10k: Non-Feminine Frite: 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite, 302-powered
Do you like car classifieds that read like a challenge to your testosterone levels? “If you do not own a toolbox, have never changed your own oil, and are scared of tinkering: THIS VEHICLE IS NOT FOR YOU” is one of six overtly masculine qualifiers accompanying profane sarcasm in between technical details in this ad. They’re strong words for someone who replaced one of the era’s most beloved faces with fiberglass. Although the ovoid headlights, powerdome, and feeder-fish grille opening might be forgiven since all was done in the name of fitting a big, American engine under the hood for the purpose of racing. Find this 1960 Austin-Healey SCCA racer 302-swapped in Elmwood, NE for $9,625 via eBay with 6 days to go.
The builder saved a buck by starting with a heavily restricted 302 Windsor from a mid-70s Torino. What once amounted to 140 horsepower with two-barrel carbs and low (8.0:1) static compression ratio has been uncorked to at least twice that. Yet even with a 600 CFM Holly 4-barrel carb and a hotter cam, this Frite should pull off the line with no problem. Weighing 1,500 pounds will do that.
You want leaf springs? We got your leaf springs – and a lot of them. Everything involved with lateral movement has been replaced, rebuilt, refreshed, and is free from rust and corrosion. You’ll feel every pebble through the wafer-thin seats. But if that keeps you from buying this car, you can just go back to your cross-stitch portrait of Florence Nightingale, you pansy.
Some V8 Sprites have chipmunk cheeks. This one has more of a Panoz Esperante front and a Cobra rear, both of which are symbolic relatives to this build. The rear is the best shot of the car, and not only because it manages to make 215-section rear tires look big. Blink twice and tell yourself a mini Cobra didn’t just dust you on the freeway: twin exhaust outlets, chrome rollbar, fender flares, and prominent gas filler cap. You wanna call this Sprite “cute?” TRY SAYING THAT TO MY FACE, CHIEF.
Has this writing style had its 15 minutes yet? We get it – all car guys are chest-beating oafs who have never consumed a latte or had a mild interest in trying one, ever, we promise. Although that flood of caffeine might kick start enough creativity to write a less cliched classified ad…
See a car that will put more hair on your pathetic chest? Email us at email@example.com
PhiLOL respects the legacy of the late Florence Nightingale and doesn’t intend to speak on her behalf. Who knows – maybe she would have driven a V8 Sprite herself.
A Frite, eh? In Nebraska, you say? Hmm. If only it had a 4-speed.
Only a 302? Come on that's all you can fit, I expect at least a 460!