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

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Williams & Pritchard

The Williams & Pritchard/Sprinzel Coupés

A Brief History of John Sprinzel's Sebring Sprite with Williams & Pritchard aluminium Coupé bodywork

The Sprinzel Sebring Sprite Coupé first saw the light of day at the London Racing Car Show, held in the Royal Horticultural Society's halls in Chelsea, in January 1961.  John Sprinzel had been associated with Sprites since they went into production in 1958, having raced and rallied Austin A35s during the 1957 season.  He had been involved in the creation of another special bodied Sprite, the Speedwell GT, but after a difference of opinion with fellow directors as to that firm's future direW & P bonnetction, he sold his shares to Graham Hill, and departed. Healey Sprites had been successful in two of the long distance races at Sebring, in Florida, and in the pursuit of improved aero-dynamics the flowing body-shape and curved windscreen were crafted, at Sprinzel's instigation, by London coachbuilders, Williams & Pritchard.  Being built for racing, the coupé top, rear shroud and wings on all the cars were of aluminium though only one had an alloy bonnet, all the others being in fibreglass.  Some cars had doors with aluminium panelling and fibreglass inner frames. John Sprinzel tells me:

"Martin. No sir, neither Speedwell nor Costin nor Healeys had anything to do with the Sebring bonnet which I designed after Donald showed me the photo of the Mark Two Sprite prototype. In particular I wanted to keep the grille which we had not done on the Speedwell front. I took the drawings to W & P with whom I had worked on the Speedwell GT which was Frank Costin's design. They obviously changed it a bit to suit their production methods The alloy prototype was introduced while I was working at Healeys, on the November 1960 RAC Rally. The actual production versions and the full Sebring bodywork were produced after I bought the Speed Equipment division and moved to Lancaster Mews. I think Cyril Simson's S221 was the first and was raced at Sebring in 1961. Because the Speedwell didn't have much room for the right hand during quick correction movements, I got W & P to make the screen part a bit wider. We made the outline with me sitting in the car while they bent rods around me for the final shape, and we resisted the "fast-back" trend as Frank had always felt the cut back top was smoother and quicker.  W & P didn't start to sell their own version of the Sebring fronts until we liquidated the first company and were reborn as JS Racing Ltd. I still shudder at the thought that we had nowhere to store the replaced metal bonnets, and had to pay our dustmen a fiver each to take them away! John."

It is thought that probably 6 cars were built to this specification, see below:

PMO 200


John Sprinzel's own race car, also driven by Stirling Moss at Sebring in 1961, restored by Paul Woolmer


S221 Le Mans

Driven by Pat Moss at Sebring in 1961 - the one of the Coupés to have survived intact, now raced regularly by Chris Clegg



The ex-Andrew Hedges Coupé which has been meticulously restored by Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird
and now owned by Jim Lowry (August 2011)

WJB 707


Originally raced by Ian Walker, later sold to Stephen Bowen who has owned it over 30 years. Now fully restored.

D 20


David Seigle-Morris's car which was later raced in Germany after which it disappeared. Where is it now?

5 WW


Another Coupé comes to light?

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