Oddball Arkley SS For $1,000!

1962 Arkley SS

The first time I saw an Arkley SS, it left me scratching my head. At that point, I hadn’t ever even heard of an Arkley, so I had no idea what the story was behind the brand. As I studied the car, I quickly recognized the Spridget windshield and the familiar curve where the bottom of the Sprite’s bonnet meets the rockers. Of course the front and rear were all wrong for a standard Midget or Sprite, it was clear this was some type of Spridget. Given the obvious ties to the Sprite and the unusual styling, I had to find out more about these oddballs! I’ll get into that later, but if you would like to add an Arkley to your collection, this one can be found here on craigslist in Des Moines, Iowa for just $1,000! Special thanks to Bnvle64 for this tip!

1962 Arkley SS Interior

So after doing some digging, I found out what the story was behind the odd little Arkley. Back in 1969 a John Britten noticed there was a plethora of slightly used, sometimes rusty or damaged MG Midgets and Austin Sprites scattered all over England. It seemed like a waste to just scrap all of these great little cars, so he decided to design fiberglass front and rear panels that would replace rusty bonnetts and rotted quarter panels. John drew inspiration for his design from Morgan, with just a hint of styling from the Bugeye Sprite. Since fiberglass doesn’t rust, it solved most of the rust issues and helped to make the already nimble Spridget even more agile. By 1971, John was in business building his Arkley kits for Spridget owners across the globe.

1962 Arkley SS Engine bay

No one knows exactly how many Arkley conversions have been built, but at least 1,000 kits were made. This car is likely one of only a few put together here in the States. Someone clearly put a lot of time and energy into it and there has even been recent work done to get it running. The engine is stated to be freshly rebuilt with an alternator conversion and some spare parts to go with it. Whether it is running or not, this car is such a great deal! You rarely find complete early Midgets for this money, so as long as it isn’t too rusty, this could be a killer buy! The Arkley conversion is probably worth $1k by itself! So will you give this oddball a new home in your garage? If so, will you make it into a fun cruiser, weekend solo racer, or a full out track car?

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Comments

  1. Dan

    If this was in Canada I would jump all over this just to get the Arkley pieces. I have always wanted one of these.

    • 64 bonneville

      Dan, depending on where you are in Canada, it shouldn’t be more than a day to day and a half drive to get to Des Moines Iowa. Make a long weekend out of it with your significant other, throw in a nice dinner and some intimacy and she will buy into the idea.

    • gord

      i imported one (yellow) a few years back into ontario, sold to a chap near sudbury, but i AM thinking of jumping on this
      in fact, looking at the bottom of the BF page, the yellow one that says baby seven is (was) mine… so there IS at least one in canada!

      • Dan

        By the time I get timed booked off work it will be gone. My wife loves Arkllys. So she would be in.

  2. Anonymous

    Now down to $500..

  3. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    Seller’s price is now $500 for the Arkley plus a Red Devil f440—a fancy go-kart with a big wing. Desperation is setting in.

    Not the worst kit car I’ve ever seen, but does not appeal to me because it still looks like a kit car. I just hope the hood opens up more than is shown in the photos.

  4. jamie Jamie Staff

    Crap. Double crap. I was in Iowa last week! I would have bought this in a heartbeat. Wanted an Arkley since I had a Sprite in high school. :-(

  5. Dave at OldSchool Restorastions

    $ 500 unbelievable that they are STILL for sale

  6. jim s

    hard to go wrong at that price. great find.

  7. Dutch 1960

    John Britten was an interesting guy. He raced rebodied Spridget based cars, starting with a Lenham coupe body and an Ashley nose. Better aerodynamics and lighter weight, taking advantage of the British sports car racing rules of the day, which required stock-ish suspension and powertrain, but freedom with the bodywork. Britten tore it up in the mid-60’s with his “ringer” car, so the rules were changed to require stock appearing bodywork. So he promptly rebodied his race car with a fiberglass Midget bodyshell, still a lightweight. In the late 60’s, he finished racing, but applied his and his colleagues’ fiberglass skills to the Arkley (he ran a garage in the town of Arkley), which was designed primarily as a fun street car, not a race car. A few years later, he quit cars altogether and became a pioneer small time computer manufacturer in the early 70’s. I believe he died a couple of years ago.

  8. Gazzer

    This is the first one I have ever seen that did not retain the original doors. I don’t recall them as being part of the package so I wonder if this was done by a previous owner.

    • Laurent D

      The first Arkley on Midget MKI had a GRP closing panel to finish the door cut. It is cetainly what we can see at the top of the door.
      The first brochure and press article about Arkley were made with a car which had this type of “doors”.
      But no side screens available. You had to modify the standard one with a botom panel like MGTD or Morgan.

  9. terry

    hey guys ,that is a steal,if i werent in England i would snap it up,there is an Arkley page on facebook,check it out,and the doors were an optional extra,dont see em very often…..

  10. Mark E

    Cheap AND on the right coast! Damn but I’d be headed to Iowa if I wasn’t so sick from these crappy chemo treatments. >_< This will make a super winter project for someone…

  11. Laurent D

    An Arkley on a Midget MKI. Whoa !
    For sure, less usable than the later rollup windows Arkley.
    But certainly much more fun to drive.
    What a pity the car is not in France, and that I still have a Midget MKI Ashley project n my garage !

  12. Kevin Harper

    Darn it is 16 hours away from me here in Mebane nc. If it had been closer to 8 hours I would have been hooking the trailer up to the truck.
    This is the type of car that I would like to buy, fix up, and drive for about a year. I am not in love with it but it would be fun to sample it.

  13. George

    Fun toys in his garage!

  14. gunningbar

    Gone… but i dont see how one cd go wrong with this… buy it .. ship it.. doesnt matter if yr close by or not.. snooze ya lose.

  15. Jeric

    Called as soon as I saw the add, gone!!!!

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