Austin Healey Sprite Mk1
As found, several careful owners and ripe for restoration!
Research showed that this was a very early 1958 Mk 1 Sprite, and
in almost every respect, other than the fibreglass front end,
totally original. All the engine, gearbox and key numbers matched
those on the Heritage certificate, which confirmed other details
on the original log book.
Following a short appraisal the car was totally dismantled, all
parts labelled, and over a period of some 8 years all the various
components were cleaned, painted and rebuilt. As the car was one
of only a very small number of this early specification some considerable
delays and difficulties were experienced in obtaining the correct
original replacement parts.
As expected there were extensive areas of rot which
had to be cut out but first the shell was braced with bars welded
across door apatures etc. to ensure that it did not distorted
when the floor rear wings and sills were removed.
Part of the floor pan under seat. This whole area was
removed and a new floor pan inserted into the shell.
Rear spring boxes. This is a critical area of the Sprite.
The quarter elliptic springs are inserted into these boxes and
bolted down through the reinforced section of the floor.
Engine bay as found. All there but looking rather sad.
The condition of the tyres suggests that the car had been run
till it finally died.
Eventually most of the components and sub assemblies were ready.
Now Pat set about the rebuild of the shell. A few areas of the
shell had been started before Pat moved house part way through
The move was to a house with a purpose built garage/workshop so
it was into top gear for the rebuild.
Rear wheel arch repair shows new section of inner wing
clamped in position ready for welding.
Floor pan after extensive repair. New floor and sill
sections assembled with the spring boxes and floor stiffeners
Looking better all the time. The body shell nearing
completion with new floor pan, inner and outer rear wings and
boot floor ready to be turned over.
Great care was taken to preserve this originality in the rebuild.
When replacement panels were obtained in several cases
they were modified back to match early specification.
The re-build of this very early Mk1 Sprite now complete,
here with just 21 miles on the clock!
and under the bonnet.