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This is one of those rare, wonderful finds that has absolutely everything going for it. Not only it is an outstanding fully rebuilt all steel car, it’s a UK RHD car that left the factory in Old English White with Red trim and Black hood with heater, front bumper and rev counter, supplied new by Steels Limited, Wiltshire with the original dealer plaque present in the car’s history file. The car was built on the 31st March 1959, despatched on the 15th April and allocated the registration mark still on the car today, 287 HWT. Not only does the Frogeye retain its original registration mark, it retains all its original major components thus being a matching numbers car and comes with a period after market hard top.
Having spent its early life in Wiltshire, we know the Sprite MKI had made its way to the North West by the 1980's. In 1981 the car was on the Wirral and by 1984 it was in Nelson, Lancashire where is stayed with one owner for 30 years. A major restoration was undertaken during the 1980's but sadly the long-term owner never managed to complete it. Two years ago, the car was sold after more than three decades and the rebuild was finished to an exceptionally high standard. The body was beautifully restored, it was completed on a rotisserie, so the underside is a similar standard to the top of the car. The bare shell was taken back to bare metal and fully re-painted in its original colour. All of the rust in the body had been cut out, replaced with new fabricated panels and some new old stock panels were sourced.
Wheels were taken back to metal, brightwork re-chromed, the interior was completely re-trimmed and all new weather equipment purchased. The hard top was re-furbished and the tyres replaced. The engine had been rebuilt with its long term owner but during the most recent second phase the head was removed and converted to unleaded. A new wiring loom was fitted, any electrical components in need to replacement were changed and the gauges were overhauled. The car was treated to a new fuel tank, new fuel pump, fuel line and the carburettors were refurbished. The braking, steering, suspension and cooling system were all rebuilt as necessary and the car then heavily detailed to ensure a show standard finish.
287 HWT has covered just running in miles since completion and is truly glorious in every respect. The bodywork is top class with excellent panel fit and perfect straight panels, the underside looks like new and the paint finish is superb. Chrome is as new, the interior beautifully done, and the engine bay is show standard like the underside. On the road the car is as you would expect having had a high quality rebuild to this standard. It drives superbly with a lively, strong rebuilt engine holding excellent oil pressure, the gearbox is smooth and with braking, suspension, steering, cooling and electrical components replaced, the Frogeye is not far from what a new car would be like. 287 HWR is a top class car, it has the provenance to become a collectors piece, but the quality to be a show vehicle or weekend use classic that will offer wonderful reliable and enjoyable touring. With this in mind, plus an impressive file of restoration photographs, Steels dealer plaque, invoices, old V5's and Heritage Certificate, this has to be one of the most impressive Sprite MKI's we've come across.