but I have only a poor photocopy of the article. I expect that Jonathan will have the original which should scan OK. I hope all this is helpful and do please pass it on to Kai Eriksen and wish him the best of luck from me". [I have forwarded a copy of this to Jonathan for his observations. MEI]

FROM JOHN HOPWOOD:
" I presume the application is for a GTS (competition Grand Touring car) which is what I have as would any Frogeye prepared to homologation 47. There was nothing in the period rules that permitted the battery to be moved from it’s original location and Appendix K App VIII say it must remain where it was unless it was in the passenger compartment in which case, for safety reasons, it may be moved (see below) . Anything like a stabiliser bar would have to standard or a homologated option. I fitted a stabiliser bar when I first built the car for Austin Healey Club races and then removed it when I changed the car to full Sebring homologation 47 specification and with the 1000 engine couldn’t tell the difference! We kid ourselves sometime that things work! If that is all he got pulled up on I would say that he has a very correct car and he should change it the two things, both very easy. The weight saving by moving the battery back and throwing away a fair bit of battery cable will help! The only cases in period when modifications not permitted in Appendix J of the period were done was when the cars were competing as either a GT Prototype or a  “Sports Car” ( Period Appendix J Group 4, same category as D Type Jaguars etc, Sports Racing Cars !), such as Sebring 1959, when amongst other things brakes were different to anything ever homologated. Sebring accepted manufacturer’s Prototype GT cars and Healey took full advantage of the rules. If he can show that a Sprite competed in period with the battery in the boot and the steady bar then he could get approval in GTP category but that is not as useful as GTS. He should avoid anything from 1962, that would put him in the later period and photos from out of period are treated with much suspicion!"

I forwarded Kai's message to John Hopwood who is an appointed MSA reistrar for the 1962 to 65 period, and also to Chris Clegg owner of the original S221 - see their responses above.

A QUESTION FROM KAI ERIKSEN ABOUT FIA HTPapers:
"Last season I raced my S-221 a lot (4 weekends, 8 races) in Sweden, where there are some more Spridgets in the class. And I finished all of the races with respectable results. Now, in 2018, I have to renew my FIA HTP papers. I have sent FIA the new application form and they have replied that: (i) the battery must be in the original position in the engine
compartment, and asking (ii) Is there evidence for the use in period of the engine stabiliser bar?
I have the battery inside, at the rear, in front of the rear axle like the originals: S-221, 410EAO and WJB707.
K EriksenThe battery box is clearly to be seen in photos from their K Eriksenrestorations. I also have a photo where an engine stabiliser bar is mounted in the engine compartment of S-221, dated 2005 in Archers Garage. Is it possible to prove that the alternative battery position and an engine stabiliser bar were used in 1961 – 1962? Maybe you or Jonathan W-B have some old photos where it could be seen? Otherwise I have to move the battery to the original position and remove the engine stabiliser bar. Best regards Kai Roger Eriksen Oslo, Norway".

 

S Nash
Sandringham Estate plays host to Norfolk Riviera MG Run
The 15th Norfolk Riviera MG Run, starting and finishing at Sandringham, and organised by the Mid Norfolk Anglia Centre MGCC included Stephen and Michael Nash with their 1965 Sebring Sprite Replica. Link
Youles bonnet
PETER MAY ENGINEERING PANELS
It looks like the moulds created by Mike Youles for a customer have ended up with Peter May Engineering. They are now offering the Alexander-derived bonnet and variation of the Peel Fastback which uses Rolls Royce/bentley rear lights. It was also intended to have an opening bootlid.
Youles

NASSAU SPEED WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS ~ 1960s
David Morys says: "I was looking through a book we have at work the subject of which is the Bahama Speed week over the 9253wdyears.The first entry of interest was the 1962 event and there is a picture of the Mk 2 Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite (reg. 9253 WD) driven by John Colgate in the 56 Lap Nassau Trophy race on the 9th December. The race number was 42 and there is an abbreviation in the last column Nraf L20. I guess that it means Not running at finish and the L20 may be retired on Lap 20. I have attached a picture (right) that is attributed thus (J. Owen. Terry O'Neill collection). Is the latter the guy associated with the MG Car Club?DAC
The second picture is 1966 but this is an Austin-Healey Sprite works prototype driven by Ray Cuomo [DAC 952C] in the Nassau Trophy Race to 19th place overall and 1st in class 7. The photo attribution on this picture, also attached is the same as for the previous picture."

R Clubbe
R Clubbe
R Clubbe
RClubbe
ROB CLUBBE'S NEW LENHAM GT NOW HAS ITS COLOUR ON ~ IN WILL CORRY'S WORKSHOP
Rob is planning to bring the car to various of the 60th anniversary celebrations.

TZA AT CHATEAU IMPNEY 2017 (YOUTUBE)
James Thacker: "I have recently been made aware of this on the internet  from my fellow hill climb driver, Mike Gallery.  If  you fast forward to 2mins and 8 seconds on  YouTube you will see 46 seconds of TZA at the Chateau last July. John has already told me where he thinks i am probably losing  time in the tighter bends !"

Lenham Article
XSC
DHMC SEBRING FOR SALE ON EBAY
at £21,995
fitted with many of the right parts (though NOT a DHMC hardtop and lacks its original Girling calipers) I recall we saw this car being offered before. It seems a modest price for such a car if as good as it is described.
XSC
ADO

Douglas Anderson announces:
ADO 34/50 is to be launched in 2018
He is now at the stage of taking moulds from the buck and hopes to trial fit them to the tub early in the New Year.  Then he will be sorting out the details e.g. side windows, windscreen etc. 

ADO
Lenham
LENHAM LE MANS FOR SALE ON EBAY
Formerly registered FUY 539C this 1965 Midget-based car has an 1150cc engine and is being offered at £19,995
Lenham

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2018 ~ MARKING 60 YEARS OF THE SPRITE