1958 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I "Frog Eye" (AN5)SOLD

RM Vintage Motorcars in Arizona - Biltmore Resort & Spa, Friday January 19, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $28,000 - $34,000

$23,100 Sold

43hp, 984cc. (57.9 cu. in.) OHV inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs and rear live axle with quarter-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 80"

The meticulous restoration of the 1958 Bugeye Sprite offered here has been the subject of newspaper and magazine articles within the US and the UK. “ Here ’ s a new twist to a timeless tale. A group of high-school students pool their money to buy a car, it needs some work…but hey, how hard can it be to make an old car run? Sounds like something from the era of ducktails and drive-ins? But here ’ s the twist, those students are young women, and the car really was apart, just a tub and twenty-odd boxes full of rock-hard rubber, rats nests of frayed wire, and hundreds of unlabeled bits! ” - Team Sprite

The eighteen-month saga of “ Team Sprite ” began with the discovery of a three-inch patch of beautiful Cherry Red original paint while stripping away a 25-year-old BRG repaint. At that point, the girls voted to restore the car to conform as closely as possible to the way it rolled off the assembly line, in late October 1958.

The ensuing bumper-to-bumper show-quality restoration began with Team Sprite trading their just finished 1098cc mill for a 1958 948cc engine professionally rebuilt with all NOS parts. Paying attention whenever possible to use parts with proper date codes, the car was returned as closely as possible to original factory specifications. A new convertible top, restored sliding side windows, and the rare dealer optional luggage rack make AN5L/6206 a uniquely optioned, highly original Sprite. A file of receipts for purchased parts accompanies the car in the sale.

“ This project brought out the best in everyone who heard about it; donations of near impossible to find original parts came from all over the world, and with no request of reimbursement or acknowledgment. Plating, body classes, even a set of five Firestone white walls, the list is long and filled with new friends. ” – Team Sprite

The proceeds of the sale will go to the five original investors; three just started their first year of college, the fourth girl plans to travel, and their teacher and mentor plans to look for another project, “ maybe a small vintage racer of some sort? ”

With its 0-60 in a neck snapping 22 seconds, and a heating system once described as “ a hamster puffing warm air across your knees ” , the perpetually grinning Bugeye Sprite is unquestionably the most affordable of all the sports car classics, and guarantees more smiles per gallon than cars costing ten times as much.

Reference Number 5728

as of 1/9/2007

Car 1958 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I "Frog Eye" (AN5)
VIN AN5L6206 
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