A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £9,000
Introduced in May 1961, the MkII version of Austin Healey's Sprite sported a more conventional visage courtesy of its full-width grille and wing-mounted headlights. Other niceties included a rear bumper and opening boot lid. More civilised but slightly heavier than its 'Frogeye' predecessor, the MkII boasted more power and torque courtesy of improved carburation and a close-ratio gearbox. Reputedly capable of 85mph, the lightweight two-seater was a fun little sports car at an affordable price.
We understand that this particular 1962, left-hand drive Austin Healey Sprite was the subject of a major restoration in the USA before returning home to the UK and that the 948cc BMC ‘A’ series unit has been fitted with ‘flat-top’ pistons and a 1098 cc cylinder head which should provide a useful increase in power. From some older (2014) sales information, we understand that a new clutch and pressure plate had been fitted just prior to then at 85,000 miles. The sprite has been with our vendor since 2017 and the cars current mileage is 85,867.
The Iris Blue paintwork appears to have been expertly applied and it’s very likely that this car still had its original panels prior to restoration such is the quality of the finish and likewise the brightwork also looks excellent. The dashboard retains its original covering and looks great for it and the period bucket seats look sound and hardly worn.
The car was sold through Silverstone Auctions in 2014 and the report from then states; “The usefully modified twin-carb engine is superbly detailed and starts on the button with no knocks or rattles or leaks to cause any concern whatsoever. The gearbox is reported to be in excellent working condition as are the clutch and braking system. The suspension has clearly been set up with performance in mind and as such inspires confidence when driven enthusiastically”.
This is a delightful little Mark II that appears to have been well-restored in the US and with its lightly modified engine should be a lot of fun. It’s left-hand drive which makes touring in France and on the Continent a little less stressful and with its Iris Blue paintwork as bright as a Cote d’Azur sky, it would make a charming companion.