Princely Frog Eye: ’59 Austin-Healey Sprite
This may be our 3rd Sprite but it could be our best. One reason for that outlandish statement is our frequent car spotter and our go-to traveling mechanic, Mike M., has been responsible for its care for quite some time. Mike doesn’t get attached to cars that aren’t worthy and he is in the tank for this Sprite. A review on how a Sprite came to be for the benefit of our newer readers – Donald Healey wanted a car a bloke could park in his bike shed. – Donald Healey 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 – 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. We have a lot of information about this Sprite including a full history from 1960 onward. You should know that despite its good looks and immaculate condition, it has traveled from New Jersey to Nevada a number of times back in the day when its owner was in the military. The current owner took possession from the soldier in 1967 when it was put to sleep in a barn until 1996. The current owner performed a flawless and lengthy rebuild that lasted almost 5 years. The restoration is now 12 years old but you would be hard pressed to tell. It actually has a bit of lived-in look to it. Everything has been addressed and the documentation is full of terms like magnaflux, re-grind, lightened and balanced. The cosmetics received the same treatment. Chrome re-chromed, new Wilton carpets, new top, re-built side curtains, new interior trim, new glass – the list goes on. Mike is handling the sale on this one and it is local to us here in Connecticut. The asking price is $22,000 and that seems to us as a bit of a deal. You couldn’t restore a Sprite for that if you began now and what is 5-years of your time worth? Email us for Mike’s contact information: submissions @ mint2me.com.