DATE OF MANUFACTURE: 1961 | COLOUR: OLD ENGLISH WHITE | INTERIOR TRIM: CHERRY RED VINYL WITH WHITE PIPING | 68215 MILES | PRICE: £47,500
LUX CLASSICS ARE DELIGHTED TO OFFER THIS SUPERB FULLY RESTORED 1961 AUSTIN HEALEY ‘FROGEYE’ SPRITE MKI, IN THE MOST DESIRABLE COLOUR COMBINATION OF OLD ENGLISH WHITE WITH CHERRY RED INTERIOR.
• Fully documented no-expense-spared recent restoration – the owner intended to keep the car in his collection, but has decided to sell
• Most desirable colour combination
• Heritage Trust Certificate
• Great Driving example
• Removeable matching hard top
Nothing defines 1960s British open-top motoring quite like the distinctive face of the Austin Healey MKI Frogeye Sprite. This example, UK registered on the 3rd of January 1961 has recently undergone a fully documented, no-expense spared restoration and repaint in its original Old English White. We believe there to have been 5 previous owners.
With an undeniable simplicity and honesty defining this era of motoring, its tiny pint-sized proportions present extremely well, both inside and out. A great driving example too – with keen performance, positive steering, and great road manners. It can’t help but put a smile on your face.
HISTORY & PAPERWORK
• The very good accompanying history file includes:
• Full photographic record of recent restoration works carried out
• All receipts for restoration parts totaling £28,000. We estimate the total restoration cost could be double that figure once labour is taken into consideration too (somewhat more than the original £669 purchase price)
• Heritage certificate issued by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in 2022
• Austin Healey Sprite Driver's handbook
• Historic MOTs
• Various miscellaneous documentation and ephemera
The fully restored seats finished in Cheery Red vinyl with white piping are both in fine condition, as is the fitted carpet, retrimmed door panels and dash housing only essential instrumentation and switches. With no conventional external boot access, rear storage is accessed from behind the seats underneath the stowed folded black soft top.
Complete with its removable hard top, the Old English White all-steel body is still in good shape post restoration. The Heritage certificate notes that original factory fitted equipment included toughened glass windscreen, a heater, miles per hour speedometer, left hand dip lights, tonneau cover and front bumpers. As a complete package today, it presents in overall great condition with a very endearing appeal.
With a recorded mileage of 68,215, the 948cc A-Series engine with twin SU carburetors develops a modest 43bhp, but with the Sprite’s featherlight 660kg weight, it provides keen performance through the 4-speed manual gearbox, and will return nearly 40mpg. The photographs illustrate the level of mechanical works undertaken during the restoration and the quality of finish. With such simple engineering and exposed layout, there really is nowhere to hide. It will now complete the post-restoration run-down miles, during which the suspension geometry and ride hide will be set.
AUSTIN HEALEY SPRITE MKI MODEL HISTORY
Developed by the Donald Healey Motor Company in 1958, the MKI Sprite was intended as a low cost car that a ‘chap could keep in his bike shed’. It used a tuned version of the Austin A-Series engine of Morris Minor 1000 fame, developing 43bhp and capable of getting the Sprite to 80mph. To keep costs down, as many parts as possible from existing cars were used. The front suspension was borrowed from the Austin A35, and the rack and pinion steering taken from the Minor 1000.
Built at the MG factory in Abingdon between 1958 and 1961. The MKI Sprite manufacturing cost saving is most visibly evident with the headlights. These were originally intended to be retracted when not in use, but that was deemed too expensive by BMC, so they were simply permanently fixed in that upright position. Hence the ‘Frogeye’ name we know and love today.
Despite there being no external door handles, or boot lid (for structural integrity) requiring the spare wheel to be accessed by folding the front seats down, the MKI proved extremely popular. It had endearing driving characteristics and was great fun to run around in. Its simplicity meant that chap in his shed could indeed maintain a MKI Sprite with no more than weekend maintenance. It became one of the most desirable small British sportscars of its time. In total 48,987 Frogeye Sprites were made before it was duly followed by the MKII, MKIII and MKIV variants through to 1971 when production ended.
ARRANGE A VIEWING
It is available for viewing in the UK on an appointment basis, and would suit an enthusiast or collector with whom this vehicle will represent a good acquisition opportunity.
WARRANTY & FINANCE AVAILABLE
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