1960 Austin Healey Sprite - - Andys Classic Cars

1960 Austin Healey Sprite

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1960 Austin Healey Sprite

The post WWII popularity of British sports cars spawned a wide variety of models available to the enthusiast. Fresh on the heels of success with the Austin Healey 100 series, Donald Healey turned his attention to another project. This car was to be a smaller, less powerful sports car, still possessing all the handling characteristics and responsiveness so in demand, but much more affordable. One that a young man, short on cash and storage space, could manage. The result, introduced in 1958, was the Austin Healey Sprite. By employing a 948cc 4 cylinder engine and a 4 speed gearbox and keeping weight to a minimum, Healey managed to infuse the new Sprite with a spirited performance and lovable character that endured relatively intact over a 22 year production run.
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-----One of the most recognizable sports cars ever produced, the AH Sprite, in it's debut configuration, established it's famous "Smiling Frog" persona. Although initial specs called for disappearing headlamps, cost considerations dictated stationary pods mounted on the hood (or bonnet). The entire steel body forward of the cowl is a solid piece lifted as a unit, hinged at the rear. The trunk (or boot) is accessed from behind the seat backs, having no external lid. Front and rear bumpers were optional with small vertical protectors as an alternative. Weather protection consists of side curtains with sliding plastic windows and a minimal fabric top stretched over a removable folding frame. Drafts and leaks abound. But so does fun.
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-----1960 was the last year for the "Bugeye" Sprite, with a substantial body restyling front and rear in 1961, as well as the introduction of the virtually identical MG Midget. Little had changed, however, with chassis and running gear until the US restrictions of the mid 70's after which only an updated Midget carried on through 1980.




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