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Lot 127: Austin Healey Sprite " Frog Eye"

Jaguar Heritage + Classic & Collectors Motor Cars, Barons (29 April 2008)

In 1958 BMC launched a new and diminutive sports-car, which was based on the popular Austin A35. The new car was known as the Austin Healey Sprite and would be built at the MG factory in Abingdon. The Sprite introduced a whole new concept in sports-car ownership that would later be copied by Triumph and MG. The Sprite sported a twin carb 998cc, A Series A35 engine, driving the rear wheels via a four speed gearbox. The body was of a very simple design, which had no external boot access and minimal decoration. The one-piece bonnet was originally designed to include pop-up headlamps, however the mechanisms proved to complex and so the lamps were mounted in a fixed pod. This unusual styling feature actually added to the cars "cute" appeal and it quickly gained the nickname "Frogeye". The model was hugely popular in America, despite its diminutive dimensions but was know as the "Bug Eye" in the USA. This example is said to have been in the ownership of the same family for 39 years and had been off the road since 1972 until it was recently taken for an MoT and carburettor tuning. Between 1982 and 2007 the car underwent a nut and bolt restoration. It is now offered having covered virtually zero miles since completion of the restoration and sports a rebuilt engine and gearbox, rebuilt brakes and suspension, new wiring loom, new interior, new hood, new side screens etc etc. This superb "Frog Eye" is offered complete with a photo record of the rebuild and invoices for approx. �4000 for parts alone. Finished in leaf green with sage green interior, the car has covered just 54,000 miles from new.

Lot Details
Auction Jaguar Heritage + Classic & Collectors Motor Cars
Barons, Surrey
TypeCar
Lot Number127
Estimate£8000-£10000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£8800
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1959
Condition rating1
Registration numberWYT38
Mileage-
Chassis numberAN5/178518
Engine number9CUH/17257
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors