Back to Daves List

1959 Bug Eyed Sprite



Cute little classic roadster was offered for Sale @ $15,000.



Dave - here are a few photo's of my Sprite - I have less than 3000 miles since almost everything was rebuilt. If you would please include the below link as it will show the car in detail.
I am looking for at least 15k and as you know I am selling this only to secure funding for a 66 Shelby
Wikipedia says:

The little 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 with the Porsche 928. However, production cost-cutting by BMC led to the flip-up mechanism being deleted and so the headlights were simply fixed in a permanently upright position, giving the car its most distinctive feature.

The front sheet-metal assembly, including the bonnet and wings, was a one-piece unit, hinged from the back, that swung up to allow access to the engine compartment. The 43 bhp, 948 cc engine (coded 9CC) was derived from the Austin A35 & Morris Minor 1000 models, also BMC products, but upgraded with twin 1 1/8" inch SU carburettors. The rack and pinion steering and suspension were derived from the Morris Minor 1000. The front suspension was a coil spring and wishbone arrangement, with the arm of the Armstrong lever shock absorber serving as the top suspension link. The rear axle was both located and sprung by quarter-elliptic leaf springs, again with lever-arm shock absorbers. There were no exterior door handles, with the driver and passenger required to reach inside in order to open the door. There was also no boot lid, and access to the spare wheel and luggage compartment was achieved by tilting the seat-backs forward and reaching under the rear deck, a process likened to potholing by many owners.

The Sprite's chassis design was the world's first volume-production sports car to use integrated construction, where the sheet metal body panels (apart from the bonnet) take many of the structural stresses. The two front 'chassis' legs which project forward from the passenger compartment, however, stop the shell being a full monocoque. The design is said to have been influenced by the Jaguar D-type.


19581961 - 948cc cc A-Series I4, 43 hp (32 kW) at 5200 rpm and 52 lbf·ft (71 Nm) at 3300 rpm
A car was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1958. It had a top speed of 82.9 mph (133.4 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 20.5 seconds. Fuel consumption of 43 miles per imperial gallon (6.6 L/100 km; 36 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £678, including taxes of £223.[3]

The BMC Competition Department entered Austin Healey Sprites in major international races and rallies, their first major success coming when John Sprinzel and Willy Cave won their class on the 1958 Alpine Rally. Private competitors also competed with much success in Sprites. Because of its affordability and practicality, the Austin Healey Sprite was developed into a formidable competition car, assuming many variants by John Sprinzel, Speedwell and WSM. The Sebring Sprite became the most iconic of the racing breed of Austin Healey Sprites. Many owners use their Austin Healey Sprites in competition today, fifty years after its introduction.