A standard-bodied car first registered to Donald Healey on 15th March 1967 with chassis number HAN9-R-157, and an XSP engine of 1293cc, it competed at:
Sebring (1967) in the 12 Hour Race as a Sprite (No.58), in the hands of Carson Baird (USA), Roger Enever (GB) and Alec Poole (IRL) finishing in 18th place, 3rd in class and 55 laps behind the winning Ford GT 40 of McLaren and Andretti.
The following year - to quote Geoff Healey: "1968 was the last year we raced at Sebring. We modified the standard bodied Sprite to make it into an MG Midget which we entered in the sports car class with two American drivers, Jerry Truitt and Randy Canfield. BMC were looking for more publicity for the MG Midget and, of course, we had to co-operate. ....After a trouble-free run, the Midget finished fifteenth to win the sports car class and category ahead of Ed Nelson's GT40".
Sebring (March 1968) again in the 12 Hours, but this time as an MG Midget (No.74) when it was driven by Gerald Truitt and Randy Canfield. It finished 1st in class and 15th overall.
Targa Florio (5th May, 1968) back as a Sprite (No.112) it was driven by Rauno Aaltonen and Clive Baker finishing 53rd.
Circuit of Mugello (28th July, 1968) (No.81) - driven by Andrew Hedges and Clive Baker it finished 24th and won its class.
It was/is a standard-shape Sprite, initially painted red, later green, then red again, initially fitted with wire wheels and later with Minilites. After the above races in the hands of the Healeys it was sold (at the end of 1968) to test driver, John Harris who passed it on to fellow racer Jean Denton in 1970. The car survives today in the West Country having been rallied for a number of years by its present owner, John Baglow.
Tom Coulthard says: "It always competed as a prototype, so its spec. wasn't homologated. A replica would be tricky unless you have a dry-sump 1293 XSP engine to hand, mated to the Morris Engines-developed 5-speed box which used the MGB gears in a specially-cast casing ...
Surprisingly, the DVLA entry is correct with date of first reg as 15 March 1967 - just in time to be flown over to Sebring. It even manages to get the chassis number right!"
17th May 2013: John Baglow called me to bring me up to date. He tells me that the car is currently dismantled for repair - something which has been delayed due to John's recent health problems. However he hopes soon to have the car back in a roadworthy condition.
12th April 2014: Sadly, the car's owner John Baglow passed away, at the age of 75.
6th Sept 2014: The car was sold un-restored at Bonhams auction at Beaulieu for £28,000 + buyer's commission. New owner Paul Woolmer.
At Sebring in 1967
(photo: Billy Turner)
(2 photos below from Geoff Healey's "More Healeys")
With hood billowing
Prior to Sebring '68
On the 1968 Targa Florio
photos: Tony Giordano
[photo: Dave Matthews]
As sold Sept 2014
N.B. wide transmission tunnel (Courtesy of Bonhams)