1960 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite

Trade Classics > Auctions > Austin Healey > 1960 Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite
AUCTION DETAILS
Seller
Auction ID
#15041
Location
Posted on
12th of July 2018 at 1:49 AM
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0
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  • VEHICLE DETAILS

    Category
    Model
    Sprite MK1
    Trans.
    Manual
    Reg. Date
    1960
    Colour
    White
    Interior Colour
    Red
    Interior Trim
    Leather
    Restored
    Yes
    MOT Exempt
    Yes
    LHD or RHD
    RHD conversion
    Vehicle Visited
    Yes
    Sale Type
    Private
    Owned
    1 year
    Key Feature
    Frogeye
    Viewed:
    775 times

SALE NOTICE

*** No longer available ***

This car is no longer available for sale.


Recent Buyer Review – Eamonn McParland on 11th May “From my first general enquiry through to the purchase of my very own MGA, Adam and the team at Trade Classics were quite simply, awesome.  I fully recommend Trade Classics without hesitation nor reservation to everyone who is seeking a classic car.  A brilliant business model, supported by a really neat and usable website though ultimately managed by a great group of professional, sincere and trustworthy people”. Click here to see this and all reviews on Trustpilot.

 

HISTORY LESSON

The Austin Healey Sprite was first produced from 1958 through to 1961. This MK1 quickly became known as the Frog-eye or Bug-eye Sprite in the UK/America, owing to the very distinctive inset headlights protruding from the bonnet.

The car features a 948cc engine, with twin SU carbs, producing 43 BHP. Although many of the parts and development were shared with other brands under BMC at the time, there were some quite unique features too. The chassis design was almost a monocoque, with the exception of the chassis legs protruding from the passenger compartment. This design created the rigidity that was often missing with an open topped sports car, and will have been part of the reason for success in racing in the past.

This particular example of a Frogeye has been beautifully restored to its original specification. The car was originally American, but was imported for restoration by the current owner Max.

 

THE CAR & MAX

Max, the owner of this car, absolutely loves a British classic and so much so that he has around 20 cars in his collection currently.

British classic cars, and bringing them back to their original beauty is what drives Max on his classic car journey. This Austin Healey of his is no exception to that. Imported from America around a year ago, once over the water Max set out on a “conservation” of the car. As much of the original car was reconditioned and restored to bring it to the very high standard it is in now.

His collection includes Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Austin Healey to name but a few. Max also likes to drive his classic cars, and takes part in various rallies and tours. This particular car though Max is looking to part ways with, it’s just a little too small for him and so he’s looking for it to go on to a new home where it will be cherished and enjoyed.

 

EXTERIOR

Finished in Old English White, its original factory colour, the car looked absolutely stunning. Max has had the car taken back to its originality with the colour combination and the period white wall tyres really set the car off. Take a look at the media to get a sense on the quality of the restoration.

Wheels & Tyres
Steel wheels with “AH” adorned in red on the hub caps. The white wall tyres all look in good condition as highlighted in the video.

Bodywork
The bodywork on the car is in very good condition as expected with the car having undergone a nut and bolt restoration. There was no rust visible upon viewing the vehicle, and as shown in the media, the shut-lines and panel gaps across the entire car are very good.

Paint
The Old English White paint on the car looks great, with a very rich and even finish across the entire car. There are two minor imperfections in the paintwork; a small mark on the passenger side where the door closes, a small hairline cracking in the paint on the bonnet.

Glass and Trim
The glass looks good both in terms of the windscreen, and the accompanying windows for the doors. The brightwork across the car is also very good, and no pitting was noticed when inspected. In addition to the permanent trim, the tonneau cover is new, and there is a soft roof and frame included too as pictured.

 

INTERIOR

The Frogeye is finished with red leather/leatherette upholstery, and matching red carpets throughout. Again, as with the exterior restoration, the interior has been finished to a high standard and looks great. The car was originally an American LHD, as part of the restoration it has been converted to RHD for the UK roads.

Seats and Carpets
Everything looks very fresh inside the car; seats, carpets, door cards. Take a look at the video to see how fresh it all looks.

Dashboard
Red leather across the dash, and the dials all look as they should and importantly work as they should too. The dials are clear and easily legible, and the finish on the dash is good.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The steering wheel and gear stick look to be original and show some sign of wear that you would expect with the age of the car. They are by no means tatty though, the finish on both items is good in terms of a deep black colour.

 

MECHANICS

We went on our usual drive in the car to see how it handled as a passenger on the road. Take a look at the video to see my thoughts.

Engine and Gearbox
Being a nut and bolt restoration, the engine was not left out either. You can see from the video reviews that many elements have been renewed as needed, and the engine bay itself is very clean and tidy. The car started from cold and there was no smoke to be seen.

Suspension and Brakes
The car handled very well on the road, it was a more comfortable ride than I was anticipating, and this is also probably down to the quality of the restoration completed.

The Drive
The car performed without fault on our short trip. Going through the gears without issue, and the engine pulling as along with ease. The car idled both cold and hot with no issues during the run.

Electrics and Other
Max informs us that everything on the car is working as it should, and you can see from the videos that all gauges on the dash are working fine.

 

HISTORY

The car does come with some history and invoicing from the restoration that has been completed over the last year. It does not however come with any paperwork from America, being a car that was imported with need of restoration.

Max has applied for UK registration for the car, which should be coming through in the middle of July.

The car is showing just 74,707 as of 09.07.2018.

HPi Check Results
– Awaiting UK registration.

Mileage Records
– 09.07.2018 – 74,707 miles

 

OUR SUMMARY

The MK1 Austin Healey Sprite is a great way to get into the Austin Healey club. That little frog/bug eyed face smiling at you as you approach it, really does have a certain charm and makes it easy to understand why it was a popular hit in its time.

The open top experience, with the car being so low to the ground, is really enjoyable. It’s a great car for summer months, with the wind blowing through your hair. Max described it as “a lovely little thing”, and it really is.

The Frogeye Sprite is the one to have, prices are significantly higher than the later models, and it just looks the part. This example which Max is now passing along poses a great opportunity, what with a major restoration having been completed on the car. Finished in a very classic colour with a great contrasting red leather trim, the new owner will be buying a car they will be able to enjoy in these summer months, and will always put a smile on your face and smile back at you time and time again.
 

WRITER

KULRAJ SINGH SALH
This auction listing was written by Kulraj Singh Salh from information gained from Max the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Max will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.



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