About Our 1958 Austin Healey Sprite

Our Sprite is a 1958 Austin Healey Sprite (Series AN5) aka "Bugeye" or "Frogeye" Sprite.

Our rolling tub is fairly far gone, with significant rust damage to the underside of the tub. The original engine is gone and so are many of the other parts from the car so we'll be treating it more as a template than a car to be restored.

Instead, we've opted to build our Sprite as a "sleeper" custom. It will look like a regular Sprite from a distance, but inside we'll have changed quite a few things.

If all goes as planned, the car will be my daughter's first car. As such, the criteria for the build are a little different than most hot rod projects. Think more Monster Garage than Horsepower TV.

When finished, our Sprite must:

  • be safe.
  • be comfortable to drive in the city.
  • be able to pass on Highway 1 yet stay cool in traffic jams.
  • have good gas milage.
  • stand out in a crowd (think pink).
  • include some personality (e.g. sound system, "suicide" doors, pop-up "hair scrunchy" dispenser).

The current plan is to use a Suzuki GT engine to power the machine. A disc brake upgrade and some sort of roll bar set up are also planned.

We'd like to have the Sprite complete by May 2007.