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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

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Sebring Sprite Latest News

News ~ November 2022

The late JOHN BILTON

JAMES THACKER writes: "I noticed an  obituary in the Daily Telegraph last  Saturday 29th October for John Bilton. I apologise for repeating this to those of you who already  know about John's sad passing but I anticipate a few may not be aware of this.. John Bilton was the navigator for Alec  Poole in his  Mk 1 Sprite TZA 238 for about three years on club rallies, Motoring News championship  events and two International rallies, the Circuit of Ireland and the International Welsh Rally in 1964. I sadly never met John but spoke to him on the phone many times and corresponded by email. over a period of  about 20 to 25 years. John's sheer enthusiasm for TZA 238  and its part in motorsport, together with fascinating   anecdotes , was one of the timely catalysts to my deciding to make a start rebuilding TZA with Kim Johnson in 2012.. John had an amazing power of recalling all the details of TZA 238 both in rally and race specification  [engines, bodywork, front ends, wheels  etc] as if  it was just yesterday. Alec of course  moved on to compete successfully  in many other cars in his professional career and naturally only remembered things from a broader perspective. One very much senses  that this era in John's  life was clearly very enjoyable and truly memorable for him . In the December 2016 Sebring Sprite latest news website there is a copy of part of an email sent to me from John Bilton with, among other things, an anecdote saying how Tom Walkinshaw became interested in starting his racing career in a Sprite having seen TZA 238  being driven  by Alec Poole  at Ingliston in 1965 or 1966.  I wrote to John's daughters, Kirsty and Hannah, and they were very pleased to hear from me and volunteered that there were photos of TZA  around the  house. I think John was particularly proud of their 9th overall place on the Welsh Rally as it was very rare for a Sprite to do that well against Mini Cooper S's and Cortina's etc in that era.  He sent me a copy of the official  results sheet and this is shown on the TZA 238  Sebring Sprite website He pointed out  that Autosport somehow got the result wrong in their publications, demoting Alec and him several places ! A lovely man who enjoyed his  motorsport; my sympathies are very much with his family and close friends. James"

 
G Heacock


GREG HEACOCK says " I wanted to let you know that we have a group of Sprite racers on the west cost of the USA forming a starting grid under the very helpful guidance of Stephen Newby. At our last meeting we had our own start with 12 cars.  Fabolous racing. I’ll keep you posted as our group progresses.   Kind regards".


G Heacock
 
7627 YG

Andrew Quine

has joined the Sebring Sprite Family. He is the proud owner of Archers Coupe Replica No.74 formerly owned by Barry McCann. The car is now fitted with a 1330 engine built by Gordon Elwell, and has recently been inspected and MOT’d by Halls Garage Bourne.

 

 

News ~ October 2022

317AOV
317AOV

Trevor McIlroy gets 2nd in Class at 50th anniversary Knockalla Hillclimb County Donegal

317AOV
photo: D.Harrigan

Out of four sprints & two hill climbs since July, Trevor has been on the podium at every event.   

photo: Leslie McMullan

 

 

 

News ~ September 2022

Marchal

A GOOD PAIR OF MARCHAL SPOTLAMPS FOR SALE

See [FOR SALE] page.

 

MORE ON THAT LENHAM (see below)

Dave Matthews was the first to respond with a photo of Garry Wilson driving his Lenham' as depicted on his Worldwide Austin-Healeys calendar of 1981. Close examination of the photo reveals that that car had been extended forwards by abour 6 inches to accommodate a more aerodynamic perspex windscreen and Garry WilsonLotus Elan front suspension. Coincidentally the car bears the same No.56 as John Tandy's photo which I am told was taken at Lodge Corner at Oulton Park probably in the 70's. Next came a message from Will Corry telling me that the Tandy car was owned by Trevor McCullough in Ireland back in 1989 and was then sold on to John Galloway who campaigned it at just about every hill-climb and sprint on the Emerald Isle over many years. He had a minor mishap with it at Craigantlet, around 2008, at a "Very difficult corner that has taken many big names in the sport over the years. A gentle accident all the same. He lost heart at that time due to age. A corner he had driven J Tandyhundred of times before but that was the end of his run in the Lenham". John died in 2019 and the car lay uncared-for in his garden for a lengthy period. But is this the same car which Garry Wilson extended ? If so it was clearly brought back to 'standard' Spridget by the time John Galloway owned it. Dave Matthews has managed to contact Garry Wilson who has promised to come through to me with his recollections and history of his car. More anon. [Pictured left: John Galloway with his car at a hill-climb]

12 October 2022: I have now spoken to Garry Wilson on the phone and learned that he was supplied with standard Lenham Le Mans panels by the Lenham Motor Co who were going to sponsor his racing. He redesigned both the rear end and the bonnet to look more like a Porsche 956 and made the necessary moulds. He produced and sold a number of kits of these parts one of which went to Trevor McCullough in Ireland (probably around 1961) so it is now clear his and Trevor's were 2 different cars. In fact Garry's car still exists, owned by a guy called Martin, but has been converted back to Midget styling. The body moulds were subsequently sold to Dominic Moody of Midland Classic Restorations. Dominic also now owns the ex-John Helm car with the same style bodywork.

Very many thanks to Dave Matthews, Will Corry and John Baggott for their valuable input.

 

A New Book entitled "Austin-Healey Sprite" by Malcolm Thorne is published by Crowood Press:

"With over 250 photographs, this book includes the genesis of the Sprite, from the Austin Seven and pre-war MG Midget, via Donald Healey's Riley- and Nash-engined models, to the Austin A30, A90 Atlantic and Healey Hundred".

Take a look at it here but I suggest you buy it through bookshop.org where it is priced at £23.75 instead of £30.

 
DAC
DAC
DAC
DAC
DAC
BRUNO VERSTRAETE: "Please find attached some pictures of my Sebring Sprite DAC952C at the Motorsport Rendezvous in Sankt Moritz. The car was standing next to some other exotic material from all different eras. It is remarkable how few car people know the background and story of the cars. Looking at which cars were beaten by this little gem, it surely deserves more… only by bringing it out it can be done. Unfortunately work didn’t allow me to drive the car through the mountains and on the hill climb. Will be something for another day".
 
3758UE

3758 UE

I see from the auction results that the original Ashley Sprite sold for £15,000
including commission. The purchaser was none other than Sven Eckhardt.

 

Paul Hawkins
see: PRIMOTIPO (courtesy of Joe Armour)

 
YFY

ROB CLUBBE REPORTS:
" Will has started the final push to get YFY 467 build complete! Deep dish Minilites now fitted.

YFY
YFY
 

CAN ANYONE HELP IDENTIFY JOHN TANDY'S LENHAM & TELL US ITS HISTORY?

J Tandy
J Tandy
J Tandy
J Tandy

JOHN TANDY wrote: "I recently bought this Lenham Le Mans modsports car for restoration and was wondering if you could shed any light on the car . I have no history for it and am trying to find out anything I can , the only thing I know is that at some point in its life it ended up in Ireland as a Hillclimber , where it was crashed and then left to deteriorate outside. I enclose some pictures of the car including what I believe is a picture of it on track from years ago".

Any information please via Feedback

 

2 FILM CLIPS FROM DAVID WYLIE, OWNER OF SPEEDWELL GT, 505 BZ:

"I’ve been pretty inactive in the Speedwell of late, but might drag it out of the garage for a small charity event at the end of the month (August).  Maybe I’m still smarting from having to pull out of the Members’ Meeting?!

Anyhow, perhaps of interest… quite a long film of the 1962 Circuit of Ireland featuring 505 BZ masquerading as a Sebring for homologation purposes (around 25m and 40m).  Having won in 1960 in an ordinary Sprite, Adrian was leading overall with 505 BZ until a secret time check demoted them and ultimately, he finished second in class to Peter Johnston who was driving the ex-Chris Williams Sebring (52 LPH – now Ronnie White’s car) which can be seen briefly too.

Also, Paddy Hopkirk demonstrating 2222 AZ, which surely would have been running Girling discs?  A friend in Belfast is currently restoring the car.  Interestingly (although perhaps that’s subjective), 505 BZ currently has the same gear knob which presumably was a ‘tuning’ part available from Paddy Hopkirk’s shop in Belfast".

MANY THANKS DAVID.

Simon Brien

Alloy doors
FOR SALE

(click above to go to 'For Sale' page)

9957RE

SEBRING REPLICA
FOR SALE
£17,000
(see For Sale Page)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier items can be found at News 2022, News 2021, News 2020, News 2019, News 2018, News 2017, News 2016, News 2015, News 2014, News 2013, News 2012, News 2011 or News 2010

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