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

 

H221

Firstly, an extract from John Sprinzel and Tom Coulthard's excellent "Spritely Years" :~ "At the BARC's Easter Monday meeting on 18 April 1960, John Sprinzel raced a Nevada Beige standard-bodied Sprite to Sebring specification, which bore the number plate X221. This was in a team of three similar cars, with David Harris's grey-coloured* H221 and Cyril Simson's Iris Blue S221, known collectively as Team 221". He continues: "...David Harris competed H221 respectably through the racing season, until he rolled it at Paddock Bend in practice for the BRSCC's Redex Trophy at Brands Hatch on 27 August. He was obliged to spend a couple of nights in hospital, after which he retired from racing under parental pressure". [*According to the Heritage Certificate H221 was also Nevada Beige.]

"At the 750 Motor Club's Six-Hour Relay Race at Silverstone in August [1960], John [Sprinzel] drove H221 ..." [See top photo, right]

So, what happened to the car after that. It was, no doubt repaired, and may have continued to be raced but I have no further history until:

I heard recently from Martin Longhurst whose father, Mick, discovered this important racing Sprite, H221, in 1994 in a lock-up near a friend's workshop in Chadwell Heath, Essex. His own A35 was being re-sprayed at the time but he bought the Sprite in advance of knowing anything about its former racing history. He soon decided that the car really needed to be restored to its original race spec, so part-exchanged it for a standard Frogeye, albeit one needing restoration (784 JDH) which Martin still owns. H 221 went to a guy by the name of David Greaves of Morecambe in Lancashire ~ in about 1996 since which time it has been in storage.

On the back of the Sprite Register form is a note that there is no registration number so the original H221 registration had already been lost by 1994 and there were no number plates on the body. Apparently Tom Coulthard went to inspect the car at Mick's house and verified its authenticity at the time.

Today the car is still owned by Dave Greaves and he tells me that it is now being restored - the body-shell due back later in the year (2013).

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John Sprinzel has emailed me: "It is always great to.... be reminded of the origins of the Sebrings with our three team 221 cars. They were prepared by Paul Hawkins, Reg Venner and myself at the Healey Speed Equipment Division, which I was lucky enough to run in Mayfair, to a specification which Geoff Healey and I dreamed up at Warwick prior to getting it Homologated by the FIA in time to run at the 1960 RAC, where it was rewarded with second overall. The Liege success in September with John Patten's car, was to that spec. and was run as a Sebring although that event did not require homologation and - as you know later became a full coupe under Mike Reid's ownership". [See the full message in 'Your Comments'.]

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H221
John Sprinzel losing a wheel and halfshaft at Silverstone, 750MC 6-Hr Relay, 1960.
H221 on trailer
On trailer
H221-2
Martin Longhurst's son..
H221-3
...inspecting H221 c.1995
H221 master cylinders
Separate master cylinders
H221 Engine bay
The engine bay
H221 4
AHC Sprite Register
h221 BACK OF FORM
Back of the Form
H221
Warranty plate