BaT Auction Success Story: The Innocenti spider and later spider were produced from until It had an inch wheelbase and a low stance that provided flat cornering. Unlike the spartan Frogeye, the Spider also had wind-up windows and a permanent windscreen. Of course, it was the round headlamps inset on the hood that gave the car its lasting impression along with its nicknames—Bugeye in the States and Frogeye in Europe.
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The badging on the car simply read “Innocenti C”. Exterior door handles were provided for the first time, with separate door locks. If Corvettes and Porsches and their ilk are about attitude, this car is about character and personality. At the rear, styling borrowed from the soon-to-be-announced MGB gave a similarly more modern look, with the added advantages of sprie opening boot lid and conventional rear bumper bar.
There were no exterior door handles; the driver and passenger were required to reach inside to open the door.
As more modern competitors arrived and as the British-built Sprite was modernised, sales dropped precipitously, with only 63 cars built in Tutte le Auto del Mondo in Italian. An overarching goal was to make the Sprite the most affordable sports car on the market. The Sprite soldiered on for two more generations before production ended in ; the Midget limped through until Because of its affordability and practicality, the Austin Healey Sprite was developed into a formidable competition car, assuming many variants by John SprinzelSpeedwell and WSM.
Enim enim adipisicing voluptate aliqua consectetur tempor non non in. The result, Dodd says, is smoother handling. A “Custom package” allows a purchaser to specify various choices of engine, transmission suspension, paint and trim. The Tifosi Rana Frogeye Sprite replica retains a significant amount of the character and appeal of the original version by using the MG Midget as its basis.
The Sprite is fun to drive at any speed.
The model was reintroduced with more conventional styling in as the Austin-Healey Sprite Mark II and near-identical MG Midget—a lot of the body and engine parts, plus running gear, are interchangeable on these cars. Some things never change. Click here for details. Except for the black-painted steel wheels, ours is very original, with a 0.
II Sprite was introduced in it was joined by a badge-engineered MG version, the Midgetreviving a model name used by MG from the late s through to the mid buteye. The Midget was to prove more popular with the public than the Sprite and by had completely supplanted it within the BMC range.
Although stock Bugeyes are relatively scarce, many have survived, often with engines, front disc brakes and other modifications. With an almost-giggling grille smile and astonished, star-struck eyes, no other car model projects a happier disposition than the original Austin-Healey Sprite. Show More Loading more stories. Agent Login Subscribe to Newsletter. A close-ratio gearbox was fitted. The new kit puts a rubber oil seal on the back of the spinning crankshaft to stop oil leaks and extend crankshaft life.
I prefer to receive occasional updates with special offers from carefully selected third party partners. Unlike the spartan Frogeye, the Spider also had wind-up windows and a permanent windscreen. This was also the first year that reclining seats were fitted. The rack and pinion steering was derived from the Morris Minor and the front suspension from the Austin A Dodd also recommends yanking the original cc engine and substituting a cc engine from a late-model MG Midget.
Bugeyes make ideal collectibles for enthusiasts seeking fun sports cars to drive, not trailer, though values are rising rapidly.