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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


Sebring Sprite Latest News

News ~ November 2018


Oliver Wilkinson
OLIVER WILKINSON has at long last found some-where dry where he can restore his Frogeye complete with its Emil Frey bonnet.

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RUSS BALDWIN TELLS OF A TRIP HE TOOK IN HIS BUGEYE SPRITE, WITH BOB BLAYDEN ALONG FOR THE RIDE, AROUND THE PERIMETER OF AUSTRALIA - 18,000 KMS IN 6 WEEKS!!
Read their story....

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FROM KEN GRASING:

Hello Martin, I'm very sorry to learn of Stephen Bowen’s passing.  I had the privilege of being able to correspond with Stephen while he was winding down Eurospeed Services and he had cheerfully shared a bit about some of the more unusual pieces for the Sebring’s.   You’ll remember I also had quite a special chance to closely examine WJB 707 while Stephen had (the car) at CCK last year.
I’m trying to finish up a number of the projects.  The Sprinzel coupe still needs the FIA fuel tank and adjustment of the steering column to clear the roll cage. The Bonneville is also near completion, also needing the FIA fuel tank and work on aligning the blower drive pulleys.  The 1958 standard-bodied rally car is coming along quite nicely.  We’ve got the wiring harness in and are sorting the dash layout while awaiting the cylinder head, camshaft and valve gear from the UK so we can finish up assembling the engine. The suspension, Girling brake system and hubs from Orson’s are all mounted up and look quite sharp. 
I imagine it’s started to turn a bit colder in Teesdale.  Can you still walk in the hills, or is it too cold and wet?
Best Regards, Ken Grasing (Oklahoma City U.S.A.)

MORE ON DHMC SIDE-SCREENS FROM SVEN ECKHARDT:

"Hey Martin, Good to hear you are back in Action. Two things: I was very saddened to hear of Steve´s passing as a matter of fact I had sort of planned to look him up on my next trip to the UK. I still owe him P&P for sending me those inlet manifolds. Difficult to sort that now with him. The other thing is about the sidescreens. I have kept a hat on it because I did not want to cross Pete Farmer´s business line. I have modified a tube bender so I can bend the aluminium extrusions to make the sidescreens I have made the front and rear top curves gentler  than on the ones of Peter Seaman and Pete Farmer as well as making  them lower. The first pair I have made bespoke for DA and they fit the Aperture better than any of the other pairs I have which I got of the two Peters. I have given one of the latter pairs to Bill McDonaugh to try on his Frogeye and also a pair prebent unassembled aluminium profiles in case the fit of these was not satisfactory in order to make bespoke frames. Judging from the trial fits on all of my MK I Sprites it will be difficult to make one pattern to fit all cars so one might have to go the way of bespoke frames in order to get satisfactory fits. You can put the word out that I am willing to have a go at making a few pairs of sidescreens with the understanding there is a lot of variation on the aperture with different cars and a lot of juggling might be necessary to achieve a satisfactory fit. Sven"

Sebring

KINDLY SUPPLIED BY ALISTAIR ROSS:
"While trawling through some short lived magazines, in this case a magazine produced by British Leyland called HIGH ROAD for July 1970, I came across this article on a special bodied Sprite prepared in the USA by Baker Motors for 12 hr race at Sebring, please forgive the sexist writing but this was 1970, at the same time I was kicked out of school with a thick ear and a forged bus pass, all seems a long time ago".

 

Not a Sprite really but one of those MG things, however:

BRIAN ARCHER'S DREAM COMES TRUE THROUGH STEVE HALL & JASON ELLIOTT AT HALLS GARAGE
~ THE NEW TIFOSI JEM ~ A REPLICA OF THE "DICK JACOBS" MG MIDGETS

My very good friend, Brian Archer died some 10 years ago now but what he dearly wished to do was build a replica of one of the 'Jacobs' Midgets but in fibreglass instead of aluminium and using the wind-up windows and semi-elliptic rear suspension of the later Midget models. After his death I tried to realise his dream but after 6 years research and collecting parts plus a lot of fabrication and other work I decided it was too much for me to achieve single-handed. I thus sold the project to Steve Hall of Halls Garage, Bourne, in Lincolnshire who also build their version of John Sprinzel's Sebring Coupe. After less than 2 years they have brought the project to fruition and how fantastic it looks. It was launched at the 70th anniversary of Halls Garage, at their Open Day on October 13th. Unfortunately I was unable to accept their kind invitation to be there as we had a prior engagement or I certainly would have been along to see the amazing results of their labours. The photos below speak for themselves.
Also please take a look at my replica page on www.jacobsmidget.com.

JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM
JEM

Photos courtesy of Steve Hall, Halls Garage, Bourne, Lincs

 

EAO

410 EAO

Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird says: "Remember, remember, the fifth of November... 28 years ago today I purchased the remains of the ex-Andrew Hedges, Sprinzel alloy coupe - 410 EAO - for the bargain price of £100."
And I hear Jim Lowry has put the restored car on the market again - still looking for a 6 figure sum. As someone said on Facebook "Jim hasn't lost hius sense of humour!"

Steve

STEPHEN BOWEN

"Hello Martin, It is with deep sorrow that I saw today on your site that Stephen passed away this week end. He has been a great helping hand in my replica project, offering a frogeye shell for sale and kindly organizing the delivery of Archers' parts to France. I have fond memories of the several trips we made to his place in Belgium ; always too short trips as Stephan loved to share many many great stories around a cup of tea, regarding Sebrings, period racing... Or during the Midget 50 celebrations at Burghley House where he gave me many details on the different cars on display and introduced me to Sebring enthousiats. My sincere condoleances to his family, Stephen will be missed. Renaud Vendel"

HEATED WINDSCREENS
I received an enquiry for a replacement windscreen and on contacting Andrew (Forster) learned that he has some heated ones in stock should anyone be interested.

DHMC SIDESCREENS
A number of people have been very patient in waiting for new sidescreens. Unfortunately the guy who was to supply them has been seriously ill so we may have to try elsewhere. I'll keep you posted as soon as I know more.

Kermit

I SEE FROM FACEBOOK
that Steve Nash's Sebring has suffered an engine failure:
"Kermit.... soon to be back after blowing up his engine! Pity it's just as the weather closes in!"

Kermit

PETER MAY ENGINEERING's Dominic Mooney is selling his Modsport Lenham GT. A piece of British racing history, this car is one of three cars originally built in period for use in Modsport and Special Saloon racing. Based upon a Lenham GT Sprite silhouette, the car has a bespoke space frame chassis and fibreglass body and is powered by a full race 1380cc A-Series engine, Ford 4 speed gearbox and English Ford rear axle. It features disc brakes front and rear as well as coil-over suspension. The car is eligible for the current CSCC SPECIAL SALOONS & MODSPORTS SERIES as well as a number of other sports and GT classes. It is to be sold complete with the original body moulds to allow additional bodywork to be made if required.
For further details regarding this car and its history please contact:

Peter May Engineering



Dominics Lenham
OUMF tank

OXFORD UNIVERSITIES MOTORSPORT FOUNDATION
Christmas came early at OUMF, when their bespoke student-designed Sebring Sprite fuel tank arrived, beautifully brought to life by GDM. You can see it for yourself this weekend at the NEC Classic Motor Show with their Sprite and their now well-known Riley 1.5.

Monza

This is Tifosi's new product - a copy of the Speedwell Monza bonnet originally designed by Frank Costin. It comes with a single air intake aperture or can be supplied with three intakes, has a radiator ducting panel, Aero catches and complete hinge kit. £780 inc VAT.
For more information contact Steve on steve@hallsgarage.co.uk or 01778 570286.

Sebring Monza
Jason Elliott's name has been added to the Sebring Sprite Family
776 KNX
776 KNX
776 KNX

EX-WORKS SEBRING SPRITE (1964) FOR SALE IN THE USA ~ US$185,000
UK Reg: 776 KNX

"Its race was rather short lived, retiring with a broken axle in the 9thlap. The sister car went on to win the class, beating Abarths, Alpine Renaults and other Sprites. On March 24, 1964, after attending the race, a BMC dealer, Stephen Pitcairn, wrote to Donald Healy congratulating him on the excellent showing of the Sebring Sprite prototypes, and asked if he could purchase one of the racers. Healey Works did not usually sell their Prototypes because, has Donald said in his response letter, “prototypes are hand built and considerably more expensive.” But since he was a BMC dealer, he made an exception. The Sprite was recommissioned with some street equipment and shipped off to Pennsylvania. Stephen campaigned the Sprite in a few local hill climb events and retired it with just 900 miles on the odometer.
For further information please contact Daniel Rapley on:  203-470-5298 or by email at: danielrapley@gmail.com

Stephen

wjb

A VERY SAD DAY

I heard yesterday that our good friend Stephen Bowen passed away at the weekend. Until very recently he owned the ex-works, ex-Ian Walker Sprinzel-bodied coupe registered WJB 707. He struggled with a muscle wasting disease from an early age but fought on to live to the grand old age of 74 though his last 10 months in hospital were not kind to him. We will miss his regular visits from Belgium for parts sourced all over the UK when he would often call for a cup of tea and a chat. Farewell old friend. Our sincere condolences to Sylvia and the Bowen family.
"His farewell will be on Saturday November 11 , at 11.00 in Lichtaart, Belgium"
[Photos left of Steve examining the chassis during its restoration and on display at CCK Historic when it was on the market for sale. It now resides in Germany]

Frogeye


FROGEYE BEATS THE ESCORTS
in Historic Rally (as spotted in Classic Car Weekly by John Baggott)

183 CPO
Geoff Dixon

An unusual;ly smart Arkley and Geoff Dixon's rather nice Ashley GT circulated at Goodwood on a recent test day.

THIS MONTH'S CONTRIBUTORS - TO WHOM I SEND MY GRATEFUL THANKS:
John Baggott; Pete Taylor; Tifosi; Peter May Engineering; OUMF; Renaud Vendel; Steve Hall; Alistair Ross; Sven Eckhart; Ken Grasing

 

Earlier items at News 2018, News 2017, News 2016, News 2015, News 2014, News 2013, News 2012, News 2011 or News 2010

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