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Lot 401: Austin-Healey Sprite

Exceptional Motorcars - Session III, Bonhams & Butterfields (19 August 2011)

The Austin Healey Sprite was introduced at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix weekend in 1958. Despite the opulent surroundings, the car was a stripper sports car that utilized parts from lowly BMC econoboxes and didn't even have a trunk lid. The luggage had to be loaded through the cockpit. Nonetheless, it became an object of affection and brought top down motoring to a generation of undergraduates. The first edition was called the Frogeye, because of the unfortunate location of the headlights, which were supposed to be retractable but remained fixed as a cost saving measure.

In 1961, an updated version was introduced with the headlights in a normal position. This Mk II version also had an exterior trunk lid at the rear. Front disc brakes were also an improvement. A badge-engineered MG Midget was introduced the same year and was almost identical to the Healey.

The offered example is an absolutely pristine 1962 Mk II that underwent a thorough restoration in 2009 and has been little driven since. It has the 998cc engine with an incredibly detailed engine compartment. Someone has gone to the trouble of finding all the correct stickers for the valve covers and accessories. The finish is red with a perfect black interior and narrow white walls complete the presentation. It won its class in this year's All British Meet in Portland.

This is a car that will take you back to your salad days and is prepared to a standard unknown to BMC in the day.

Lot Details
Auction Exceptional Motorcars - Session III
Bonhams & Butterfields, Quail Lodge, Carmel, California
TypeCar
Lot Number401
Estimate$10000-$15000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$16000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$18720
Year1962
Condition rating0
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberHAN6L/5479
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2