1959 AUSTIN HEALEY FROGEYE SPRITE MK I
Registration No. TWS 24
Chassis No. AN5/14282
Engine No. (originally) 9C-U-H/13875
Leaf green with green leather interior
Engine; four cylinder, 948cc, twin SU carburettors, 43bhp at 5,200rpm; Gearbox; four speed manual; Brakes; four wheel hydraulic drum; Suspension; front, independent, coil springs, rear, live axle, quarter-elliptic leaf springs. Right hand drive.
The Austin Healey Sprite made its debut in 1958. The Mk I, known as the Frogeye, was a low-priced, fun car. The mechanical units mainly came from the Austin A35, but some came from the Morris Minor, such as the rear drum brakes. The engine was from the Morris Minor, and this same engine eventually found its way into the Mini and a whole range of specials.
The most suprising thing about the body of the car, is not so much its construction, as the amount of room in the interior. This car is in excellent condition, almost up to the standard expected at a concours.
TWS 24 has a rather interesting history. It was used by the Scottish Press as a test vehicle to evaluate the thoroughness of local MoT testing centres. The car was then returned to the BMC factory at Abingdon where it was completely rebuilt. When completed it was returned and offered as first prize in an Andy Capp caption competition. The winner used the car for a while before laying it up for approximately fifteen years. Then, in 1987, the car and engine were completely stripped, rebuilt and restored once again at a cost of (4,158.79. This is well documented with both photographs and invoices. There is also the original log book, several old tax discs and MoTs.