Wednesday, May 7, 2008

50 Years Old and Still Smiling

2008 marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved Austin-Healey Sprite. Known in the US as the 'Bugeye', this happy little car brought inexpensive sport cars to the masses.

The Sprite was designed by the renowned Donald Healey who raided the Austin parts cupboard for bits to include in his low-priced sports car. Engine, suspension and various other pieces used on downmarket Austin saloon cars found their way into the Sprite. The original design called for 'popup' headlights, but they turned out to be costly. Hence, the most endearing characteristic of the car was set.

Sprites were built in the MG factory at Abingdon and were so well received that a MarkII version was developed as both an Austin-Healey and an MG Midget.

Happy birthday, little friend!

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