*This is a translation done by a machine.
The "Austin Healey Sprite" was the entry model in the sports car sector that existed from 1966 to 1952 and was created by the then largest British automaker "BMC (British Motor Corporation) group" and joined the lineup in 1958.
The model, designed to be a "a small sports car that everyone can enjoy easily" uses the engines and undercarriages of mass-produced small cars to reduce costs while simplifying equipment to the minimum necessary to increase mobility. The world's first convertible with a semi-monocoque body ensures body rigidity and weight reduction. In other words, in order to make it a sports car, it was made with the aim of maximizing its performance even with less power.
It was produced until 1971. The most popular collector bull in its 13 year history is the MkI, the first model in the series, which was produced from 1960 to 1958.
The appeal of MkI is that it is a unique and adorable front mask with headlights projecting from the hood, which is nicknamed "Crabiformes" in Japan, in addition to the fact that the original concept of eliminating unnecessary parts such as no trunk lid and no door handle was realized. Since then, the models have become orthodox styles similar to the MGBs of the time, and as soon as they were produced, they suddenly became more popular, and in 1995, they were released as a reprint version of the original, (FRP body with 1275 cc engine).
The mechanical components are nothing special, and the small 948 cc, direct 4 OHV engine is only 43 ps, but it was lighter than a modern mini car weighing just over 600 kg, so it boasted the best performance in its class at that time. It is a car that reaffirms that "SPORTS CARS CAN'T BE TALKED ABOUT THEIR FUNCTIONS OR POWER." because it is light.
However, it is not difficult to repair the engine and other parts because of its simplicity, but the body is corroded in many cases because the cost has been reduced in detail, so it is important to be careful when purchasing.
|Shinichi Yamazaki’s Highlights!|
The rare style that you never forget at first sight is so adorable that everyone wants to keep it around.
It came to Japan in 1992, and the current owner is said to have received it from a collector who owns many old cars in Japan and overseas. It was stored in a large roofed warehouse for a long time, so the interior was completely refreshed after the purchase because the parts were damaged.
In the engine room, I could feel the time in the state of purchase, but the inspection and maintenance of the engine had been completed, and even the engine equipped with the SU twin was started without any problem, and there was no abnormal noise. There is a spax damper around the foot, but it looks like it has been used a little, and there was some mechanical noise. You should be a little more careful including the grease up of each part.
The exterior seems to have been painted all over, but the work seems to have been done a long time ago, the paint has lost its clear luster, the paint surface is damaged, and the traces of past work are conspicuous in each part. In addition, corrosion of plating and deterioration of rubber parts of moulds were observed in various parts. However, I don't see any corrosion holes on the body, and as it is a car that is more than 60 years old, it is not a bad idea to ride it with the used texture. However, since the engine has been maintained and the interior has been renewed, I would like to secure a budget and try my hand. Even in the engine room, the back of the panel is black, not the same color, so you can enjoy repainting to your liking instead of the same red.
Unlike the current model, there is no no maintenance, you need to drive while listening to your mood, and regular maintenance is essential. The beauty of Austin Healy-Sprite, however, is that the structure is very simple, so it's not difficult to maintain, and it doesn't take much time to repair other than the corrosion of the body.
It may be the right way to interact with this car if you love it as a pet rather than a car.
Originally written by Shinichi Yamazaki
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on August 2019
|Year of Purchase||Nov 1992|
|Inspection||2-year vehicle inspection|