They called it the “Frogeye Sprite”, and this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite is suitably finished in green, which is also the colour we’d be if we saw it in your collection. Better still, this little slice of British sports car history needs to be seen on track, a place it was always destined to be. The secret is what’s under the bonnet that houses those distinctive frog eyed headlights: a rare factory-tuned engine, uprated so that the 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Frogeye could do rather more than hop to the first corner.

Idea of this highly distinctive two-seater, at glamorous launch just after Grand Prix weekend in Monte Carlo in 1958, was for a sports tourer that "a chap could keep in his bike shed”. Dimensions were kept tight, no doubt so that the chap concerned would have space for a mower too. Headlamps were originally to be retracted into the bonnet but production costs meant they’d stay upright, like those on this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite, giving it those distinctive looks. Pioneering construction meant it was the first mass-made car where body panels, rather than separate chassis, took structural stress. Those panels needed to be strong so, like all others made, this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite lacks exterior door handles.

Left-hand drive from the start, this particular 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite was factory-equipped with stage five tuning - twin exhaust pipes, competition clutch, cross-ratio gearbox and heavy-duty crankshaft among others - but despite these rare attractions, plus whitewall tyres and a rev counter, it remained unsold in an Illinois showroom for over a year. First owner Jim Bishop bought the 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite as a race car, adding a roll cage and painting a signature bishop to the doors, which remains to this day. Subsequent ownership put very few miles on the clock and this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite has a remarkably low 6,500 miles on the clock.

Now totally recommissioned, the little 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite is ready for its next starting grid - Goodwood Revival are you listening - so please, buy it and bring this unique 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite back home. Naturally all this history and ready-to-race condition doesn’t come cheap. LBI Limited of Philadelphia will need the equivalent of £35,600 from you before you can put this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite back into action. The sellers point out that the price also includes a traffic ticket from December 11, 1966. So perhaps put aside a little extra cash to pay that, then.

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