TFLcar Rare Finds has gone British again! This week, we spotted this beautiful 1963 Austin-Healey MKII Sprite roadster for sale on Craigslist in Lyons, CO, and its condition, characteristically British look, and vibrant paint job drew us in on the spot.
Austin-Healey formed in 1952 as a conglomerate of the Austin division of the British Motor Company (BMC) and the Donald Healey Motor Company. With a clear vision for producing sensuous, open-top sports cars, Austin-Healey came out strong, bringing the impressive 100 roadster to market in 1955, just three years after their conception. The upward trajectory only continued, as the company began production of the iconic 3000 roadster in 1959, one of the most famous and sought-after of vintage British sports cars. The particular MKII Sprite model we’ve found represents a lower trim level than the famous 100 and 3000 models did, but with a total production number of only 31,665, the MKII Sprite certainly holds its own in desirability.
As were all Austin-Healeys, the MKII Sprite was engineered with driving dynamics in mind. As such, its curb weight was an absurd 700kg, or just over 1500 lbs., making it an absolute blast to throw through corners at speed. With such little weight to move around, power wasn’t a major concern: a 1098cc twin-carb I4 sat under the hood, making a meager 56 horsepower and 62 lb.-ft. of torque. The Sprite MKII could be thought of as a convertible that handles like a street-legal go-cart, a main factor in the cult following the car has seen across the world.
This particular MKII Sprite offers a great deal both mechanically and cosmetically. The previous owner has had the engine completely rebuilt by a known British car repair shop, while the original gearbox has been swapped out for a more modern 5-speed Nissan-derived unit. The paint shows nicely, but not without some minor scuffs and areas that are becoming delaminated. New owner might anticipate a paint job in the next few years. The interior is fresh, clean, and simple, with beautiful black leather that contrasts the wood veneer steering wheel and shift knob–a classically British touch. Even the chrome on the front bumpers, rear bumpers, and luggage rack is in gleaming, as-new condition.
Though not the absolute rarest of Austin-Healey Sprite models, the Sprite MKII’s 1961-64 production run of just under 32,000 units still makes it a rarity to find in such fantastic condition. And no one can argue with its super-reasonable price of $4,100, manageable for anyone who wants to add a bit of open-top flare to their daily grind.
If you would like more information about the featured car this week, please follow the link below:
Please enjoy this TFLcar video review of the Jaguar F-type, a modern take on some of the most famous British sports roadsters of the past fifty years.