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Austin Healey parts spares and accessories are available for Austin Healey 100, 100-6, 3000, Sprite, Bugeye (Frogeye) and other Healey models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

Austin-Healey Sprite - first sprite purchase please help


new to this site and was looking for some help as i am looking to buy my first Austin Healey sprite.
The one one that i have spotted is a 1969 model 1275cc which requires minor work (or at least so i am told). It has had a full restoration approx 5 years ago. as it is a 1969 it is tax excempt but the seller has not indicated a heritage certificate could this be a problem? any advice on what to particulary look for and what price would be the normal would be very well received.As already stated this is very new terriorty for me as i currently have a 1969 mk1 Ford Transit panel van and desperatly want an iconic UK sports car.
Kind regards

d shepperd

Hi David,
I don't think you need an Heritage certificate for the tax exempt status, just the V5 which shows the date of first registration.
As to what to look for, the list is pretty long! The most common rust points are the A posts- check for loose door mounts, spring mountings, lower wings front and back and the sills both inner and outer. Basically have a damn good look around, lift the carpets, crawl around under the car and remove the trims on the inner seals.
There was an article in one of the mags last month on buying a spridget, unfortunately I can't remember which one!
Engine and transmission, the engines nearly always leak a little oil at the rear but it shouldn't be flooding out. Listen for unusual noises in the engine, oil pressure should be better than 45 psi at around 2500 rpm. Gearbox has no syncro on 1st, but should be easy to engage at tickover. They whine a bit in first and reverse but the other gears should engage smoothly with little noise. Rear axles often whine and frequently leak oil (helps keep rust away!), this isn't critical but can be very annoying.

Basically use your common sense, if it doesn't look/sound right then you may have a problem!
good luck, Graham
Graham P

This thread was discussed between 25/06/2008 and 03/07/2008

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