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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

 

XNB 712

In 1961 Douglas Wilson-Spratt asked Peel Coachworks to create an aluminium body on his Sebring Sprite, DWS 97 (lefWSM 8t). Unusually it used rear light clusters from a Rolls Royce or Bentley, something Jack Wheeler copied on 7080 AC. Douglas came 4th in class with the car in the RAC Rally, and 7th in class in the 1962 Monte Carlo. It was one of the team of "Healey Coupes" which took part in that year's Silverstone 6-hour Relay, soon after which Douglas sold it to Geoff Courtenay Broome and transferred the number to his new WSM Coupe. It was re-registered EYE 206.

The Peel-bodied car was acquired by Jack Scott around 1968 at which time it was registered 940 WAR. Peter Skellern informed Gary Lazarus back in 2010: " The car belonged to a friend of mine (Jack Scott) and was bought in a pretty poor condition in the late sixties.  It had damage to the front off-side which required a new cill and suspension.  Unfortunately just after the car was repaired (actually its first run out) the steering column came loose from the steering rack and the car careered into a hedge severely damaging the just-completed repair work. Jack didn't have the hgeart to start over again and decided to break it up. Coincidentally I managed to damage the back end of my fairly standard Sprite (XNB 712) at the same time and he offered me the Sebring body which comprised a complete alloy back end and top (see photos right).  I fitted it myself, rather inexpertly, but good enough to get an MOT and kept it for about a year before selling it and losing touch.
The screen shape never looked quite right after its earlier mishap(s) but the car went on to race in the hands of Frank Tiedeman, Tony (or Phil) Whitehead and Don Hands.

According to Dave Matthews' Worldwide Austin-Healeys calendar "the car was sympathetically restored by Whitehead Classic Motors during the winter of 1986/7. Years of abuse had resulted in the need for a chassis-up re-build, and a replacemernt bonnet of the correct style". Tony Whitehead drove the car at Oulton Park in 1987 (see photo, in the right-hand column).

[Many thanks to Tom Coulthard who included much of the above information in his, and John Sprinzel's book, "Spritely Years". Also to Peter Skellern for confirming the above.]

The car was subsequently sold to Japan where it is believed to be to this day.

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In Japan in 2005 with its new owner, n.b.Rolls/Bentley rear lights


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The original car which had been DWS 97 together with XNB to which the bodywork was transferred
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At Oulton Park in 1987
[photo: Steve Jones]
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Racing with the Whiteheads, and Ashley bonnet, above
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Don Hands
[courtesy of Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird]