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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

 

Philip Zamlynski's Sebring Rep

Phil's purchase of a yellow 1960 Bugeye in the 'fall' of 1993 at the Elburn Festival in Illinois was an impulse buy. It retained its 948 engine and smooth case gearbox, and was stored while he acquired parts for the project: 1275 engine, 5 speed box, wheels ... and wiring. Around 1999 he read, in Healey Marque, of Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird's restoration of EAO and realised he wanted to create a replica, so called Brian at Archer’s Garage and ordered a fibreglass coupe top, bonnet and inlet manifolds. Things were then put on hold for a while due to his move to Michigan.

His project was re-started in December, 2009 with a trip to the sand-blasting company, Consolidated Stripping & De-rusting in Plainwell, Michigan. This resulted in the discovery of many holes in the body, with Phil spending a lot of time at the bodyshop over the next 5 months, stripping filler, paint and making patch-panels before repairs could be completed and the shell re-finished in red primer, with black satin paint to the chassis and interior.

The bodyshell was brought home and fitted with a 1½” SCCA style roll bar, followed by detailed sanding and application of skim coats of filler. The front and rear suspension were fitted and then the bonnet and roof, the former taking much longer than planned because he had to add about ¾” to one side in order to get everything to fit!! Some care was needed for the roof too, but eventually these tasks were completed by December of last year, 2011.

Earlier this year (2012), after seeking my advice as to paint colour, Phil contacted John Sprinzel, resulting in a decision ~ it is to be the official silver metallic grey with perhaps a flash of maroon across the nose ~ another decision made.

Phil's specification (updated Aug 2017) for his new car runs like this:-

Chassis: The stock body and chassis repairs were completed over a four month period. Pictures and some history of my cars chassis repairs are documented on the Sebring Sprite web site under replicas and indexed via my name.
Chassis repairs were done at West Michigan Painting in Allegan, Michigan. After panel replacements were completed, internal panels were treated with rust preservatives followed by a red oxide primer, black satin paint and undercoating. A 1 ½” style roll bar is added as a safety item and to stiffen the chassis. The 1960 Sebring Sprite fiberglass roof, front fenders-hood, and front windshield and rear glass are imported from Archer’s Garage Limited in England. The front windshield and rear glass windows were fitted and installed by Glass Enterprises Auto Glass in Holland Michigan. The roof is bolted on and is removable if necessary.
Engine: A Sprite 1275 block has a clean up bore, 0.30 over and is about 1300cc with dish top pistons giving an 8.8 to one compression ratio, David Vizard method to modified twin 1½" S.U. carburetors are mounted via an original 1960 Sebring aluminum intake manifold from Archer’s Garage. Carburetor air intake horns are custom machined and are inside an air box. The head is ported to Stage 3 specifications and the exhaust is long center branch system setup using Vizard’s recommendations and made by owner. A Kent 266 Megadyne camshaft, lifters and springs are used; a modified stock distributor is fitted. All the engine work was done by Bill Trusdale at Apex Automotive Engineering, Inc. Bensenville, Illinois. A remote oil cooler, oil filter and air intake filter are also fitted. Engine crankcase venting collector and radiator overflow tank are also fitted.
Gearbox and Differential: A Datsun five speed is mated to the engine via a special 5-speed conversion kit by Rivergate Restoration Products in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. Speedometer gearing adapter is used so the original speedometer can be used. Trans to drive shaft yoke adapter is used. The differential is an original 4.22 ring and pinion.
Brakes: Front disk brakes were added and upgraded to larger Lotus/Spitfire 9 ½” with larger MGB calipers fitted. Austin Healey Mk4 Sprite upgraded drum brakes are at the rear. The brake pedal housing is upgraded to Mk4 with a 5/8” dual master circuit and stock hydraulic clutch master cylinder. All brake related bolts, springs and brake lines and parts are new.
Suspension: Steering is stock; suspension is upgraded all around with heavy duty springs provided by The Winner’s Circle in Ohio. All front end components bushings and bolts are new. Two degree offset camber bushings are used in the front suspension upper trunnions to improve handling. First generation Austin Healey Sprite Restyle 4 ½” wide steel wheels are fitted with Firestone 165 70RI/13 tires. A stock 5/8” front roll/sway bar is fitted. The steering wheel is padded and 14” diameter; it’s a quick release type, easy-on/off.
Interior: Seats are aluminum fitted with Burgundy color slips covers; 2” of padding is at the bottom and 1” at the back. The seat covers are custom made by Marge’s Custom Sawing in Hasting, Michigan. Seat belts are new and are 6 point mounted with the shoulder belts wrapped around the roll bar. Other interior is black: dash, floors and firewall. Some additional switches were added for ignition, gas and a map light. The gauges are original Sprite; an electric tachometer was added. Wiring is all new with added fuses. The electrical system is negative ground. A standard one-wire GM alternator is fitted. A radio is fitted in the original location.
Body Paint: Paint is silver gray metallic, as the original cars were painted per John Sprinzel; John is the original 1960 Sebring designer and builder. Painting was done by Scott Noppen, Lucky’s Garage LLC in Michigan.
Miscellaneous: The front hood/fenders tilt forward to access the engine compartment. All other fittings are as originally fitted except as listed. The side mirrors are setup for better rear views and are custom. The gas filler cap is from a 1960s MGA and is a flip top opener. The side windows are made from Plexi-glass and made without frames. The passenger window is solid with a three round vent; the driver window has an opening section. Both doors are fitted with custom door handles so the door may be opened from inside or outside via a door-handle. Rubber seals are used around roof, doors and windows. A circa style rear bumper and front meshed front grill are fitted. Wooden shift knob. All new wiring and bulbs. The Michigan vintage license plate is from 1960 to reflect the year of the car.


October 2013 Progress:

Phil had decided to paint the car in a metallic silver and as he plans to use it for road use as well as track, and he plans to trim out the interior. He had adapted the fuel filler to take an MGA flip-top cap, fabricated a rear bumper and was planning to remove these as well as the hardtop and bonnet for painting. All mechanical and electrical parts had been installed and working and Phil had recently fired the engine for the first time. His most recent addition was the exhaust tail pipe and resonator - he had to make all new exhaust hangers to fit it to the original body mountings. Quite a number of parts on the car are unique as Phil has made them himself. He still had to fit the seats, add one more roll bar brace and do the upholstery. He anticipated that he wouldl need one season's road and track use to get the Sebring fully sorted. There are two circuits within 40 minutes of his home - Gingerman (2.1 miles long) and Grattan (2.2 miles) - in Michigan, USA.

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Phil Zamlynski 1
Fitting new floors, etc
Phil Zamlynski 2 Undercoating, the interior and engine bay. Phil Zamlynski 4
Fitting of the bonnet and beginning assembly>
Phil Zamlynski 3
The rolling chassis with suspension and steering

Zamlynski 3
Hardtop in place
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Trial fitting
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Making templates
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Battery box repaired
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Body repairs continue
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Rear suspension mount
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March 2014:

"The good news for me is that painting my Sebring is scheduled for mid April. So if things go well the car will be all together by the end of May".

December 2014:

Phil reports: "Progress is slow at this time of year but is being made. Attached are 3 pics: one is of the rear with lights assembled, one shows the interior with carpeting and lastly the new grill to keep the bugs out of the oil and radiator. Since I'll be using the car for track and street outings, there are some non-race items. I've decided to build some side windows that will be easy to build and maintain. Will let you know how they turn out.

Zam
Zam
Zam

 

May 2017: "The Sebring is awaiting gas in the tank. All else is done.Will keep you up to speed as the car gets sorted out".

November 2016:
" The left pic below is of my window with door handle, white tape on handle is so it can be seen. As you can see there is not metal trim on the Plexiglas".

Phil
Phil

 

July 2020:"The Sebring now as about a 1,000 mile on the engine with several trips to Gingerman 2.7 mile road course. The car is a hoot to drive and has a High Fun factor, as you know".

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