MG Midget Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite Conversion 1979
This MG Midget Frogeye successfully retains a significant amount of the original character and appeal by using the MG Midget as its basis. The MG Midget can trace its roots directly back to the original Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite and apart from a rear spring upgrade and front brakes changing over to discs had no major structural changes made to its monocoque construction throughout its production run. This means that this car has automatically inherited the pedigree and history associated with the original Austin Healey Frogeye Sprite.
Walking around the car immediately shows that it has led a very pampered life, with the stunning Old English Paintwork on bright red leather interior presenting fantastically well, backing up this visual feast are the MOT’s mileage history showing only 13k miles travelled since 2006.
The perfectly formed frog eyes and its cheeky grin give for one of the most recognisable early British sportsters, just looking at this car is enough for you to know it is going to be great fun to drive. It’s not all about the cheeky looks though, as you get closer you can see how well loved it has been with its wonderful body showing no evidence that this Midget is over 40 years old, in fact you wouldn’t be derided for thinking it had been built in the last few years, it is that well presented. Speaking of the build, we are relieably informed that the front and rear fibreglass sections were built with a strong eye on originality, in fact the windscreen was sourced from a late 58 model and the original sprite doors and side glass were sourced to give it a very authentic look and feel. There are no signs of crazing or damage to the bodywork, the soft top is showing no unsightly scuffs or tears with the clear window sections showing no fading whatsoever, although there is no receipt in the file it does lead us to believe that this was purchased and fitted quite recently.
As mentioned above, the sumptuous red leather seats are in fantastic condition, as are the door cards, the plush carpet and also the trimmed red Mats. Sliding into the seats you immediately notice the wonderfully low and sporty position that suits the speed and handling associated with these cars. Firing it up alerts you to the upgraded GPS speedo that will keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to using that lovely Triumph engine, who wants to see the dreaded speed fine on the doormat?
Engine and Transmission
With 72,000 miles at its last MOT the 4 pot Triumph 1500 engine pulls the lightweight body along at a brisk pace and runs as you would expect with no knocks or rattles whatsoever, mated to a recently rebuilt 4 speed box it really is a hoot to drive. During the recent gearbox rebuild the thrust bearing and clutch were also renewed meaning that there is none of the usual snatchiness or noises you would usually expect from a 40 year old gearbox. The current owner also advises that cooling system is in tiptop condition with hoses, fans and the radiator all in near new condition leading to worry free driving for years to come.
Wheels, tyres and suspension
As the images show the wire wheels are in great condition and set the looks off wonderfully, these are wrapped in rubber that have plenty of tread left, the original Sprite had drum brakes all round and although the car weighed less that a tonne it still gave you something to think about when stopping at that pesky T junction, no worries with this model as the disk brakes fitted will give you confidence to drive this little car how it should be, with verve and energy!
This gorgeous little Sprite has been exceptionally well looked after and has clearly been cherished and lavished with no end of love and care over the years, this is evident everywhere you look and those with eagle eyes will find it hard to not think it to be an original Sprite, apart from the engine it is only the gearstick and seats that give it away. With original Sprites in this condition commanding £20k and above this surely is a great opportunity to join British sportscar motoring at an enviable price. Although Tax and MOT exempt, this wonderful vehicle will be sold with a new MOT.