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Frisky Find: 1959 Meadows Frisky Sport

1959 Meadows Friskysport Front Corner

This could be one of the stranger barn finds we have featured. It’s a 1959 Meadows Frisky Sport, that’s right it’s a Frisky car. This extremely rare little car has been in storage for a long time and the owner has decided it’s time for it to move on to a new home. It can be found on Hemmings Classified listings with an asking price of $15,000 or best offer.

1959 Meadows Friskysport Side

Just look at that profile! This Frisky Sport is very rare with an estimated 13 still surviving and of those only a few were left hand drive cars. This one is in need of a restoration, but everything is there and the body is made of fiberglass, so there shouldn’t be much rust to deal with. Finding parts for this car could be a nightmare, but then again there isn’t much to a Frisky.

1959 Meadows Friskysport Interior
The interior of the Frisky is very simple and this one looks to have all the original pieces there, they just need to be restored and put back together. We can’t tell the condition of the top, but it looks to be intact.

1959 Meadows Friskysport Engine

The idea for the Frisky came about when race car driver Raymond Flowers approached the Meadows Company to manufacture a small, light car for the working class that was sporty and fun. While the Frisky Sport only weighed 700 lbs, its Villiers 2-cylinder two stroke engine only produced 16 hp. This was enough power to move the car up to 65 mph.

1959 Meadows Friskysport Front

If you’re in the market for something that is unique and slightly humorous, then this frisky little guy might be right up your alley.


  1. Ron Southan

    Looks like something somebody made out of an old bathtub; fantastic!

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  2. Alan

    Sporty and fun. Maybe. Good looking. Not in the least. Still, It’d be a neat little conversation piece. Albeit an expensive one.

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  3. Doug Middlestetter Member

    That has got to be the most unique and unheard of car I have seen posted yet! and what an easy restoration!! I hope someone grabs this and returns it to the street. And with frugal being in, what perfect timing!!

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  4. Jim Rizer

    Looks like the beginning of the “SMART CAR”. lol

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  5. ken

    Could that be registered and driven on the street?

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  6. His Royal Flatulence

    I first learned of the existence of these cars when I bought the Spot-On diecast model on Ebay. I always thought they looked like a cartoon flea with wheels. The cute-and-weird factor is off the charts.$15K seems like an awful lot for something like this, but I’ve stopped being amazed by the prices that microcars are bringing. I think someone will pay the price, and consider it well bought.

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  7. chris

    Reminds me of Flounder from the little mermaid for some reason. :)

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  8. Joshua Calloway

    Long live Microcars! Hopefully they are the wave of the future, when gas goes up to $8.00/ gal. in the US!

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  9. jt68

    15,000?? i’d rather have $15,000 in petro

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  10. John Meadows

    More info on the Meadows Frisky at http://www.meadowsfrisky.co.ukOnly 12 FriskySports left, a very collectable little car, $15,000 is bargin for such an original car. I wish it was mine!John Meadows The Frisky Register

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  11. Clive Stokes

    I bought an immaculate Frisky Sport Coupe in 1970 – what a fantastic vehicle – kept it for 6 years then gave it away to someone who promised to cherish it!!!My favourite car amongst the 44 I’ve owned in the last 50 years – almost equal to the Heinkel I owned at the same time.

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  12. Dave Crook

    This was my very first car back in 1964. The wheels and breaking system are standard Mini parts which are readily available anywhere, the drive is a chain drive to a rigid rear axle, if it is the same engin it is a Villiers 350 Twin, which will run forth clockwise and anti-clockwise for forward and revers, to reverse the engine you switched off the ignition pressed in the ignition switch and started the engine in reverse, you then had all four gears in reverse, I only ever got upto 3rd and nearly rolled the car on turning as it steamed from the front which in reverse is a bit hairy, the couch is a standard motorcycle cork pad type running in oil, so as long as the discs are ok you can replace the corc inserts, the only other odd thing I found was that the gearbox has a 15 tooth layshaft which was originally for a motor bike and side card and where like hens teach to get hold of back in 1965 when I screwed mine. My mother was a Taylor making parachutes during the war and a friend of mine gave me some canvas sheet which my mother made into a new soft top using the tattered mess. of what was originally a soft top. A great little car, I sold mine back in 1966 to a musician working at Billy Smarts Circus where it had its day in the ring with the clowns, and eventually left this place to be scrapped and gone forever.

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  13. rusty

    Wow just saw this in previously listed vehicles.

    it was this car that got me originally interested in owning micros when it was first written up in practical classics magazine. Unfortunately these are few and far between in Australia so I found an interest in goggo darts instead.

    but later owning the light burn zeta sports which was a development of the frisky sprint mark 2 I believe

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  14. rusty

    darn mobile phone editing..on my computer now so much easier.

    [for those interested] Frisky’s Sports cousin The Lightburn Zeta Sports with its 500cc Messerscmitt powerplant [from the 4 wheeler scmitt] was perhaps the ultimate development of the frisky concept [though John Meadows can fill us in as I do remember reading somewhere that the Zeta sports perhaps wasnt necessarily as closely related cant remember as I have always believed it was to become the stilborn Frisky Sprint mark 2 in england but not with this motor?? ]

    Only 48 Zeta Sports made [ an Australian produced car] so it was the closest thing I could get to owning the Frisky that had got me interested in micros in a country that maybe only had a few if that. Ironically my friend who helped me pickup this car actually ended up owning a Frisky Coupe so i did get to see one in the flesh. Due to my recent interstate move and only having limited storage and funds to move my cars I have passed this car onto a friend who has a collection of micros with a promise of payment in the future..So in respect i still own it till he pays and dont mind it comes back to me if he doesnt though I am slowly wheening myself off cars if I can.

    A Zeta sports looks like a stretched version of the Frisky Sports with proportions better suited to the non micro car nut.[ longer and sleeker and arguably better proportioned though still strangeish].

    Personally the attraction of the Frisky Sport is its compact proportions and its strangeness…to be a microcar nut its the eccentricities of the cars that draws you to being an owner. Especially the hard task of trying to build proportions into small.

    I would have wished to find such a car when I started in micros in the late 70’s. Interesting to know if this car is now restored or kept in original condition since its sale back in 2011. Missed this on here the first time round. Great find.

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  15. John Meadows

    Sprint / Zeta Sports back ground
    The original Frisky body was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and its chassis /running gear by Gordon Bedson. The Frisky Sprint however was designed and built by Gordon Bedson and Keith Peckmore. Michelotti was not involved.

    Gordon and Keith were headhunted by Harold Lightburn at the 1958 Earls Court Show where the Frisky Sprint concept car was launched, and they moved to Australia the following spring. Taking with them several Frisky Coupes

    Unfortunately Frisky Cars went into liquidation a few months later and the Sprint never made production, the prototype being the only one built.

    It cannot be a surprise that the Zeta Sports closely resembles the Sprint as it was also totally designed by Gordon Bedson, Michelotti was again not involved. During the turmoil in the UK Gordon brought the Sprint moulds (which he and Keith had originally built) to Lightburn, which the Zeta Sport was then modelled on.

    Gordon Bedson being the designer of both cars is the only link between the Sprint and the Zeta Sports and even that was short lived as Harold Lightburn and Gordon disagreed on many aspects of the Zeta and parted company, Keith having also left.

    The Zeta Sport chequered history does not in any way detract from the fact it is a very attractive Little car, I would love one. Its always been a puzzle to me why having built them Lightburn did not offer them to the market until some two years later so missing the boat!

    Size wise not a lot in it length, width,
    Frisky Sport 9Ft 2 inches, 4ft 7 inches,
    Sprint 10ft 2 inches, 4ft 8 inches,
    Zeta 10ft 7 inches, 4ft 11 inches,

    Hope this helps, more information on Frisky and Gordon Bedson (a fascinating man) can be found on http://www.meadowsfrisky.co.uk

    John Meadows
    The Frisky Register

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  16. John Meadows

    I forgot to say the featured Barn Find is a 1958 FriskySport currently owned by a friend of mine in Upland CA and a very rare little car it is.
    John Meadows

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  17. rusty

    Thanks John was hoping you were still on this threads notification list as I knew the relationship was not as close as direct descendants that’s why I like to think of them as cousins.

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  18. rusty

    john said “Its always been a puzzle to me why having built them Lightburn did not offer them to the market until some two years later so missing the boat!”

    Yes a puzzle but possibly easy to surmise for an Aussie. Possibly linked to Lightburns main business of building washing machines and various tools like powered cement mixers etc..Perhaps his business empire was too varied and his time couldnt be focused on the cars hence holding up the cars introduction till too late? Many a man with an empire would love to add car making to it even as a passion but often its a sideline to other sucessful business unlike the successful on its own goggo whom Bill Buckle could devote time to as his business was marketing cars. [not just his goggos]

    Lightburn Introducing their car at the end of the Goggos popularity probably seemed a safe bet as it seemed Aussie loved these small cars so why hurry. But they hadnt realised Aussies by then had had enough of slow, smelly two stokes with their need to mix oil with petrol. Simple people wanted something easier and better. Although the goggo dart was popular even at the time the Mini was introduced the fact was Minis hadnt taken grip in Australia enough to stiffle the Goggos success but by Lightburns introduction the mini had taken hold of Australia with an iron grip. Why buy a small 2 stroke car you had to jump over the side of the body as there was no doors, with smelly petrol when the mini had comfort and power all rolled up into the same dimensions.

    And one odd thing..no one wanted to buy a car made by a washing machine manufacturer..simple it made no sense to Aussies..would you yanks reading buy a Maytag sportscar? [putting The earlier 1910 Maytag-Mason Motor Co aside]

    Ironically the similar sportscar the Goggo Dart was a hit. so why wouldnt the Zeta be. The Dart had sold a few years earlier to great success for a small car manufacturer of around 700 darts [3000 to 4000 goggos total] seemingly it looked like the 2 stroke sportscar market was flying…but goggos in general had a fair time of being here before the mini was introduced. The goggos had grabbed an audience at the right time before the Mini took off. Lightburn waited too long probably thinking “it’ll be alright mate” but no one wanted another Goggo..its time was gone a brief moment in Australian History and lightburn missed out by a few years.

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  19. Korey

    My uncle owns one was my grandfather’s the reason those even made it to the states was the ship carrying them started to take on water and went to the closest port

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  20. Greg Hahs

    Getting ready to start the restoration in about four weeks, FINALLY!!!!!

    Like 1
    • Mark

      You will have lots of fun With this Frisky when she is back on the road. I think mine might have caused a couple of close wrecks from the other drivers staring at the car and not watching in front of them.

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    • Alberto carrillo

      Hi Greg I recently acquired a frisky sport from a family friend the car had been sitting in a garage for years and is pretty complete I don’t know much about these cars yet any information would be greatly appreciated would love to hear from someone with one of these vehicles already thank you

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      • Greg Hahs

        Hello Alberto

        Can you please get in contact with John Meadows in England? He is trying to find you.

        Like 0
    • Alberto carrillo

      Hello sorry I am unfamiliar with John meadows would you have any idea of how I could go about contacting him?

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    • Alberto carrillo

      Hello Greg I’m not sure why my comment aren’t posting but would you happen to know how I can get in touch with Joan meadows?

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      • Alberto carrillo


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      • John Meadows

        Hi Alberto Carrillo
        You can reach me on John.meadows1898@btinternet.com
        Look forward to hearing from you

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  21. Henry John Meadows

    Hello Korey
    Thank you for contacting me about the Meadows FriskySport , there’s a lot more information at http://www.meadowsfrisky.co.uk which I hope you will enjoy

    The car in” Hemmmings Cassified” was not actually a “barn Find” It had been in the same family since the 1960’s . The new owner contacted me when he inherited it from his grandfather around ten years ago. Not being in a position to restore it, a few years later he sold it to a guy in California where it is part of a personal collection of Microcars.

    The Frisky Register exists to help and encourage the restoration of these cars, it is in no way commercial, there are no charges, just a group of like minded people who help each other and who have accumulated a large amount of knowledge and experience. A good group of people to know if you own a Frisky. There are currently around five being restored in the USA at present.

    I would very much like to hear about your grandfathers car, a photo would be great and also any information you have on the ship that took in water with Friskys on board. It’s a bit of Frisky History that I have not heard about , Probably 1959/60 ish ?
    I look forward to hearing from you

    Like 1
    • Phillip

      I remembered my Dad in around 1961 being involved with another partner friend in trying to import these little Frisky cars into Wellington New Zealand. .
      For some reason it was an unsuccessful venture.
      But I do remember driving the single demonstration model a few years later around 1966. It was such a hard thing to drive, as it had shown signs of unreliability problems by then. Such as being hard to start, damaged body work, leaking roof lining, etc.

      Like 1
  22. Greg Hahs

    Almost done with the restoration

    Like 0

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