1959 Austin Healey 'Frogeye' Sprite PROJECT

Highlights


• In current ownership since 1992
• Project split down so you can see the condition of everything

The Background


The Austin-Healey Sprite was a small open sports car which was produced in the United Kingdom from 1958 to 1971. The Sprite was announced to the press in Monte Carlo by the British Motor Corporation on 20 May 1958, two days after that year's Monaco Grand Prix. It was intended to be a low-cost model that "a chap could keep in his bike shed".

The Sprite quickly became affectionately known as the "frogeye" in the UK and the "bugeye" in the US, because its headlights were prominently mounted on top of the bonnet, inboard of the front wings. 

The car's designers had intended that the headlights could be retracted, with the lenses facing skyward when not in use; a similar arrangement was used many years later on the Porsche 928. But cost cutting by BMC led to the flip-up mechanism being deleted, therefore the headlights were simply fixed in a permanently upright position, giving the car its most distinctive feature. 

This gave the car its appeal as a result of its much loved cute appearance. 

Although it may be quite a challenge to bring this car up to concourse standard itcould be easily brought up to a usable classic.

The engine and gearbox are not the originals, the gearbox being the ribbed stronger version and the vendor believes the engine is from an a35, which is almost identical

The History


The current owner purchased the car as a project in 1992, it has had 3 former keepers according to the v5.

He had 2 new rear wings professionally fitted and the chassis checked over and then it has sat for a long time due to work.

Having recently moved house he no longer has the space to store it and all of the collected parts in addition to health conditions which prevent him from working on the project so it is now up for sale.

The Paperwork


The car comes with a V5 and an assortment of receipts for the most recent items.

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The Interior


Included in the sale are 2 sets of carpets, door cards etc , one red set and one black set so the new owner could choose which way they would like to go with the build.

The seats are in good condition

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The Exterior 


The main body has been painted with 2 coats of isolator, two coats of primer and 3 coats of old english white (Cellulose based paint) 

It has also had New rear wings fitted. There are 2 bonnets, one fibre glass and one steel, the steel one needs a few minor repairs. Both bonnets will require painting

The current owner informs us that the he has had the number plate valued at £1000.

The wheels and tyres are in ok condition with AH hub caps

A List of the rest of the exterior parts included in the sale are at the bottom of the listing.

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The Mechanics 


Included in the sale are:
- 948cc engine and gearbox
- New brake twin master cylinder fitted, new brake wheel cylinders, new brake pipes, new front brake drums, New clutch and cover (fitted)

The current owner tells us that although he has not had the engine running, it turns over freely and appears to have reasonable compression in all cylinders. The cylinder head may need refurbishing/updating to make it suitable for unleaded fuel.

He also informs us that the gearbox appears to turn smoothly in all gears.

The current owner believes there are enough parts present to get it up and running with a few minor parts needed to complete the restoration, a comprehensive list of what’s included in the sale is attached at the bottom of this listing.

The Appeal


It has had two new wings fitted by a professional restorer and the rest of the chassis and bodywork checked over by him.

The rest of the bodywork has been restored by the previous owner and undersealed.
It is a full rolling chassis / body with all suspension, steering and back axle components complete. (It may require the odd bushes and rubber seals replacing due to age.)

The project needs final assembly including installation of the engine and gearbox, wiring and connection of the fuel supply to get it running, which could easily be achieved by an amateur mechanic due to the simplicity of the components.

Most of the braking system has been replaced.

All of the parts are stripped down making it easy to see what is present and their condition, there is also a very clear list of what’s included in the sale so that a potential buyer can ascertain what will be needed to complete it.

This project will require some considerable effort to piece back together and put back on the road but quite often the building of the project is the best part of the journey.

Turning a pile of parts into a working motor vehicle and a cool British sports car like the Austin Healey Frog Eyed sprite no less, what a sense of achievement that would be and it would be incredible to put another one back on the road.

Full Parts list included in sale

Part type |  Number of items
Chassis Body | 1
A H Hub caps | 4
Dynamo | 1
Starter motor | 1
Ignition Coil | 1
Choke knob and cable | 1
Engine mountings | 2
Heater Duct | 1
Carburettor I"1/8 and manifold | 2
Air cleaner | 2
Exhaust manifold | 1
Heater heat exchanger | 1
Hood | 1
Tonneau cover | 1
Dashboard | 1
Oil pressure gauge | 1
Temp gauge | 1
Grill | 1
door aluminium strips | 2
back aluminium strip | 1
seat | 2
948 cc Engine ad gearbox | 1
doors and hinges | 2
Steel Bonnet | 1
Fiberglass Bonnet | 1
Distributor, cap and leads | 1
Spare clutch and cover | 1
Windscreen wipers | 2
side light units and chrome bezels | 4
Ignition switch | 1
Windscreen wiper switch | 1
Starter pull | 1
Engine mountings | 2
windscreen wiper motor | 1
Gear lever rubber | 1
Radiator hoses | 3
horn | 1
bulbs  | 4
number plate lamp | 1
Various linkages and springs Carb | 1
speedo cable | 1
fuel tank cap | 1
fuel tank filler tube | 1
wiring loom | 1
Head lights bezels and enclosures | 2
Battery lead | 2
Bonnet securing mechanism and handle | 1
Heater enclosure | 1
regulator | 2
exhaust clamp | 1
rear brake, side light lense | 2
rear view mirror | 1
indicator  lens | 2
Austin Healey Sprite Badge | 1
Speedometer | 1
Rev Counter | 1
Hinge | 1
Mirror | 1
Austin Healey Sprite gear Knob | 1
Bumper overriders | 2
Original Steering Wheel | 1
Hood frame | 1
Front Bumper, Overriders and brackets | 1
Number plate  | 1
Door cards and other cards red | 1
Carpet set, Red | 1
Bonnet Hinges  | 2
Exhaust | 1
Carpet set, Black | 1
Radiator | 1
Propshaft I 1


Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1959
  • Make Austin Healey
  • Model Sprite "Frogeye"
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 997
  • Location Wales
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • mgslk0 £5,800 04/10/21
  • Jckosmi•••• £5,799 04/10/21
  • mgslk0 £5,700 04/10/21
  • mgslk0 £5,600 04/10/21
  • Jckosmi•••• £5,500 04/10/21
  • mgslk0 £5,000 04/10/21
  • Jckosmi•••• £4,100 04/10/21
  • simon-c•••• £3,700 04/10/21
  • Jckosmi•••• £3,400 04/10/21
  • chrisan•••• £3,000 02/10/21

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