Address.

The Bexhill 100 Motoring Club

PO Box 159

Bexhill - on - Sea

East Sussex

TN39 3XE

Bexhill 100 Motoring Club

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Bexhill on Sea - The Birthplace of British Motor Racing (1902)

Bexhill 100 Motoring Club official website

e-mail: bexhill100@bexhill100mc.co.uk

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Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 1959

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The Sprite quickly became affectionately known as the "frogeye" in the UK and the "bugeye" in the US, because its headlights were prominently mounted on top of the bonnet, inboard of the front wings. The car's designers had intended that the headlights could be retracted, with the lenses facing skyward when not in use; a similar arrangement was used many years later on the Porsche 928. But cost cutting by BMC led to the flip-up mechanism being deleted, therefore the headlights were simply fixed in a permanently upright position, giving the car its most distinctive feature. The body was styled by Gerry Coker, with subsequent alterations by Les Ireland following Coker's emigration to the US in 1957. The car's distinctive frontal styling bore a strong resemblance to the defunct American 1951 Crosley Super Sport. 48,987 "frogeye" Sprites were made. Known as the poor man's sports car. the car took much of its mechanic from the A30/35, but the engine was given twin carburettors to spice up the performance. Sprites were produced from 1958 to 1960. They were popular, and often raced by club enthusiasts with man y being written off, the bad weather also reduced the numbers; few remain today.

Engine

BMC 'B' type

Cylinders: 4

Bore: 62.9mm

Stroke: 76.2mm

Displacement: 948cc

Valves: pushrod/overhead

Cylinder Head: cast iron

Compression ratio: 9.0:1

Carburettors: Twin SU HS2

Power output: 43 bhp at 5200rpm

 

Performance

Maximum speed: 84mph

Acceleration: 0-60 mph 20.5secs

Overall fuel consumption: 37mpg

 

Brakes

Lockheed

Front: 7in x 1.25in drum

Rear: 7in x 1.25in drum

 

Construction

Integral with steel body

Transmission

Clutch: 8 in Borg and Beck,

single dry-plate diaphragm

Gearbox: 4-speed, synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd & top only

Ratios Top 1.0 Third 1.36

Second 1.91 First 3.20

Reverse 4.11

Final drive ratio 4.22 : 1

Steering

Rack and pinion,

2.75 turns lock to lock

Turning circle: 32 ft 9in(between walls) 31ft 11in(between kerbs)

 

Steering

Cam and lever, Turning circle L: 35ft, R:36ft

Lock to lock 2.87 turns

 

Suspension

Front: Independent, coil spring, wishbone Suspension

Rear: Quarter elliptic, cantilever leaf

 

Wheels

4 stud ventilated 13in disc

135 x 13in cross ply tyres

Dimensions

Wheelbase: 6ft 6.6in

Track - front: 3ft 11in

Track - rear: 3ft 8in

Overall length: 11ft 9in

Overall width: 4ft 6.8in

Overall height: 4ft .5in

Ground clearance: 5in

Kerb weight: 13.75cwt

Weight distribution: F 53%, R47.3%

Fuel tank: 6 Imp gallons

 

Colour Schemes

Speedwell Blue/blue int.

Pale Primrose Yellow/black int.

Dark Green/green int.

Cherry Red/red int.

Old English White/red or black int.

Leaf Green/green int.

Iris Blue/blue int.

Nevada Beige/red int.

All hoods: black

 

Production

1958 -1961: 48,987