Although Austin-Healey no longer makes cars, the vehicles that it produced whilst it was still active will forever remain a part of British automotive history.

Today we are going to focus on the Austin-Healey Sprite. Launched in 1958, the sports car offered something completely different from the brands existing line-up at the time. It was much smaller in size and it was aimed at a different market.


The car’s open-top design proved problematic to the designers, however they managed to overcome the issues they were faced with and produce a car that looked intriguing, bold and aesthetically-pleasing.

What made the car stand out were its headlights, which earned it the nickname “bugeye”. According to reports, they were originally going to be retractable so that the driver could cover them whist not in use, however due to the lack of funds this idea was scrapped.

The Sprite came with a 0.9-liter A-Series l4 engine, capable of reaching a top speed of 82.9 mph (133.4 km/h). It wasn’t the fastest car on the market, however that was fine as the vehicle was aimed at a completely different niche. It was a smaller sports car for those looking for a less extravagant car that still offered the same level of sportiness and excellent handling as a full-size sports car.

Although the car’s overall aesthetic remained the same throughout its production run, the Sprite spanned over four generation, changing greatly in the 13 years it remained in production.

One of the biggest changes to the original, came with the second generation, when its unusual headlights were moved to a more conventional position, leaving behind the “bugeye” look.

The Sprite is a fantastic example of an earlier sports car with a difference. It wasn’t as extravagant or large as some of the other cars in Austin-Healey’s line-up at the time, however it was just as great.

The vehicle proved popular with customers and remained in production until 1971, when the company ceased production of all its models.

How do you feel about the Sprite? Are you a fan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to come back soon for more fun articles about vehicles produced in the UK.

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