Austin Healey Sprite Review from UK and Ireland

1969 Austin Healey Sprite 1.3

Year of manufacture1969
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance92000 miles
Previous carAudi Coupe

Summary:

Cheap taxfree 35mpg fun, with no boring roof

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong yet! I have just bought the car and it is an absolute gem, it's very original.

General Comments:

The car has had a vast amount of money spent on it before I bought it (£4000 in 3 years) and everything seems to work OK. I get lots of envious looks driving around in a small flashy red sports car.

The mechanicals couldn't be easier to work on, lots of support from local clubs etc, and spare parts are a lot cheaper than for the Audi I had before.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2001

15th Aug 2001, 10:04

I have now had the car for two months and done 4500 miles, nothing serious has gone wrong, except the throttle spring broke, 25p to replace it.

It is now giving 40mpg and will sit on the motorway at 85mph all day.

Still fun and still funky.

27th Nov 2001, 08:08

A 1966 'MkIII' 1098cc Sprite was nearly my first car, bought in 1972. My actual first was a dangerous, brief and expensive 1/4 share in a clapped out MkVII Jag with some school mates. The Sprite was a revelation after that and it spoiled me. I thought all cars had near perfect front/rear balance and could be safely slid sideways by a learner. It was certainly more chuckable than the Jaguar. The Sprite was a lively, simple, cheap to run car for a young driver. The only downside was the feebleness of the Armstrong lever arm shocks. The front ones were constantly needing rebuilding, and I don't think the back ones ever worked at all. But for buzzing around the good South Australian roads with the foot flat for as long as you dared, it must still be a hard car to beat. There are still a lot around, driven by grinning drivers, which says it all.

Average review marks: 9.0 / 10, based on 1 review