PDLJMPR Web Magazine, October 22, 1998
Well it seemed like a good idea at the time (October '96), buy a convertible to go cruising during the coming Summer. After searching through the classifieds and speaking to various owners, I set about looking for a Sprite. My budget dictated that my purchase would be a later model Sprite, rather than the rarer Bugeye. The Sprites available could be put into three categories: basket-case, registered, and restored. As I always wanted to rebuild a car, I decided that the basket-case Sprite was for me. I found my Sprite in December 96, it is a '64 Mk2A. At the time, it seemed relatively complete and it had matching engine and chassis numbers.
These photos were taken the day I picked up my Sprite. Many of my friends questioned my sanity after seeing the car, but I was sure I could rescue it. After totally stripping the car, it was off to get acid dipped. The diagnosis in bare metal was better than expected, all the typical Sprite rust spots: sills, rear lower quarter panel, A-pillars and driver's side floor.
The body was shipped off to a panel shop, who did all the metal work and spray painted the car in Ford Cobalt Blue. The car has a fibreglass tilt front, wooden steering wheel and a tan coloured interior. Aside from the motor and gearbox, I have either restored or replaced most parts on the car. As far as I can tell, the 1100cc motor has a polished head, extractors and a warm cam. I hope to run the motor for another six months before replacing it with a warm 1380cc. It has been almost 12 months now and there is still plenty of work to do, but as summer is just around the corner and the car is finally registered, it is time to start enjoying cruising in the Sprite. Drive Safe!
If you liked Chris' article e-mail Chris, and tell him so! - ed.