Lot 175 - 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot 175 - 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot 175 - 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot Number 175
Registration 5599 WX
Chassis Number AN543026
Engine Number 8G150 E P1364
Odometer reading 5,558 miles
Estimate £18,000 - £22,000
Result Sold - £26,880
  • Extensively restored
  • Aluminium coachwork including bonnet
  • High mechanical specification

Manufactured in 1960 5599 WX was first registered on 1st January 1961 and came into its current ownership in July 2009. At this time, the car was purchased with the intension of carrying out a light restoration, however, on stripping the Sprite to bare metal, it was soon found to require more extensive works. A decision was made to strip the car of all the exterior panel work to ensure that all of the sub structure could be restored to the best condition possible. The rear bulkhead, spring hangers, boot floor and inner wheel arches were all replaced. The A outer and B posts were good but replaced to ensure excellent panel gaps. The body shell (minus rear shroud, bonnet and doors) was finished in exterior colour with the underside benefitting from extra protection that included treatment with Dynax S50 rust proofing cavity wax. A hand crafted one piece aluminium bonnet, one piece rear shroud including wings, were manufactured by the highly respected CC Coachworks of Cannich, Inverness and installed along with aluminium door skins. To finish, the coachwork was finished in Speedwell Blue, a period Sprite racing colour.

The mechanical works were extensive, and the list is too long to mention here but is fully documented within the history file. This car was to be built for long distance touring with an engine that would produce extra power and torque than the original 948 cc units. A 1098 cc engine was sourced and completely rebuilt following a ‘David Vizard’ (the A Series engine tuning guru) specification that included a fast road cam, balanced and polished crankshaft, balanced and lightened flywheel, a Rob Walker Engineering ported and flowed Cooper cylinder head with high lift rockers, a three branch large bore exhaust manifold and a 123 adjustable ignition system. The cooling system included an aluminium radiator and electric fan, with the system being filled with Evans 180 coolant. Vizard claims his modifications to the 1098 cc power unit can give you the performance of a 1275 engine but with the benefit of a better torque curve, making it a more refined drive. The extra power is carried through the stronger ribbed 1275 four speed gearbox with a new clutch, an overhauled and balanced prop shaft, and finally via the reconditioned 3.9:1 differential attached to hardened drive shafts, with new seals and bearings to the axle. The electrical system was fitted with a new period cloth woven wiring harness, additional auxiliary switches and power socket that were discreetly fitted under dash board, a voltage regulator upgraded with solid state electronic unit was discreetly housed in original unit and a lightweight gel battery fitted. The suspension and brakes were overhauled to match the performance and included, Peter May front damper top links and rear Panhard rod, special front trunnions that give a slightly negative camber, uprated springs and shock absorbers (converted to telescopic at the rear) and rose jointed axle bar. The brakes were modified with discs at the front and uprated twin leading shoe and vented drums to the rear with Green stuff pads and linings all around. The wheels retain the original Frogeye centres attached to Lotus Cortina rims (please note, this is a professional conversion and not poorly banded wheels). The interior is trimmed with new carpets, dark blue leather seats and nicely finished with a period Les Leston steering wheel (the original and sought after Bakelite wheel is included). A complete set of weather equipment accompanies this Frogeye, the hood being trimmed in dark blue double duck material. Also included are the original front and rear bumpers and a set of five wire wheels and adaptors. The Sprite is complete with a UK V5C registration document, an extensive file that includes the original buff log book confirming that the registration number is as issued and, we are assured by the vendor, that this Austin Healey will arrive at the sale with a fresh MOT test certificate.

This is an original UK supplied right hand drive Mk. I Sprite that has been built, not only to look good but with performance that gives a relaxed long distance touring capability and this has been proven by several trips to the Le Mans Classic Weekend. This actual car was the previous winner of the Best Sprite in Show at the International Healey Weekend, and surely provides everything one would desire in an ideal classic 'Frogeye' Healey Sprite.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.

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