The ex-works, Clive Baker, Nick Ramus, Frank Tiedeman,1961 Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite Coupé  Chassis no. ST456 Engine no. XSP 1736
Lot 308
The ex-works, Clive Baker, Nick Ramus, Frank Tiedeman, 1961 Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite Coupé
Registration no. 5435 WD Chassis no. ST456 Engine no. XSP 1736
Sold for £36,800 (US$ 60,838) inc. premium
Lot Details
The ex-works, Clive Baker, Nick Ramus, Frank Tiedeman
1961 Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite Coupé
Registration no. 5435 WD
Chassis no. ST456
Engine no. XSP 1736

Footnotes

  • Although BMC's Competitions Department did little to develop the Sprite for rallying, the Healeys enthusiastically pursued an endurance racing campaign from 1959 onwards, concentrating on Le Mans, Sebring and the Targa Florio. The Sprite offered here is believed to be the Team's practice car at the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours race. According to the Sebring Sprite Register, the Healeys loaned '5435 WD' to the 19-year old Clive Baker for the 1962 club-racing season. In 1963 the Sprite was sold by the Warwick works to Nick Ramus, who campaigned the car for some years before selling it to Frank Tiedeman in the mid-1970s. Mr Tiedeman has competed in it regularly, mainly at hill climb events such as Prescott. It was maroon with this body (works Mark 2 hardtop and Williams & Pritchard Sebring-type bonnet) at the time of acquisition but it is not known when the change from the original 'frog-eye' shape was made.

    In his book 'Mighty Midgets and Special Sprites', John Baggott says that Clive Baker drove Sprites for the Team more than any other driver, including races where he borrowed a car to drive as a private entrant, or was lent to another team to drive for them. He was awarded a contract in 1962 and drove '5435 WD' at most of the British circuits, rarely finishing outside the top three in his class. He also raced '5345 WD' at the Nürburgring 500km with team-mate Peter Jackson. According to 'MM&SS': 'Sussex driver Nick Ramus ran a variety of Sprites in autocross, scoring a surprise FTD at the Maidstone and Mid-Kent Car Club round of the Player's No. 6 Championship on 27th April 1969. The foul weather and muddy conditions favoured his 1.3 wire-wheeled, ex-Clive Baker Sebring Sprite, 5435 WD, enabling him to beat the likes of Barry Lee, Rod Chapman and John Taylor, who found their extra power to be an embarrassment.'

    '5435 WD' has been barn stored for a number of years and will need thorough re-commissioning at the very least before further use. There are Prescott Hill Climb scrutineering labels from 2002/2003 and we are told that the engine has been started since then. The glassfibre bodywork is aged, with extensive cracking to the paint, while the interior has been stripped out for racing. Offered with Swansea V5 and sold as viewed, '5435 WD' represents a rare opportunity to acquire an ex-works Austin-Healey Sprite with in-period race history, wonderful continuous provenance, and eligibility for a plethora of historic events.

Saleroom notices

  • We are unable to locate the engine number on the engine. This lot is now offered without reserve.
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