Lot 123 - 1958 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot 123 - 1958 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot 123 - 1958 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I 'Frogeye'

Lot Number 123
Registration XUU 499
Chassis Number AN5/21844
Engine Number Unknown
Estimate £16,000 - £20,000
  • Early car
  • Sensible driver modification
  • All work carried out by Woolmer Engineering

The 1958 Austin-Healey Sprite was announced to the motoring press in Monte Carlo on 20th May 1958 and just prior to the Monaco Grand Prix. Designed by the Donald Healey Motor Company, the car came under the BMC umbrella with production being carried out at the MG works at Abingdon in Oxfordshire. Its specifications were basic and involved there being no exterior door handles, the driver and passenger were required to reach inside to open the door; access to the spare wheel and luggage compartment was achieved by tilting the seat-backs forward and reaching under the rear deck. This cost cutting exercise kept the price down to £669. Power was supplied by a 948cc overhead valve engine derived from the Morris Minor and Austin A35. The cute looks led to it soon being known as the Frogeye in the UK and Bugeye in the US. Its nickname derived from the headlights prominently mounted on top of the bonnet and inboard of the front wings.

Offered here is an early Mk I Sprite first registered on 2nd September 1958, since when it has had only had four keepers. This lovely little example has benefitted from extensive modifications, (all easily reversible), made by renowned Goodwood Revival regulars Woolmer’s Engineering of Bedfordshire. Woolmer’s upgraded the engine to a 1275cc unit with alternator, electric fan, water pump, (controllable from the cockpit), disc brakes, gas rear shocks, aluminium driver’s seat, racing harness’, aircraft instrument gauge lights, complete re-wire, electric speedo and tacho, pretty dash mounted Lanhart stopwatch amongst many other driver experience enhancing modifications. The rebuild was carried out around ten years ago and included a full respray in Iris blue, retaining its original and desirable steel bonnet. Since then the car has always been kept garaged and only brought out for occasional runs, having only completed about 1000 miles since it’s rebuild. As a result, the car is incredibly solid throughout. The original hardtop along with several boxes of original parts come with the car should the next owner wish to revert anything back to standard, too much of which there is to list here. Supplied with a V5C registration document, this lovely little Sprite is ready to bomb its way down any country lane.

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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