Profile: 80 | Austin Healey Sprite 1958 to 1971
Built from 1958 to 1971 in 4 different versions. Originally fitted with a 520-13 crossply tyre, a suitable modern radial replacement would be a 145SR13.
One of the most endearing sports cars ever made, the Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite arrived in 1958. Built cheaply to reduce purchase costs, there was no heater or door handles – not even a bootlid. Power came from a 948cc A-Series engine taken from the Austin A35.
The second take on the formula arrived in 1961 in the form of the Austin Healey Sprite MkII, which was now also available as an MG Midget. This new car is less characterful than the Frogeye but more modern in its appearance, although the 948cc engine was carried over. By 1962 this would be superseded by a more perky 1098cc A-Series engine, which was also used in the Austin Healey Sprite MkIV that debuted in 1964.
The final Austin Healey Sprite hit the road in 1966: the MkIV with a 1275cc engine and a folding roof in place of the hood sticks previously fitted. The Sprite MkIV soldiered on until 1971 with cars being badged merely 'Austin' from January – but by July the Sprite had been killed off altogether although the MG Midget would remain on sale until 1979.