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Lot No. 428 - 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite

Sold for: £19,800

An exceptional opportunity to own a very significant Austin-Healey Frog-Eye Sprite
Details Specification
  • A rather famous Frog-Eye, the property of the late Mike Garton and his wife Lyn
  • Mike was a highly respected Sprite racer in the 1960s, BRDC member and MSA FIA scrutineer
  • He worked for a time at BMC Special Tuning and wrote 'Tuning BMC Sportscars'
  • Recently (2020) refreshed by the Bodyshop in Buckingham Ford at a cost of £3,000
  • Fresh British Racing Green paint as well as new door hinges, new windscreen rubbers and a new fuel pump
  • Fitted with an Ashley bonnet, white hardtop, silver wires and a 998cc power unit
  • The car appears immaculate and you might struggle to find a better one

The Austin-Healey Sprite was conceived during the early months of 1956 at a meeting between Austin's Leonard Lord and Donald Healey, to fill a gap in the market left by the demise of the MG TD and TF Midgets, which had been replaced by the larger MGA. Produced from 1958 to 1971, it was intended as a low-cost model that "a chap could keep in his bike shed”. Designed by the Donald Healey Motor Company but built by the MG factory at Abingdon, it was affectionately known as the “Frog-eye” Sprite because of the prominent positioning of the round headlights on top of the bonnet.
The car featured a 948cc A-series BMC engine producing some 43bhp and offering a top speed of 83mph, but this car is not about top speed - it's about being a fun sports car and open-top motoring, both of which are epitomised by the much-loved original Mk1 Frogeyed Sprites.

This particular car was owned by the, sadly recently passed, Mike Garton, who was a very highly respected Sprite racer in the 1960s, BRDC member and MSA FIA scrutineer. His love of Sprites was shared by his widow, Lyn, and together they both enjoyed many special trips, tours and road rallies in this particular little car. They have owned it for the last 18 years and cherished it accordingly. Mike had the car repainted earlier in 2020 by the Bodyshop of Buckingham Ford and their invoice for over £3,000 is in the small history file. The original history file has currently not been found but it is apparent that in addition to the recent repaint a new fuel pump has been fitted, as well as new door hinges and new rubber surrounding the windscreen.

The car also comes with a white factory hardtop (complete with padded protective cover) and tonneau cover as well as the soft top. The original, matching numbers gearbox is also included in the sale although not currently fitted, however, the replacement drives well and the little car runs extremely smoothly as one might expect being the property of such an accomplished driver and engineer.

It's fitted with an 'Ashley' bonnet and 998cc engine that was freshly rebuilt by Mike in 2015. Significantly, he wrote the book, “Tuning BMC Sportscars” following his period working for BMC Special Tuning - so you can be pretty sure this little car is going to drive as well as any Sprite out there! Mike was also President of the Healey Drivers Club and a member of The Austin Healey Club as well as a very proud member of the famous BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) who are the owners of the world-famous Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire. The car is a regular contender at club Concours events and also at the annual Silverstone Classic. The dashboard is covered in plaques reflecting the many and varied events that Mike, Lyn and the car have been involved in over the last 20 years or so and today represents a special opportunity to buy a car with exceptional provenance and enjoy some great events in the future.

You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location of Stoneleigh Park (CV8 2LG) Monday to Friday, between Thursday 29th October – 12th November.

Please contact Nick on 07831 440 158 or nick@silverstoneauctions.com  secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail. 

The health & safety of both our customers and team remain the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.

Year of manufacture:
1959
Make:
Austin-Healey
Chassis number:
AN5 10219
# of cylinders:
4
Transmission:
Manual
Engine capacity:
998
Body colour:
Green
LHD/RHD:
Right-hand Drive
Registration number:
642 GKM
Model:
Sprite
Engine number:
9CU-H/9989
Interior colour:
Black
Odometer Reading:
16438
miles

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