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Bonneville Salt Flats Discussion => Build Diaries => Topic started by: warspite on July 22, 2013, 03:06:51 PM



Title: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 22, 2013, 03:06:51 PM
This weekend I'm dragging this '59 Austin Healey Sprite home.  It has been a racecar since the early 70's...set up for autocross and road courses. But I want to take it to the salt in a few years.  It has a race prepped 1100cc engine.
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/sprite1_zps366f9fc1.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/sprite1_zps366f9fc1.jpg.html)
The current owner says it runs, but no doubt it needs allot to get it into shape for a run on the salt.  Anyway, I ordered a rule book to go through and see what I need to do to it to make it legal in the most appropriate class.

I've worked on cars with my dad since I was old enough to hold a wrench.  However, my knowledge wouldn't fill a thumble, so I'm sure I'll ask a ton of questions.

Anyway, I can't wait to get it home and get to work on it.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: jacksoni on July 22, 2013, 03:20:41 PM
At first glance besides the obvious roll bar/cage issues, it will be in  H/MS as the headlights etc are removed glassed over or something. For fun, you might look at the build diary for the Bonneville Bugeye. I had a hand it it's construction. You might contact Udo (Hotschue) as he has had a fair amount of experience with similar.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 22, 2013, 04:08:19 PM
I don't even know where to begin on this one.

 :cheers:


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: jacksoni on July 22, 2013, 04:27:06 PM
I don't even know where to begin on this one.

 :cheers:

Aw, com'on. I think you may have some minor info to add.  :roll: Sorry sort of forgot about you in my prior response. Would you say he has a ways to go? :cheers:


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 22, 2013, 04:40:19 PM
Hey, his might run - that's a whole lot further down the road than I was when I started on my Spridget.

Welcome aboard, warspite -


I've got your back . . .


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 22, 2013, 06:08:33 PM
Thanks MM, I've read about 30 pages on your build so far.  Nice to have a trailblazer!


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Stan Back on July 22, 2013, 06:27:00 PM
We know you ain't seen the Rule Book yet -- but there's a 20 to 30 MPH record difference between leaving the headlights on or smoothing them off (GT vs. GMS).  We're sure it will be interesting reading when you get one. And I bet you can count on Milwaukee Midget to help interpret it.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 22, 2013, 07:02:02 PM
Thanks MM, I've read about 30 pages on your build so far.  Nice to have a trailblazer!

The dust hasn't settled yet, and I'm still working with a machete through this forest.  :wink: 

PM me if you have any questions.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Rex Schimmer on July 22, 2013, 07:17:57 PM
Chris (The Milwaukee Midget) is going to crucify me for saying this but! If you decide to run in "modified sports" sell the boat anchor to Chris and put a late model "crotch rocket" motor in it. The upper limit for the H class is 1500 ccs so a Hayabusa would be just about right and they start at 180 hp+ before you do anything to them with 5-600 possible with a hair dryer.

Rex


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 22, 2013, 07:41:21 PM
Rex, you are right, and quite honestly, you can build a hi-zoot 'busa for less than I've got in my tractor motor.

Modified Sport would be a good starting point for a car that's already modified, but you'll want to stretch the wheelbase - that's a 205 record with a blower on gas, and an 80 inch wheelbase could get twitchy.  :-o


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Texican on July 22, 2013, 08:46:55 PM
Rex, you are right, and quite honestly, you can build a hi-zoot 'busa for less than I've got in my tractor motor.

Modified Sport would be a good starting point for a car that's already modified, but you'll want to stretch the wheelbase - that's a 205 record with a blower on gas, and an 80 inch wheelbase could get twitchy.  :-o

Stretching the W/B is certainly a great option; might keep you off your head.
However: modifying that unibody that was stamped from the Schlitz beer cans left there by our GIs in WW II might be a real trick.
 Find a weldor that works with exhaust tubing .

Probably just build a tube frame and set the tin body on it.
Jim



g


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 22, 2013, 09:22:35 PM
Well, I do have a running tractor motor for the car if needed....(just posting this pic for fun....my other project)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/2012-03-31142352.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/2012-03-31142352.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 22, 2013, 09:30:00 PM
Ooooh - a Farmall A-Series!

Now THAT's a TRACTOR!



Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Peter Jack on July 23, 2013, 03:02:33 AM
Ooooh - a Farmall A-Series!

Now THAT's a TRACTOR!

The depth of knowledge within this group never fails to amaze me!  :roll: :roll: :-D

Pete


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: fordboy628 on July 23, 2013, 12:05:24 PM
This weekend I'm dragging this '59 Austin Healey Sprite home.  It has been a racecar since the early 70's...set up for autocross and road courses. But I want to take it to the salt in a few years.  It has a race prepped 1100cc engine.
Anyway, I can't wait to get it home and get to work on it.

Hello Warspite and welcome to the forum.   If your location permits attending Speedweek, you might consider attending & checking out the Milwaukee Midget's I/GT MG Midget.

Reading through his whole build diary (Yes, all 189 pages) will prove useful as well, at least you'll know what you're in for.

Race-prepped 1100 eh?  My advice is to strip it down to bare bones to determine just what it is, and, what condition it is in.   Don't trust that it will "probably be OK to run".   Better to find out any bad news on a teardown, than to drive over broken parts.  Just my 2 cents . . . . . . .

Choose your engine displacement & class wisely, so you are not @ the bottom of possible performance in a displacement bracket/class.   LSR is tough enough, you don't need to smack your head against a concrete wall too . . . . . . .      Again, just my 4 cents . . . . . .
 :cheers:
Fordboy


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Rex Schimmer on July 23, 2013, 12:05:32 PM
Except I think it is a Farmal B not an A. My personal preference is the Farmal M or Super M which is next on my list of things to own.

Back to land racing!!!!

Rex


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 23, 2013, 01:36:16 PM
Except I think it is a Farmal B not an A. My personal preference is the Farmal M or Super M which is next on my list of things to own.

Back to land racing!!!!

Rex

1952 Super A.  My grandparents bought it new.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 23, 2013, 02:06:56 PM
This weekend I'm dragging this '59 Austin Healey Sprite home.  It has been a racecar since the early 70's...set up for autocross and road courses. But I want to take it to the salt in a few years.  It has a race prepped 1100cc engine.
Anyway, I can't wait to get it home and get to work on it.

Hello Warspite and welcome to the forum.   If your location permits attending Speedweek, you might consider attending & checking out the Milwaukee Midget's I/GT MG Midget.

Reading through his whole build diary (Yes, all 189 pages) will prove useful as well, at least you'll know what you're in for.

Race-prepped 1100 eh?  My advice is to strip it down to bare bones to determine just what it is, and, what condition it is in.   Don't trust that it will "probably be OK to run".   Better to find out any bad news on a teardown, than to drive over broken parts.  Just my 2 cents . . . . . . .

Choose your engine displacement & class wisely, so you are not @ the bottom of possible performance in a displacement bracket/class.   LSR is tough enough, you don't need to smack your head against a concrete wall too . . . . . . .      Again, just my 4 cents . . . . . .
 :cheers:
Fordboy

It will be interesting to see what has been done to the engine.  The owner says he has receipts going back to the 70's for the work done to it.  I haven't seen the car in person yet, only pictures.  So we'll see.

Milwaukee Midget's thread is inspiring and sobering all at the same time!


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 23, 2013, 02:10:58 PM
Might as well post the rest of the pictures that were sent to me.
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/ahspritescca003_zpsd4934d86.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/ahspritescca003_zpsd4934d86.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/ahspritescca005_zps6ba31435.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/ahspritescca005_zps6ba31435.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/ahspritescca006_zpsccd970bb.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/ahspritescca006_zpsccd970bb.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/ahspritescca007_zpsb2eeb5cf.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/ahspritescca007_zpsb2eeb5cf.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/bugeyeengine001_zpsa21f2fd2.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/bugeyeengine001_zpsa21f2fd2.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/bugeyeengine002_zps75b91efe.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/bugeyeengine002_zps75b91efe.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/bugeyeengine003_zps31a46bb7.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/bugeyeengine003_zps31a46bb7.jpg.html)
(http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f366/TXmisery/bugeyeengine005_zps57d2c4ae.jpg) (http://s51.photobucket.com/user/TXmisery/media/bugeyeengine005_zps57d2c4ae.jpg.html)


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 23, 2013, 06:10:18 PM
Milwaukee Midget's thread is inspiring and sobering all at the same time!

It's unusual to see any form of the word "sober" used with respect to my work.

I'll take it as an ill-informed compliment.   :cheers: 


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Peter Jack on July 23, 2013, 07:46:51 PM
It looks to me like the finish on the trailer is already prepared for the salt!  :-D :-D :-D

Pete


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Graham in Aus on July 23, 2013, 07:49:51 PM
Wow! real 70's time warp, Grabbers!

Love the ram tubes, and what's going on with the brackets off the rocker cover? some sort of elaborate HT lead holding system?

Looking forward to this one!  :cheers:


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Tman on July 23, 2013, 08:29:19 PM
Ooooh - a Farmall A-Series!

Now THAT's a TRACTOR!

The depth of knowledge within this group never fails to amaze me!  :roll: :roll: :-D

Pete
Or the depravity! :-D


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: wheelrdealer on July 23, 2013, 09:37:26 PM
Warspite:

I love it. But I have a thing for orphan race cars. I have never seen a bugeye with its eyes removed. Cleans up the front end real nice.

Some Camaro is missing its T shifter handle.

Welcome and looking forward to following your build.

PS:
M Midget holds the record for thread pages per cubic inch at 188 last I looked. I bet there is a lot in his thread that will help you.

BR


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 23, 2013, 11:03:14 PM
I have never seen a bugeye with its eyes removed. Cleans up the front end real nice.

Bill, I agree.

Actually, when the Sprite was under development, the plans called for flip-up headlights, similar to what eventually appeared on the Opel GT.  They were unable to make it happen at the price-point Healey and the BMC guys were looking for, so the very characteristic that gave the car its nickname was a "plan B."

Warspite's car is very similar to how Donald Healey wanted the car to look.

http://www.ado13.com/



Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 23, 2013, 11:23:44 PM
This car is actually the MG EX179 which was a hand-me-down to Healey after MG put together the EX181.  Healey shoved a 948 Sprite motor in it and used it for testing and promotional use.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/b-m-c-does-it-again/query/austin+healey+sprite

MG and Healey go way back on the salt.  There were Healeys at Bonneville before there were small block Chevys.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Stainless1 on July 24, 2013, 08:27:01 AM
This BE Sprite held the I/GT record at Bonneville in the late 70s.  Ran about 98 I think


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: doug odom on July 24, 2013, 09:58:46 AM
If someone will tell me how to post a picture, I will show you what I did with my 59 Sprite.

Doug Odom in Big Ditch


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: kiwi belly tank on July 24, 2013, 10:06:36 AM
WOW! :-o That really is a period race car, it'd be a shame to throw all that away.
How about we rattle the bushes n see if we can find you an undesirable stock one to hack up?
  Sid.
  


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Seldom Seen Slim on July 24, 2013, 06:41:13 PM
Here's a photo of Doug's car.  I include the text of his email.  He sent the whole package to me to post for him.  I dunno, maybe it's him being an old Navy guy  :evil: (you were Navy, right Doug?) that he had trouble posting it.  Whatever - here 'tis:

Here is a photo from 2004.

 "This is what I did with my 1959 AH Sprite.

Doug Odom in Big Ditch

ps  Yes I will see you guys in two weeks."


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: wheelrdealer on July 24, 2013, 07:28:14 PM
Kiwi:

I agree, I love old race cars as they were parked. If I had the money and the storage I would have a bunch of them.



WOW! :-o That really is a period race car, it'd be a shame to throw all that away.
How about we rattle the bushes n see if we can find you an undesirable stock one to hack up?
  Sid.
  


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: fordboy628 on July 25, 2013, 06:25:37 AM
Kiwi:

I agree, I love old race cars as they were parked. If I had the money and the storage I would have a bunch of them.



WOW! :-o That really is a period race car, it'd be a shame to throw all that away.
How about we rattle the bushes n see if we can find you an undesirable stock one to hack up?
  Sid.
  

Too bad it only takes Jay Leno/Billy Joel type money to preserve & restore auto racing history . . . . . .  :-(

I wish my dad had suggested finance to me as a career instead of engineering, then I'd be able to pay guys to restore stuff for me . . . :cry:
Oh, well.   Too late to change careers now.   Take heed warspite . . . . .   be careful about what you wish for . . . . .
 :cheers:
F/B


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 25, 2013, 06:33:34 AM
Starting to get a bit worried gentlemen.  No comunication from the seller since we agreed on a price last weekend.  :-(


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 25, 2013, 07:29:09 AM
Trust me - non-communicative suppliers are Standard  Operating  Procedure in this game.

Patience . . .


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: warspite on July 25, 2013, 10:20:35 AM
Maybe I could run the Farmall on the salt...


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Tman on July 25, 2013, 11:50:13 AM
Trust me - non-communicative suppliers are Standard  Operating  Procedure in this game.

Patience . . .

I beg to differ! I work my Acura off helping customers! :-D :cheers:


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Milwaukee Midget on July 25, 2013, 01:08:58 PM
Trust me - non-communicative suppliers are Standard  Operating  Procedure in this game.

Patience . . .

I beg to differ! I work my Acura off helping customers! :-D :cheers:

Looks like I stepped in it with a friend.   :oops:

Sorry, Trent.

There's just so damned many "specialty" parts for this thing that so many suppliers don't stock - they've got me by the nutz.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: grumm441 on July 26, 2013, 04:09:55 AM
Maybe I could run the Farmall on the salt...

Can't see why not
We found a class for one in Aus
G

http://www.dlra.org.au/profiles/506.htm


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: kiwi belly tank on July 26, 2013, 09:35:07 AM
Maybe I could run the Farmall on the salt...

Can't see why not
We found a class for one in Aus
G

http://www.dlra.org.au/profiles/506.htm
Don't tell Dan, that stuff makes him break out. :evil:
  Sid.


Title: Re: Newbie with a '59 AH Sprite
Post by: Tman on July 26, 2013, 11:20:23 AM
Trust me - non-communicative suppliers are Standard  Operating  Procedure in this game.

Patience . . .

I beg to differ! I work my Acura off helping customers! :-D :cheers:

Looks like I stepped in it with a friend.   :oops:

Sorry, Trent.

There's just so damned many "specialty" parts for this thing that so many suppliers don't stock - they've got me by the nutz.

No worries, that's why I put in the grinning smiley. Off the wall specialty cars can be a PIA dealing with niche suppliers.