Lot 028: Austin-Healey Sprite MkII
Following on from the enormous success of the Frogeye, Austin-Healey launched a modernised MkII version of the Sprite in 1961. This used the same 948cc engine but with larger twin 1.25-inch SU carburettors increasing power to 46bhp and allied to a close-ratio gearbox. The bodywork was completely revamped with the headlights migrating to a more conventional position in the wings, either side of a full-width grille. At the rear, styling borrowed from the soon-to-be-announced MGB gave a similarly more modern look with the added advantages of an opening boot lid and conventional rear bumper bar.
The result was a much less eccentric-looking sports car which, in contemporary road tests, could reach 86mph with a fuel consumption of just 44mpg. Some 31,665 examples were built before it was replaced by the slightly larger-engined MkIII in 1964.
First registered in July 1962, this particular Sprite MkII has had just three owners from new and clearly meant a great deal to the last lady owner because, between 2000 and 2003, she treated it to a total nut-and-bolt rebuild by Healey specialists, Classic Restorations of Bedford. Virtually every single part of the car was renewed or rebuilt as necessary including a full interior retrim in red leather and a rebuilt and balanced engine.
As a stack of bills in the history file will attest, the total cost of this restoration was quite considerable those of a nervous disposition should stop reading now. A quick tot-up by your cataloguer revealed a total bill somewhat in excess of& �34,000.
We can report that the car is still undeniably smart today and has only covered some 300 miles since the restoration was completed. Oh, and it comes with an MOT until March 2012 and a nice tonneau cover that matches the hood. There is really not much else we can say&
Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles|
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||AHP 822A|
|Engine capacity (cc)||948|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors||2|