Austin Healey “Frog Eye” Sprite DealerPosted 24/04/2017 - Classic Cars - Beaconsfield, England, United Kingdom
This item is now sold.
The Austin Healey “Frog Eye” Sprite was launched to the press in May 1958 at Monte Carlo Grand Prix. The “Sprite” was designed as a low cost two-seater sports car and was the first mainstream sportscar not to use a separate chassis. The little “Sprite” quickly became affectionately know as the “Frog Eye” due to its headlamps being mounted inboard of the front wings on the bonnet. Designed by Donald Healey Motor Company the “Sprite” was manufactured at MG’s plant in Abingdon. The were no exterior door handles, the driver or passenger were required to reach inside to open the door. There was also no boot opening with the seats lifting forwards for access to the spare wheel or to stow luggage. Powered by Austin’s 948cc “A” series engine similar to the Austin Minor but with the addition of twin carburettors. With a top speed of just over 80 mph the “Sprite” could accelerate from 0-60 mph in just under 20 seconds. The Austin Healey “Frog Eye” Sprite offered here at Autostorico is a 1959 Mk1 model supplied by Lookers Ltd in Manchester on 25th May 1959. The car was supplied new with a Heater and Rev counter. Finished in Leaf Green with Black interior this stunning example underwent a sympathetic restoration during 2009 by a respected Austin Healey specialist. Retaining its original steel rear body section, a heavy duty glass fibre bonnet was fitted with period catches. This significantly reduces front end weight, improving handling and reducing steering weight. Though the car appears standard, with its painted ventilated steel wheels with chrome hubcaps and chrome rear bumpers, the specification has been upgraded. The engine is now a later unleaded 1275cc unit with fully rebuilt SU carburetion, coupled to a five speed gearbox. The upgrade of “Sprite” disc brakes make for a more enjoyable drive. This beautiful little car is fitted with Smiths dials and a 14” Moto-Lita steering wheel. Original specification front grille, headlamps, side lamps and badges are fitted with the addition of a locking fuel cap. The car is supplied with side screens, hood, tonneau cover and a history file including the original buff logbook. This is a perfect opportunity to own a usable classic which will only appreciate further over time.