How can it possibly be 25 years since I acquired my first Sprite? How could I have gotten so old and still be adolescent enough to drive a Sprite to work every day? I say adolescent because of all the British sports cars, I feel that no other has the youthful exuberance of the Sprite, which has no useful purpose but fun! And fun they are…..
It’s no wonder that probably more Sprites found their way to the racetrack than any other mass produced car, since when being driven to the limit, they reward finesse, and forgive being over extended. On the street you have the satisfaction of being able to drive them near their limits. I think I would be so frustrated to drive a modem car, which could never be used near its speed potential on most roads without running foul of the law, or endangering others. Happily, all the excitement is still incredibly cheap because, except for ‘Bug Eyes’, Sprites, they still have little collector value. They are still likely to be used as God intended them to be used or are broken up and awaiting rescue.
The downside of this, is that used often means used up! Modified and previously repaired on a tight budget. But never fear-no other sports car is as inexpensive to repair, or requires as little expertise to work on. I rebuilt mine using only hand tools, an electric drill and sander, in my carport for less than $1000. This included an exorbitant sum, to pay someone to come over and do the final welding on some rust repair panels I had pop-riveted in place! Also, it includes the paint job over my own body work.
True it looks best in the poor after noon light, in the carport, but perfection isn’t always going to last long on a car that is driven regularly anyway. I do sometimes leave it home on rainy days, and that’s because I’ve never even had a top on the car! I still remember what it was like driving my first Sprite back in Pennsylvania, because the defroster didn’t-and all the windows were only inches away!
Driving wasn’t the only thing that fogged the Sprite up quickly; maybe my wife and I should relive that portion of my life. But, that’s another story!
By Frank Butcher, Moss Sales