Simon Agnew is currently building a Sebring Coupé replica supplied by Brian Archer, and is finishing it using only 'period' parts, i.e. genuine 60's fittings and features all carefully restored. However, he has recently happened upon the remains of a genuine standard-bodied Sebring in a field, registered 142 FBH and, having now purchased the car, he has discovered that it is one which was raced in its day,fitted with a Star Sprite bonnet which had faired-in headlights. The actual car is pictured on Page 62 of Anders Clausager's book "Sprites & Midgets, the Complete Story" and I have taken the liberty of re-producing the photo here. John Baggott has discovered that Star Sprite bonnets were produced in Leeds by a firm called G & R Fibrications (yes, not fabrications) though the firm is no longer believed to be in business. The bonnet is not with the project and Simon would love to find one, or the moulds, or one he can copy. Can you help? The car has a number of interesting features including a Healey 100 anti-roll bar mounted above the front chassis rails, which is what John Sprinzel used to do, so that the mountings didn't get torn off over rough ground when rallying. There is no engine or gearbox, however. Another car which had a Star Sprite bonnet for a while is 96 RPE, the Bob Snow Coupé now owned by Terry Cowan in the US, and which had earlier born Sprinzel's personal registration plate PMO 200. The car is pictured in "Spritely Years".
Feedback from Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird (21May2007):-
Interested to hear of 142 FBH's survival - do you have photos of the 'whole' car? The glimpse of the disc brake set-up in one of the photos you have on your site, looks like the Lockheed 'Thin Disc' set-up used by the Healeys from 1961 onwards. This had dust shields as shown (somewhat different to the standard/later Lockheed production units), used in conjunction with a slightly larger diameter disc. The 'Thin Disc' brake conversion also allowed the use of steel wheels (as shown in the black and white period shot), rather than the wire wheels. If this is the case then it sadly, doesn't fall into the 'Sebring' category as described in your text. Nice that it's survived though - hope he gets a bonnet!
& Response from Simon:
I like the page on your website! Jonathans comments are interesting. The rear drums are 7", the shockers have yet to be examined... And the pedal box is missing. On the passenger side pedal box blanking plate, there is a bracket that looks like it may have supported a servo? - see picture. I have attached an advert for the bonnet, from 1963, also an advert from G A Glassfibrications, in 1962, and later that year an advert for Assiduous Engineers, similar advert and location. Note also the (M) in the title? Other pictures show the special instruments - at least whats left of them, and the chassis at the front, being an early car. The chassis number is AN5 3515 and the original engine was 2973. I will get some more detailed pictures soon, and hopefully have the history updated, by the DVLA. I will examine the brakes and shockers in detail this week, and let you know of my findings.blanking plate, there is a bracket that looks like it may have supported a servo? - see picture.
which has prompted a further response from Jonathan (23May2007):
Great to see the extra photos of 142 FBH on your website. Looks like the remains of a Healey Speed Equipment 120mph speedo - rare!
I've attached a shot of the Lockheed 'Thin Disc' set-up to assist Simon with any possible identification.
Take care, Jonathan.
And more information, this time from Ian Grainger owner of 2341UE (10 July 2007):
Regarding the photo of the anti-roll bar on 142 FBH: I am sure that this 'set-up' is because of the use of the Healey 100 anti-roll bar. It must have made the front very 'stiff'! 2341 UE has always had the anti-roll bar fitted with links to the wishbone pointing downwards as fitted at "The Cape". My other 'Sebring' 5038 NX has the anti-roll bar fitted with the links pointing upwards as it has lowered suspension.
George MacMurray has sent some pictures of his Star Sprite bonnet: (June 2007):
Hi Martin, I read with interest on your web site about a Star Sprite bonnet, I am in the process of restoring a 1959 Mark 1 Sprite which has such a bonnet. I live in Northern Ireland, twenty miles outside Belfast in County Down. I'm sure some arrangement could be made with Simon to get a copy made.