Cheap Thrills: 1965 Austin-Healey Sprite

sprite-grill

Everyone loves the look of the early “bugeyed” Sprites, but there is something to be said for wind-up windows, door locks, and a trunk lid. Conveniences like this may not seem important on a sports cars… Unless of course you are actually going to drive it. This 1965 AH Sprite may not possess all the charm of an earlier car, but it does appear to be a great candidate for daily driver duty. What do you think? Take a closer look at here on eBay in Phoenix, Arizona where the 3 day auction starts at $1,000 with no reserve.

sprite-silhouette

I would normally steer clear of any car that has undergone a color change, but since I am proposing that someone actually drive this one, it doesn’t seem to be as big an issue. Shopping cart dings and scratches will not cause hair loss in a car like this and you can spend your time worrying about more important things. Like which back road you are going to take on the ride home! Obviously rust is always a concern when there is shinny new paint on top, but the seller claims that there is very little rust and that might just be true considering the dry climate of its hometown.

shabby-seats

The interior is a little shabby, but nothing that a call to Moss Motors couldn’t fix. I would probably try to salvage the seats by stitching up the ripped seams and maybe sticking some new foam inside, if need be. These cars were marketed as affordable fun when new, so why should they be any different today? Now, if we could just get the seller to rotate his camera ninety degrees so we can actually see more of the car.

1965-austin-healey-sprite

This little Sprite is far from perfect, but it should provide the next owner with some cheap thrills. As long as the car is structurally sound, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t drive it everyday. I would probably stay away from the Phoenix freeways, and stick to the paths less traveled though. Everyone needs to experience the challenge of daily driving a classic car at some point in their lifetime. It will need some work as you go, but if all the seller’s claims are true than this sounds like a good place to start. They even state that this Sprite doesn’t leak any fluids. Now if that isn’t a good reason to buy this car, I don’t know what is!

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Comments

  1. Dave Wright

    Great entry level classic sports car…….for smaller people. With any decent paint job going for upwards of 3,000 these days. It looks great. Ezy parts availability and the sun on your head…..can’t beat it for the money

    • Rob

      You’re right on re ‘smaller people’, the cab/doors/boot are almost identical to the later ‘Midget’ series, which was used, with ‘much modification’, as the basis for the Neo-Classic ‘Clenet’, Series 1 Roadster in the late 70’s. If you’re over 5’6″, ’tis a real trick sliding in to those seats.. *sigh*

  2. Dave Wright

    I would have to find a set of minilites or wires for it though.

  3. rich

    Drop a Datsun 1200 and 5 speed in it then drive it any were and not worry about braking down other then the LUCAS electric that is. Then look for a frog eye hood and your ready to go. Oh keep the BMC drive train for if you ever want to go back to stock as the Datsun is just about a bolt in.

  4. Denis

    Doesn’t leak. Ha ha, good one!

  5. rich

    He’s right no leaks Brit cars don’t leak they weep oil through the block :)

  6. Dolphin Member

    This looks like a surprisingly complete driver from CA/AZ with a clear title.
    It’s not a series 1, but so what? Looks like a good car, maybe for cheap.

    I could do without the aftermarket steering wheel but that’s easy to replace—no airbag.
    I could go either way about the roll bar—increases safety, but police notice them.

    The awful orange-peel green paint would need to go. The good news is that the car looks like it would be worth spending money on for a repaint.

    The other good news is that it’s a short non-reserve auction by a guy who has sold a bunch of vintage cars lately and gotten only +ive feedback from it.

  7. David C

    I had 1967, black with red interior when I went to college. I loved that car and it never let me down. The only problem I had with it was that I’m 6’3″! I had to tuck my left arm in and reach across to shut the door with my right hand.

  8. Barry

    Nice looking car, too bad the seller did not take a picture of the engine.

  9. jim s

    if this car was close i would be in trouble. i am planning on buy a 1990 miata in january of 2015 and everytime a midget or sprite gets posted i have to review my plans. this has a roll bar so autocrossing would fun. daily drive it to and from the events. great find and fun

  10. John

    I want it.

    I have to wonder about the red cylinder head (can’t remember a Sprite Testa Rossa ). And the only reason that a Sprite isn’t leaking fluids is that its run dry. Still, you can do a valve job in 45 minutes, replace a clutch in an hour, and it fits in an eleven foot space. And, there are enough parts available to build a new one. There is nothing cuter than a Sprite. I had three of them (well, OK, one was a Midget, but…).

    I want it.

  11. Paul B

    Love it. Buy it, go through it mechanically as needed, drive it. Let it keep living its Spritely life as a low-priced, no-worry fun bucket. If I hadn’t recently picked up a beater ’97 Miata of the same survivor sort, cheap repaint and all, I’d bid on this.

  12. Alan (Michigan)

    Fun cars to have, in the warmer weather, anyway.
    My brother had one for a while. Had a bad second gear (or was it third?), but he is a patient and skilled user of manual transmissions, so it was never an issue. Knew he had an engine issue when he had to drop a gear to get up a good-sized hill on the way to the family house… Sure enough, a burnt exhaust valve. Redo the head, and it ran like a top again. Guy he sold it to wrecked the trans within a month or so…..

  13. Ranco Racing

    We always called these Spridgets!

  14. Cameron Bater UK

    What the fellow above me is saying is perfectly true for these weren’t made by Austin Healey, they are in fact the very popular (for those of us under 6 feet) MG Midget – re-badeged and sold as the AH Sprite, I think I’m right in saying that you could take this to MGBeehive (a specialist restorers in Gorefeild nr. Wisbech in Cambridgeshire)and ask them to restore it as nearly all the parts are interchangable.

  15. VegasDude

    I’m 6’0 and LOVE my ’68 Sprite… I just sit down sideways, then work each leg in.. Once settled, It’s PERFECT… LOVE my Lil Car !!!!

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