Dedicated to the memory of the late Brian Archer who fulfilled his dream to re-create John Sprinzel's Sebring Sprite Coupé

Rallying begins

Martin Brazil prepares to navigate JJO on her first big rally, the Targa Rusticana in 1993

946 JJO ~ Martin Ingall's Replica

I bought JJO in July 1988 from a guy in Brighton. It was advertised as needing restoration ~ which it certainly did. The rear suspension had collapsed on one side, the bodyshell was in a very distressed condition and it had a cracked and broken fibreglass bonnet. It was one of several Sprites and Midgets I acquired at a time when I was keen to change career and thought of going into car restoration. A bit of a mid-life crisis I suppose. That never happened but at the end of it I was left with the rather forlorn-looking JJO.

It was soon after this that I saw a clip in a magazine stating that a replica of John Sprinzel's Sebring Sprite was being proposed by a firm in Birmingham ~ which of course proved to be Archers Garage. I immediately phoned up and had a long conversation with Brian, ~ the first of many.

There was a fairly long gestation period while Brian made the necessary moulds from Stephen Bowen's original car, stored in Wheeler and Davies' yard. He had to source various components and get them reproduced locally, with Peter Seaman initially making the replica's side windows, and the pedal boxes for him. It was 1992 before Brian was ready to take in my decrepit bodyshell which had by this time been stripped and sand-blasted. I delivered it to the then Archers Garage premises at Pope Street in Birmingham where the repairs commenced.

The front half of the chassis was in reasonable condition compared with the rear which had to almost entirely replaced with new metal. I had a couple of rear wings which Brian found he had to lengthen, and found another rear shroud as JJO's had been badly dented. Eventually the day dawned when the Coupé could be put in position and it was at this point I made a trip up to see its progress. Remember at this point no replica Sebrings had been produced though Brian had sold a kit to John Morgan who was having one assembled by Country Lane Classics (this now the Andy Actman car). It was very exciting to see the long-awaited project finally coming together and with an end in sight. next would be the painting and I chose a colour which I thought resembled the Aston Martin green used on DB4s and the like ~ Ford Aqua Jade.

JJO as found
JJO "as found"
JJO as found

After strip-down

After blasting
after sand-blasting
At Pope Street ~
repairs under way

Under rear
Rear end rebuild
body on
rear of body
Brian and his team gradually reconstructed the bodyshell and added the Coupé top and the Sebring bonnet
En Route for Kent
Brian, Andrew and crew see the car off to Kent
Back home I begin to attach all the running gear
Rear view JJO
Number plate goes on first
Springs and fuel pump
Axle with 8" drums
Autostorica leather seat
On wheels
in workshop
Engine goes in
Roll Centre
On her wheels at last
On with the bonnet
Engine & box go in next
Brian helps with roll cage

The car's re-build/restoration was completed in August 1993.


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Targa Rusticana
Causing quite a stir on the Targa Rusticana 4/5 Sept '93
Manx Classic 24/26
Sept 1993
Regis Rally 16 Oct '93
Rally of the Vales with Clive Cherry, 2 Jan, '94
TWMC Goodwood Sprint
13 Mar 94
Britvic Rally 9/10 Apr 94
completed 15 events by this time
Classic Marathon 5/10 Jun94
Silverstone Sprint, 2010
Burghley House 2011
(photo: Gordon Higgs)

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