Bubble Sprite: ’59 Austin-Healey Sprite
Yesterday we featured a rather nice Austin Healey 3000 Works Rally Tribute and a absolutely dreadful 3000 restoration as part of a brief rant on taste. Then Mike M., sends us this absolutely wonderful Sprite and we decided to go Healey again. Some background – Donald wanted a car a bloke could park in his bike shed. His own words, not ours. It was introduced to the press in 1958 and quickly became a success in sales and on the track. Most readers won’t know this but the Sprite – affectionately known as Frog Eye in the UK and Bug Eye in the States – was the first mass produced car that had a unitary construction. Not a full monocoque but close. Not bad for an inexpensive sports car. And the Sprite was to have retractable headlights like the Porsche 928 but they were scrapped. So they plunked down a pair of lights on the hood. Boom. Today’s Sprite was restored in 1998 at a princely sum of $30,000. That probably translates to a spare no expense category for a Sprite. For that sum, you can be sure that all systems have been touched. The seller has treated it well, storing it in a bubble when not in use. And the public appears to appreciate it because around 60 trophies accompany the car with the sale. Hopefully they are trophies the car won and not just trophies. There hasn’t been significant deterioration since the rebuild although despite the extreme care it has received, there is some minor corrossion in the beading along the front wing. You may remember, these bonnets (hood & fender assembly) are hinged to reveal the entire front end of the car. Perhaps the frequent up and down motions have caused this minor issue. We like this one and the it comes with a hard top too. See the eBay auction by clicking here.