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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

Trev McIlroy


Trevor McIlroy secures the steering wheel on 505 BZ when he acted as Honorary Mechanic for Mike Wylie on the Corsica Rally in 1996.

Trevor McIlroy's Coupé (No.51)

(formerly owned by the late Gary White)

The following was written by Gary's friend Peter Salter:

"Gary always had an interest in cars from a young age, restoring them and racing them.  He restored his first car, an early MG, at the age of 17, which later featured on the cover of the November 1988 issue of Practical Classic and Car Restorer.  He qualified as a chartered accountant and became the Finance Director and Company Secretary of the General Trading Company Mayfair Ltd.  This gave him the opportunity to pursue his real love, motor cars.  Racing came by way of a pair of Caterhams, winning a 6 hour relay race in 1984 and a Championship in 1992.  His next restoration was an Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk 3 Drophead.  The restorations continued with a 1960's Mk 2 Mini Cooper followed by a Austin Healey Frogeye.  It was while restoring the Frogeye that the friendship between Gary and the then owner of the Frogeye Spares Company grew.  On announcing that the Frogeye Spares company was up for sale, Gary decided to buy it in 2000, running the business part-time from Radlett, Herfordshire.  After taking early retirement from the General Trading Company, Gary then ran Frogeye Spares on a full time basis whilst planning his next restoration, a Sebring Sprite.  Purchasing the vehicle in 2002, plus all the other parts required, along with the Sebring body in 2005.  Gary had always wanted to restore a Sebring Sprite, having had a love for the little car for years.  Unfortunately during the restoration Gary was diagnosed with cancer and although the vehicle was complete, he would never have the opportunity to drive it on the open road.  After his death in 2010 the vehicle was put up for sale and Trevor McIlroy from Northern Ireland was the purchaser and the ideal man to finish the job.  Gary would be proud of the finished little Sebring".

Gary's specification reads:

Engine
Fully rebuilt, bored to 1380, balanced, gas flowed head with bigger valves, steel rockers, unleaded, Kent A6 fast road cam, S distributor.  Fitted with Maniflow extractor exhaust manifold and stainless steel exhaust system and mountings, new 45 DCOE Weber carb and Weber throttle linkage on 6” inlet manifold, new electric fuel pump.  All new 3 piece clutch assembly, starter motor, water pump, radiator fan, thermostat housing, engine mounts, aluminium radiator, cap and cooling hoses, oil filler cap, oil pressure piping to gauge.
Gearbox
Fully rebuilt 1275 gearbox, new thrust bearing, neoprene front oil seal conversion to prevent oil leaks, new gearbox mounts, new speedo cable.  New 1275 clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder with new copper pipes and stainless steel braided hose, gear knob and gearstick gaiter.
Drivetrain
Reconditioned propshaft and rear axle.  Supplied with a choice of 4.5, 4.2 and 3.9 differentials, currently fitted with 4.5 unit.  Later stronger BTA806 steel halfshafts.  Rose jointed adjustable rear radius arms.  New axle bump rubbers and retaining straps.
Brakes
New 1275 front disc brake assembly including discs and callipers with EBC green stuff pads,  8” rear brake assembly with new pads, drums and wheel cylinders.  New handbrake operating rods and bushes, new handbrake cable, new stainless steel braided brake hoses front and rear, new copper pipes.  New 1275 brake master cylinder, new brake lamp pressure switch.
Steering and Suspension
Reconditioned steering rack, new track rod ends and gaiters, new column bushes. New front stiffer anti roll bar with new bushes, drop arms and mountings.  New lower wishbones and bushes, new fulcrum pins, new kingpins, new lowered front springs, new rebound rubbers, new front shock absorbers.  New rear lowered ¼ elliptic springs, new rear shock absorbers and linkages.  New wheel bearings and seals.
Wheels and Tyres
New silver stove enamelled wire wheels (set of 5) , new tyres and inner tubes, new hub spinners, new bolt on wire wheel hubs.
Bodywork
Completely stripped to bare metal and sand blasted to remove corrosion all new panelwork fitted where required including floors, floor strengtheners, sills, front inner wing assemblies etc.  New fibreglass rear end, coupe roof and bonnet fitted. New sidescreens, new windscreen and rear screen and seals.  New bonnet clamps and sill bump rubbers.  Finished in Old English White.
Interior
All new interior trim, door pockets, door check straps and mountings, rubber door liners, carpets, Sebring bucket seats, door draft excluders, switches and reconditioned original instruments, interior rear view mirror, trunking, door locks and knobs, throttle pedal, pedal rubbers.  Reconditioned original Motolita walnut steering wheel.  Finished in Red.
Lighting and Electrical Equipment
All new wiring loom, headlamp assemblies, side lamps, indicator lamps, number plate lamps, stop lamps, voltage regulator, fuse box, flasher unit, starter switch and coupling, battery, battery isolator switch, battery cables, earth strap, Lucas sports coil, horn, ignition lighting switch,  indicator switch, dip switch, instrument panel light switch, indicator warning lamp, dynamo.
Ancillaries 
All new fuel tank, sender unit, copper fuel pipe, Aston Martin fuel filler cap,   windscreen washer bottle, carrier, plastic piping, valves, screen jets, pump,  windscreen wiper arms and blades, rev counter drive cable, rev counter gearbox, starter cable, choke cable, throttle cable, rubber grommets  throughout, stainless steel nuts and bolts throughout, Sebring and Sprinzel badges


Trevor McIlroy takes over;

Trevor-5
McIlroy-5
McIlroy-7
XXC818 is now nearing completion ready for the road (May 2011)

XXC818 is now complete & her first competitive outing will be on the weekend of June 4th/5th (2011) at the Cultra hillclimb, Co Down. Cultra is the oldest active hill climb in the world & became the first MSA event to celebrate a centenary at its original venue back in 2005, so it should be a good starting point for the little car. After that Trevor is taking the car to an Autosolo, the day before Midget 50, then will be at MG Live at Silverstone for the California Cup international autotest & the Stowe sprint on the Sunday. He has promised to do me a story at the end of June when there should be a lot of news of the car. There is also to be an article in CAR SPORT (Ireland's leading motor sport mag) in a few weeks time.

2012 Update: The car had a 2nd outing at Cultra in June this year, still with standard suspension, Midget discs and Sebring rear drums that Gary White had fitted. For the Craigantlet Hill Climb in Co. Down, it will have a number of new tuning parts including a Peter May triple master cylinder pedal box, straight cut gearbox, alloy 4 pot calipers and larger discs. The suspension will be up-rated and lowered using the adjustable lever arm shock absorbers from the USA.

Dec 2014 Update: "The car has not yet had all the up-grades mentioned above but did get the adjustable front shock absorbers, 9"discs with MGB brake calipers (not alloy four pots) - and is still waiting for the S/C gearbox that's been sitting in the garage for two years along with the panhard rod, alloy backing plate & oil cooler. I have promised XXC 818 I will fit these parts over the winter. The MGB brakes are great, just need to change the master cylinder to get better pedal feel; other than that we are happy with the set up. The little car did well this year coming 3rd third in Historic Class 16 in the ANICC (Association of N.I Car Club's) championship". T.M.

 

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Gary White-12the Late Gary White
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Below:
After purchase Trevor dismantled the car for painting, April 2011:
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Cultra hill climb
At Cultra Hill Climb
in June 2012
Kirkistown
Lifting a wheel in the Kirkistown Sprint, Sept 12.