1958 Austin Health Sprite ‘Frog-eye’

This Sprite was one of the very early cars build ahead of the official May 1958 launch, as evidenced by the extra strengthening panels that were famously ‘retrofitted’ at the Abingdon works before final distribution.  The car retains its original and now fully rebuilt 948cc A series engine and early ‘smooth gearbox’. Registered in the West Midlands in July 1958, TEA 714 was one of the first 1,200 Sprites made.  It was purchased by the first owner and brought home to Somerset.  It was then owned by a father and son for many decades, also in Somerset, and they eventually barn stored the car.  It was then purchased by well-known Dorset MG/Austin Healey garage and race preparation mechanics Mike Rolls MG. 

The Sprite was a lock-down project for Mike and his son Ben when it was fully restored (there is a photographic record). Fully restored the car must be the best early series 1 Sprite available with all new weather gear, trim, carpets and upholstery. It was purchased by the current owner, also based in Somerset in October 2022, who sourced an original reconditioned Steering Wheel and gear lever from the US specialist “Bug-eye guy” during work travel in the United States. He also had fitted a battery isolator and connector for a ctek battery conditioner which are discretely located under the bonnet. The car now wants for nothing. The car has covered only 10 miles since it was delivered due to the owners overseas work commitments – which is why he has rather reluctantly chosen to sell the car.