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


Miss Saffron nears completion

"Miss Saffron" ~ 1960 Mark 1 Sprite

"This Sprite is being built (by Robert Kansa, his family and friends) as a multi-use car for vintage races (legal by rules here in the States), road rallies, auto crossing, track days and for occasional touring. While compromises of legal road use won’t permit our Sprite to achieve any first place trophies it will allow the car to be used often.

The 4 year project started out as a dormant street Sprite that was in our family. Sadly it was a victim of someone’s previous poor restoration and the chassis was found to have floors made of tar-soaked burlap and coffee cans welded to the inner wings. However much of the running parts and suspension were usable or at least restorable. We found a second chassis/tub on the East coast that had been also in storage. We had the new Sebring bonnet made in the UK and shipped to us and found a factory hardtop here in the States that had been retro-fit to a Turner.

'Miss Saffron' has been built around vintage racing eligibility which should allow its use about anywhere and as a bonus should make the car a bit more safe for road use here. To date about 90% of the build has been done by our family and a few friends' hands. Most of the modifications we fabricated ourselves where possible. The paint and body work was finished by my wife Mary’s brother, John.

The front suspension will have adjustable Caldwell front lever dampers when finished. Currently it has off-set Nylatron bushings on strengthened lower A arms, a Speedwell front hollow sway bar, trailing link upper arm and a tower bar have been installed. 400# front springs will be used until we need otherwise. Standard later discs with custom compound pads with a triple master cylinder adjustable brake bias pedal box and Tilton masters.

The rear suspension has “wedged” lowered competition springs, custom long length adjustable trailing links mounted to a custom front pick-up bracket. Adjustable tube shocks, a Panhard rod and a limited slip diff, are fitted and it will have double bearing hubs and competition axles (half shafts) as budget permits. Standard size drums have drilled backing plates and custom-compound shoes.

The engine basics will be 10.5 :1 CR on .030 Venolia pistons, fed by a DCOE Weber sparked by a Pertronix ignition and MSD box. The flowed head with bigger valves will be pushed by 1.5 rockers and a 286 cam. Aluminium flywheel but a rather stock gearbox. We will keep it oiled with an Accusump and cooled with an aluminum radiator and oil cooler. A fuel cell sits through the trunk floor. The seats are custom made and Mary is doing any upholstery to the interior. The roll structure has a removable cross brace depending on road or competition use.

We hope to have the car running sometime in 2017 and while it has no current distinguished history it is being built in the spirit of it’s lineage and we look forward to giving it a unique history as we use it and give it a patina of fun.


More pictures will be forthcoming as the build progresses and we begin to drive it. For those interested the car has it’s own Facebook page listed as 'Sebring Austin-Healey Kansa Sprite'."

r kansa
r kansa
Finally up and unning and is now in the tuning and breaking-in stages.(May 2019)

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r kansaMay 2019