Lot 210 - 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I ‘Frogeye’

Lot 210 - 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I ‘Frogeye’

Lot 210 - 1960 Austin Healey Sprite Mk. I ‘Frogeye’

Lot Number 210
Registration 855 PPE
Chassis Number AN5/37744
Engine Number tba
Odometer reading 59,351 miles
Result Sold
  • Fully restored during lockdown
  • Many subtle upgrades carried out
  • A thoroughly useable example

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 being without exterior door handles; the driver and passenger were required to reach inside to open the door and 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 soon led to it 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.

Originally registered on 19th May 1960 and still bearing its original registration number of 855 PPE, this Austin Healey was manufactured on 21st April 1960 and was despatched to the supplying dealer, Wimbledon Motors Limited on 2nd May. The current vendor is a very knowledgeable enthusiast and he purchased this ‘Frogeye’ in 2019 and restored the car throughout the lockdown period. Floors have been replaced as have the spring hangers and sills on both sides. The engine is a 1098 unit and has previously had a rebuild with the cylinder head being gas flowed. The head was skimmed giving a compression ratio of 9.5:1. The vendor has carried out additional engine works, replacing the big-ends and also the cam followers, this engine also has a high-lift camshaft. An aluminium radiator has been fitted as have new brakes and tyres. The rear axle ratio is 3.55:1 and fuel is delivered via a Weber carburettor, the original carburettor is supplied with the car. The colour combination is the original according to the Heritage Certificate, the exterior being Nevada Beige and the interior is Cherry Red. Supplied with a V5C registration document and a good collection of invoices, together with two buff logbooks. With the upgrades and enhancements this Austin Healey benefits from it may not appeal to the purists, however if you wanted to buy a ‘Frogeye’ that has been thoroughly, yet sympathetically worked on and is ready to be enjoyed, then look no further. Often described as a car with a smile on its face, this is a car that is sure put a smile on the face of its new owner.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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