FOR SALE: 1958 Austin-Healy Sprite "Frogeye"
You'll struggle to find a more original, prettier "frogeye" than this one in South Africa. It even comes with a full set of owner's manuals and books, and certificate of authenticity.
Year and make/Model: 1958 Austin-Healy Sprite "Frogeye"
Engine: 948cc petrol
Transmission: Manual 4-speed
Colour: Old English White
PRICE: R219 000
It's hard to look at an Austin-Healy Sprite - nicknamed the Frogeye, for obvious reasons - and not smile. It's just such a lovable little thing...
Donald Healey and his son, Geoffrey, get the credit for the Sprite's creation. Healey had already filled the niche for a sports car priced below the Jaguar XK120 by collaborating with Austin on the Austin-Healey 100, and was asked by BMC chairman Leonard Lord to design an affordable, small-engined sports car. To keep the car affordable, Healey could pick whatever he wanted from BMC's vast parts bins.
The Sprite was announced to the press in Monte Carlo by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) on May 20, 1958, two days after the Monaco Grand Prix. The Sprite quickly became affectionately known as "frogeye" in the UK and "bugeye" in the USA, due to the headlights mounted on the top of the bonnet. The car designers initially intended that the headlights could be "closed" when not in use, like the Porsche 928’s, but due to the cost reduction measures the system was excluded from the final project, the headlights being simply fixed, giving the car what would become its most distinctive feature.
The Sprite would become the first mass-produced sports car in England to feature unit-body construction. Building a rigid, open body with no frame required the use of more than 200 individual pressings, all welded together. The bonnet was a single piece, hinged at the back, which gave excellent access to the engine. There was no bootlid cut into the back of the car - this not only saved money but added strength too.
The Sprite was only manufactured for three years from 1958 to 1961.
This extremely beautiful, unrestored original "Frogeye" is finished Old English White, one of just two colours which remained throughout the full duration of the production years, with the other being Iris Blue.
Everything speaks of originality about this example, from its SU Carburetors, four-speed gearbox that is still perfectly synchronized, original vinyl seats, plastic side skirts, vinyl soft top and not to forget all the original chrome trimmings.
The car is totally rust free and all the body gaps are in perfect alignment.
The car is sold with the original steering wheel, owner’s manuals and books, original jack and tools and a Certificate of Authenticity.
NOTE: The above information was supplied by the dealer currently advertising this vehicle and has not been verified by SentiMETAL/Cars.co.za.
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