Following the Austin-Healey 100, Donald Healey and BMC teamed up to introduce the Sprite in 1958. Speed parts were soon available from tuning firms and most notably from Speedwell Performance Conversions. The firm also collaborated with Frank Costin and the Williams & Pritchard coachworks to produce a number of lightweight body components, including the “Monza” bonnet and the Speedwell Sprite GT fixed-head coupe.
Sprites were campaigned in the most important rallies and sports car races, with particular success at the Sebring 12 Hours, where three standard-bodied Sprites swept the podium in 1959. As later described by Sprinzel and Tom Coulthard in Spritely Years, “Sebring Sprite” was a catch-all term for racing Sprites homologated under FIA guidelines in 1960 with various mechanical upgrades and other modifications including standard or modified bodywork.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2010 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
Race-prepared 998 cc BMC A-Series inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with upper and lower A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with double trailing links and quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 80"
Source: RM Auctions Photo Credit: Copyright John Lamm
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