1966 Austin Healey Sprite - today's tempter

By: Spencer Leech, Unique Cars magazine

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Mini Brit sportster could be a hoot in the right hands.

1966 Austin Healey Sprite - today's tempter
Little Austin Healey Sprite promises plenty of fun on a sunny day.

The MK3A Austin Healey Sprite is one of the many lightweight roadsters to come out of England in the 60s. This one is pretty warmed-over and, if the pictures tell the full story, it seems to be in reasonable condition.

The Sprite, designed by the Don Healey Motor Company, was first introduced to the public in 1958, as a replacement for the outgoing Austin Seven.

The Mk1 or ‘Frogeye’, was the first Austin Healey Sprite to be released and quickly succeeded in the European racing circuit. It’s easy to see why the car got the nickname Frogeye, with its big eye-shaped headlights and rounded bumper. Funnily enough, the lights were initially designed to retract but the Austin car company binned the idea to save money, leaving the lights fixed. 

Then came the Mk2 in 1961 which swapped out the 984cc engine with a 1098cc engine, and received bigger carburettors. It was also treated to squarer styling, better brakes and a more conventional headlight setup.

That brings us to the model we see here. The Mk3 was built in the MG factory in Berkshire from 1964 to 1966 and was the first to feature wind-up windows, exterior door handles and lockable doors. The car’s 1098cc four-cylinder engine made 44kW of power and 88Nm of torque, which was pretty impressive at the time.

This 1966 Mk3A Austin Healey Sprite was resprayed in Alpine White in 2011 and features mag wheels, an electronic ignition, a webber carburettor and lots of other bits and bobs. The engine has been replaced with a 1275cc motor from the later Mk4 which has a ‘reworked’ cylinder head, ‘special’ camshaft and is running a 10:1 compression ratio.

The seller is asking $11,500, with no RWC provided, though the car is currently on historic registration.

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