Become a Member: Get Ad-Free Access to All Our Content
1958→1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I

1958→1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I

1958→1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I

Known alternatively as the Frogeye or Bugeye, the Austin-Healey Sprite was known for its distinctive healylight pods that were initially designed to be retractable.

The Sprite was one of the first sports cars to use unitary body construction. The employed many pieces from the BMC parts bin including the Austin A35 engine with 11⁄8″ inch SU carburettors.

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
production years 1958 – 1961
built at England
interior designer Gerry Coker
production 49000
price £/td> £678
engine Inline-4
valvetrain OHV
displacement 948 cc / 57.9 in³
bore 62.99 mm / 2.48 in
stroke 76.2 mm / 3.0 in
power 32.1 kw / 43 bhp @ 5200 rpm
specific output 45.36 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 64.28 bhp per tonne
torque 70.5 nm / 52 ft lbs @ 3300 rpm
f suspension Live Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs
r suspension Wishbones
curb weight 669 kg / 1475 lbs
wheelbase 2032 mm / 80.0 in
front track 1179 mm / 46.4 in
rear track 1163 mm / 45.8 in
length 3480 mm / 137.0 in
width 1372 mm / 54.0 in
height 1219 mm / 48.0 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
gear ratios 3.10:1, 1.99:1, 1.35:1, 1.00:1
top speed ~133.55 kph / 83 mph
0 – 60 mph ~20.5 seconds

Auction Sales History

1958→1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I

1959 Austin-Healey Sprite Mk I AN5-L/16468 – sold for $48,400 1963 SCCA One-Liter Champion. Important Ownership and Racing History. Authentic 2008 Restoration Subect of a Featured Article in Classic Motorsports. Accompanied by Extensive Documentation and a BMHT Certificate.
Auction Source: The Scottsdale Auctions by Gooding & Company
1958→1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Mark I

1961 Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite

It seems probable that some time around the early 1970s the majority – if not all – of the rebuilt, modified and developed car was scrapped while its chassis plate and registration identity survived. Mr Dick Skipworth acquired this identity/entity from Ron Scoma to join his growing Ecurie Ecosse Collection in the late 1990s. It all arrived “…as a pile of bits in a packing case” – most crucially providing the original Ecosse Le Mans Sprite’s chassis plate, serialled ‘AN5 47402’. As Dick Skipworth relates: “Lynx remade the aluminium hardtop and bonnet while I rebuilt the rest. So now we have a car that absolutely looks the part, has the right numbers, but is a re-creation of that 1961 Le Mans Sprite entered and raced by Ecurie Ecosse “.

Auction Source: Bonhams splits up the Ecurie Ecosse Collection