Austin-Healey Sprite MkI
Frogeye g buying tips
1 ACHILLES HEEL
Body rot can be widespread. The worst affected areas are often the rear spring mounting boxes behind the rear seats and you should inspect the rear bulkhead where the springs enter the underbody.
2 THE OTHER HEEL
Sills and A-posts are also potential rot problem areas and the bonnet hinges, grille surround, rear wheelarches, bodywork below the rear numberplate and all welding seams should be inspected.
3 ORIGINAL IS BEST?
While originality is desirable in early Sprites, many have been fifitted with replacement uprated engines. A-series engines do not last forever and a 948cc’s big-end shells may only have a life of 40,000 miles. Expect oil leaks if the engine is fifitted with a scroll-type rear crank oil seal.
4 GEARBOX PAIN
Gearboxes have synchromesh on the top three ratios, although synchro on second is prone to weakness on early versions. Many Sprites have later gearboxes; not a problem but it may affect sell-on price.
Front trunnions and kingpins need greasing every three months to prevent premature wear. On the rear suspension, check that the radius arms running parallel to the springs have not rotted through, as they’re tricky to replace.