1960 Speedwell Sprite
Mr A S Ross has recently sent us a picture of an interesting car he has acquired. Originally a Mk 1 Sprite it underwent a £300 conversion early in its life. Designed by Len Adams of Speedwell Performance Conversions and worked on by Ernie Mole, it was converted into a fixed-head coupe with the addition of an aluminium roof. The rear indicators were blended into the body where the roof meets the boot and the original steel bonnet was discarded for one made out of GRP. Rubery Owen wire wheels and a paint job in metallic blue completed the external appearance of the car. The spare wheel had its own compartment behind the number plate which was opened with a carriage key and the interior was trimmed in red leather.
Graham Hill, who was responsible for tuning the engine, fitted an aluminium cylinder head with four Amal carburettors and also raised the compression so that the car was capable of 110 mph. It was with this car that the owner, a Mr Henry, and Graham Hill used to go racing at weekend meetings at Snetterton in 1960. After a season’s use the car was sold to Len Adams of Speedwell who fitted a Fiat 11/2-litre engine in 1962. Between that year and 1968 the car disappeared but during that time the Fiat engine had been replaced with an A series engine. This in turn was replaced by an MGB unit at the turn of the decade. Between 1972 and 1989 the car languished in a field before
being bought by Mr Ross, its present owner who is planning to rebuild the car to its Speedwell specification. Mr Ross would be grateful to hear from
any reader who can supply information about the car and whether there are any other Speedwell conversion survivors. Letters will be forwarded. WPK