In 1961 Douglas Wilson-Spratt asked Peel Coachworks to create an aluminium body on his Sebring Sprite, DWS 97 (left). Unusually it used rear light clusters from a Rolls Royce or Bentley, something Jack Wheeler copied on 7080 AC. Douglas came 4th in class with the car in the RAC Rally, and 7th in class in the 1962 Monte Carlo. It was one of the team of "Healey Coupes" which took part in that year's Silverstone 6-hour Relay, soon after which Douglas sold it to Geoff Courtenay Broome and transfered the number to his new WSM Coupe. Broome later sold the Peel-bodied car to Jack Scott who, in 1968, crashed it heavily, and sold the wreck to Peter Skellern, who transferred the alloy bodywork to his Frogeye, XNB 712. The screen shape never looked quite right after its earlier mishap but the car went on to race in the hands of Frank Tiedeman, Tony (or Phil) Whitehead and Don Hands.
According to Dave Matthews' Worldwide Austin-Healeys calendar "the car was sympathetically restored by Whitehead Classic Motors during the winter of 1986/7. Years of abuse had resulted in the need for a chassis-up re-build, and a replacemernt bonnet of the correct style". Tony Whitehead drove the car at Oulton Park in 1987 (see top photo, right).
[Many thanks to Tom Coulthard who included much of the above information in his, and John Sprinzel's book, "Spritely Years".]
The car was subsequently sold to Japan where it is believed to be today.
At Oulton Park in 1987
[photo: Steve Jones]
In Japan in 2005
with its new owner
Rolls/Bentley rear lights