• Previously restored
• Runs sweetly
• Dry Stored
Produced between 1958 and 1961 is a classic that makes people happy even when it is sitting still, the jolly drop top of an Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite. Styled by Gerry Coker with several alterations made by Les Ireland the unique looks originally called for pop-up headlights but BMC’s penchant for doing things on a budget meant they became a fixed feature. The desire for simplicity means lightweight design and oily bits that can be maintained and worked on by an enthusiastic home mechanic. Away from the smooth body lines, there is a unitary construction, which was a first for a mass market sports car, complimenting the ride and making it a perfect companion for a spirited drive along a tight country lane.
In decades past owning a Sprite was the summer car for plenty of enthusiasts but many let go of their pride and joy for newer vehicles only to circle the classifieds looking for their old car. Finding a good one, or one that isn’t in need of some tender loving care meant that many Austin’s lingered around in sheds, unloved and waiting to be rescued. Here today we have one that has already had the work done, it just needs a new owner to come and enjoy it.
The current owner has kept the vehicle garaged and believes the car to have had a complete restoration eighteen years ago, since then it has covered just under 100 miles meaning it is as fresh as the day it rolled out the paint booth. On inspection, it is evident that the work done to the car was extensive. The owner has said that this vehicle has received a ‘nut and bolt’ rebuild.
The paintwork is in immaculate condition.
The vehicle will be supplied with a registration document and many of its previous test certificates, although not every aspect of the service history is documented any inspection of the vehicle should reassure any interested party that they are buying something that has had lots of time and money lavished on it.
The car’s small footprint on the road doesn’t necessarily translate to a tiny interior. Those six-foot and over may struggle behind the wheel but there is space for a couple of soft bags in the rear storage area. Reaching back can be learned and mastered quickly, and proves how thorough the work done to the car has been as the entire rear cargo area has been resprayed Iris Blue to match the exterior.
Both seats are unmarked and appear brand new to look at in keeping with the owner’s statement that the vehicle has barely moved since its ground up restoration. It is currently fitted with a wooden steering wheel but an original will be supplied with the sale in case the new owner chooses to revert back to standard. The space behind the seats was very clean matching the general look of the rest of the car.
The Iris blue paintwork was in excellent condition on every panel and there were no signs of chips, scratches, or overspray on our inspection. The wheels shined brightly in the sun and all the light fittings are complete.
If it were possible to turn this vehicle upside down the breadth and depth of the rebuild would shine. Every arch and the entire underside of the vehicle has been painted Iris Blue to match the body. Lean underneath and every mechanical item matches the owner’s statement that this car has received a rebuild of every single component.
The chrome work reflected back the scenery shrugging off any fears of deterioration with its years. The single noticeable mark was on the passenger side of the windscreen where some scratches will need attention or replacement but visibility is not particularly compromised and would most likely be an annoyance rather than a safety issue if not rectified.
Overall the car’s exterior panels and underside appeared in fantastic condition including the inside of the arches. A tonneau cover along with a fresh hood and loop bar are all included in the sale. Also included is a complete original toolset and side windows that can be mounted to the doors.
Starting first time and running smoothly both on and off choke the engine purred at idle. Since so few miles have been covered after the car was garaged and rebuilt it is likely to just need some fresh oil to be taken out to a favourite spot this summer. The oil pressure held without a problem and maintained itself during our inspection.
Underneath the car was as clean as any new car in a showroom. All the components remained in very good condition from the work carried out previously.
The small footprint of a Healey along with modest power means that this classic will keep its future owner entertained when skinny roads appear. Without door handles or a boot catch the clean lines have endeared themselves to people of all generations, many classics may make you happy, but this one smiles back.
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