1959 Austin-Healey Sprite                                   ...





1959 Austin-Healey Sprite                                   

Chassis Number: AN5/18441
Registration Number: TWV 652
Recorded Mileage: 11,100

RHD from new
Recent restoration
Uprated to 1275cc

The new Sprite was announced to the press in Monte Carlo on 20th May, 1958, just before the Monaco Grand Prix of that year. It was intended to be a low-cost model that 'a chap could keep in his bike shed', yet be the successor to the sporting versions of the pre-war Austin Seven. The Sprite was designed by the Donald Healey Motor Company which received a royalty payment from the manufacturers, BMC. It first went on sale at a price of £669, using a mildly tuned version of the Austin A-Series engine and many other components from existing cars to keep costs down. The little Sprite quickly became affectionately known as the 'Frogeye'. The 43bhp, 948cc engine was upgraded with twin 1 1/8" SU carburettors. The rear axle was both located and sprung by quarter-elliptic leaf springs, again with lever-arm shock absorbers. There were no exterior door handles; the driver and passenger were required to reach inside to open the door. With no boot lid and access to the spare wheel and luggage compartment was achieved by tilting the seat-backs forward and reaching under the rear deck. The Sprite survived in three further iterations until production ended in 1971.

This beautifully presented RHD 1959 Sprite was acquired by our vendor, a leading Healey specialist, as a light “lockdown” restoration project. Although fundamentally a very sound example with no major issues, the little Sprite was the perfect candidate for further refurbishment.

Upon stripping the car down it proved to be remarkably sound and well preserved, even retaining its original steel bonnet. The restoration work was thorough, with many items replaced and a complete repaint in Damask Red, also Raptor protective coating to the underside. The fresh paintwork sits very nicely with the refinished wire wheels in black, and a smart new replacement windscreen. The seat and door trims were deemed to be in good order and so were retained, but with new carpeting throughout.

The engine was upgraded to a good 1275cc unit, which is said to run extremely nicely, breathing through a custom tubular stainless manifold and exhaust. The braking was improved with front discs, and all brake and fuel lines were replaced, as was the fuel tank itself. Finally a new wiring loom was installed.

Completed in the summer of 2021, this little pocket-rocket is said to be a complete delight to drive and we are sure will provide many miles of fun summer motoring for years to come!

Auction Date: 12th Feb 2022 at 2pm

Fees apply to the hammer price:

Room and Absentee Bids:
12% inc VAT*

Online and Autobids:
15.6% inc VAT*

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Other Lots in this Auction

Sale Dates:
12th Feb 2022 2pm (Lots 1 to 37)