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Austin-Healey Sprite

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Austin Healey Sprite Mk III

The Austin-Healey Sprite is a sma open sports caur which wis announced tae the press in Monte Carlo bi the British Motor Corporation (BMC) on 20 Mey 1958, juist afore that year's Monaco Grand Prix. It wis intendit tae be a law-cost model that "a chap coud keep in his bike shed", yet be the successor tae the sportin versions o the pre-war Austin Seven. The Sprite wis designed bi the Donald Healey Motor Company, which received a royalty payment frae the manufacturers BMC. It first went on sale at a price o £669, uisin a mildly tuned version o the Austin A-Series ingine an as mony ither components frae existin caurs as possible tae keep costs doun.

The Sprite wis made at the MG sports caur factory at Abingdon, Berkshire (actually now in Oxfordshire) an it wis inevitable that the success o the design woud spawn an MG version kent as the Midget, revivin a popular pre-war model name. Enthusiasts aften now refer tae Sprites an MG Midgets collectively as 'Spridgets'.

UK 50t anniversary celebration

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On 24 Mey 2008, the official UK golden anniversary o the introduction o the Austin Healey Sprite, "Spridget 50-The Big Party" wis held at the Breetish Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, Warwickshire. Up tae 1000 Sprites, Midgets an derivatives wur in attendance– a record number. The event wis jointly organised an promotit bi the UK's Midget an Sprite Club, Healey Drivers Club, MG Owners Club, Austin Healey Club an MG Car Club– the first time an event o this size haes been supportit bi aw o the marque-representin clubs. Mair information an mony photographs at http://spridget50.org/index.php Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine


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Further reading

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  • Heilig, John (1996). MG Sports Cars. Motorbooks. ISBN 0-7603-0112-3.
  • Bonds, Ray (2003). The Illustrated Directory of Sports Cars. Motorbooks. ISBN 0-7603-1420-9.
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