Antiquelover703

1966 Austin Healey Sprite

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Hello,

 

I am looking for a 1966 Austin Healey Sprite 2DR. The seller is asking $8000 for it. Per the description, there is no any mechanical issue. Most of parts have been updated. I will like to know about everyone's thoughts. Is the price reasonable? Any help is much appreciated.  

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Check the body undercarriage very carefully. Some years ago,one split right in half on a curve near here and killed two oncoming motorcyclists.

Jim

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Common rust points are the floors, sills, (rockers?),  and the bottom of the A pillars. I am from Australia, so not really up to speed with the US values. That said, converting the price to A$,  I would regard this one as overpriced, on what I can see. The paint appears to be a rough re-spray, which has been scratched and banged around somewhat. Hood, (roof), appears to have come adrift due to missing press-studs. That level of care in the maintainance of the vehicle would ring alarm bells for me, despite claims made by the seller. I would advise that, if at all possible, have someone with mechanical knowledge look at it for you. Perhaps try contacting a 'British' car club in your area.

These little cars are great fun to drive, and easy to work on. I have owned a number of them over the last 50-odd years, and still drive a '72 model. There are plenty for sale in the US. A good place to start looking being the Sprite/Midget section of   mgexp.com

You will get lots of answers to any question that you may have regarding these cars on their forums. A very knowledgeable and helpful crowd of MG/Sprite owners. Good luck with your search. You car is out there somewhere!

 

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This year is about the least desirable Sprite/ Midget. At that price I would expect the car to be very very good. This one appears to be so-so. Gearboxes are weak, they are Morris Minor derived and don't stand up well if you drive it as a sports car. Rear axle shafts, differential internals are weak, later cars had much better axle shafts. Front susp. is quite prone to wear at the king pin to lower control arm connection. Just a small acme thread pin that rides steel on steel in the control arm. 

 They are great little cars however they were built to a very low price point, it's a wonder any are still left. 

A better bet is newer for increased robustness , avoid the last generation with Triumph Spitfire engine , gearbox ,etc. Or older for collectability. {Sliding side screen , Bug Eye or MK 2}

I have owned several over the decades.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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My hip-shot opinion, with no reference to price guides or scrutinizing this car is that it’s worth about a quarter of the asking price. 

Rust, casual engineering/build quality and ho-hum performance put Spridgets at the low end of the market. This car looks like it’s carrying a lot of oxide under the green paint. 

If you must have one, find the very best out there and pay the seller for his sweat and busted knuckles. 

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I agree with everybody - it's a bit overpriced. My guess is about $2K over. The front bumper looks askew, which is a warning sign. Fixing the paint chips will cost more to repair than you think, too.

 

Check completed A-H Sprite auctions on eBay. That will give you a good estimate on what the cars are selling for. 

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00202_bRQv9PafwBd_1200x900.jpg

 

Here's one for $4K, leaking oil and probably needing an engine rebuild. Body good, owner claiming no rust. Oh, and a 1968.

 

Austin Healey Sprite Link

 

 

 

 

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The skew bumper looks to have contacted the paintwork. There is damage at each end. What else is damaged underneath?

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An even bigger problem than appearance with the rubber bumper cars is the smogger Triumph 1500. The slightly earlier A series 1275's are much more desirable.

 

Greg in Canada

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Thank you so much for all of your opinions. That helps me a lot. I decide taking a cruise trip with my family instead of buying this car. I will dig in for another good one. Many thanks for all!  

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My measure is how concerned I am about someone buying the car I found while I run home to get the cash. If you can sit down at a computer and ask for advice, then ponder the answers, there is a better car out there for you.

 

I only have one old car that I bought with my head. And I'm planning to sell it in a couple of weeks.

 

As far as the price, I really smiled at the comment "worth a quarter of the asking price". I sold this for $2200 a while back with a few parts of the engine.

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I know it is a Buyeye, but it is the same under the skin..

 

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It’s the skin that makes the Bugeye. A later spridget in that condition is a $500 car. 

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$2200.00 sounds about right . Did it have a title ? if so not a bad deal at all. The hood alone is $1000.00 any day of the week. Bug Eyes are always in strong demand. The engines even if complete have little value, 1275 is the only way to go.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, Antiquelover703 said:

Thank you so much for all of your opinions. That helps me a lot. I decide taking a cruise trip with my family instead of buying this car. I will dig in for another good one. Many thanks for all!  

NOooo! Not a cruise!  They will feed you too much, give you way too many drinks, and you’ll hang out with a bunch of old people telling you what medicines the take, when their next doctor appointment is, how their children don’t listen to them any more and a whole bunch of other uninteresting stuff.  Buy a car!  When you get back from that cruise you will need a full size car, not a little sports model. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!  There’s still time to find a car! ?

Terry

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1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

$2200.00 sounds about right . Did it have a title ? if so not a bad deal at all.

 

My friend had owned the car, disassembled, since 1968. He bought it from a 13 year old neighbor with a signed New York State registration, but never transferred it into his own name. The kid who signed the reggie is grown up and has a business 30 miles away. He signed the proper paperwork and I licensed and insured it, as seen, to legally put it in my name. That's what you call a diligent value add as opposed to a flip. I also marshaled all the parts into one area and sorted them.

 

A couple weeks ago I found a stray push rod and called the new owner. He said not to worry. He was widening the car 4" and stirring in a V8. The car was completely rust free. I had thought about placing the body on a full frame and building one of those 1980's style nouveau classic roadsters, Cenet style or the like.

 

No one seemed to care for the original species.

Bernie

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In my neck of the woods Bug Eyes are popular to say the least. Most are not restored to dead stock condition but rather sensible mods for performance and drivability. 1275, disk brakes off a later Midget. A 5 speed conversion for the well healed.  Toyota rear axle assy. All the stuff that was low performance/ under engineered on the stock examples. Very pleasing cars when set up correctly. 

 Heaven forbid widened to take a v8. There are plenty of MGB's around that are far more adaptable if you must have a V8. Or even Sunbeam Alpines/ TVR 2500's . But please spare the little Bug Eyes from such ill considered plans. 

 Around here your car would have sold in a blink and probably for more money to some one who would not of immediately turned it in to scrap metal.

 

Greg in Canada

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Bug Eyes just don't hold up very well in a head on collision with a full sized Chevy. Ask me how I know. 

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The car sat under a tarp from 1968 to 2017 (three tarps weathered away, as I heard). The parts were in crumbling boxes, most with the bottom out. And now a guy is putting a V8 into, the guy just doesn't know how to treat a special car.

 

It sold in about 10 hours. One guy brought his Wife. She wouldn't let him buy it. He called back the next day with permission. It was sold, no telling what he had to do to get permission. One said he had to wait for his Wife to get out of work. I told him not to come if he was going to bring her and recommended a good restaurant to take her to. Another was on his way with a flatbed but I had to turn him around when I got the cash.

 

As far as turning it into scrap metal, he was about 65 years old and turned it into a dream. Lots of men that age have quit dreaming. He might live a little longer. The guy who did whatever to get permission and found out it was sold; he might not fare so well.

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On ‎5‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 8:16 AM, 60FlatTop said:

The car sat under a tarp from 1968 to 2017 (three tarps weathered away, as I heard). The parts were in crumbling boxes, most with the bottom out. And now a guy is putting a V8 into, the guy just doesn't know how to treat a special car.

 

Now I'm confused.  Which guy didn't know how to treat "a special car", the one who stored it under a tarp for 49 years, or the one who put the V8 into it ... or both?

 

Cheers,

Grog

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It's not the V8 part that is a truly bad idea, it's the widening. A huge amount of work and a very good chance of never being finished. The V8 thing is old hat. If you need crazy power there are lots of 4 cyl. routes these days.

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