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UK 1958 Frogeye Sprite

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ARAMIS Avatar
ARAMIS Andrew Turner-Cross
Slindon West Sussex, WEST SUSSEX, UK   GBR
Hello American friends, I did a piece for this already but somehow lost it in the sending.We call the MK1's Frogeyes here, but Bugeye does just as well. Bought mine in 1974 and had a lot of fun with the 1622 engine and transmission. Almost unbeatable acceleration ( she went like !!!! off a stick )! but a little unstable around 90 mph. Miraculously I kept life, limb and drivers' licence ( fear is a man's best friend ) until 1980 when I stripped it to bodyshell, repaired, shot blasted and re-painted it. There the rebuild project stopped, business, children etc intervened.
I've owned all sorts of exotic and interesting cars since, but this modest and most exciting little beast held a special place in my heart, sort of like a first love. It's been dry stored all that time since. The children have grown up but disappointingly weren't interested in it. I recently moved home and decided that someone else should now get enjoyment from it. I'm very reluctantly going to sell it here or she doesn't mind going back to the USA.
It came back to the UK from New Hampshire in 1972. I don't know if that MGA engine was fitted in the States or not. It has a plastic hood, which I presume was to balance the weight ratio given the heavier engine. I frequently 'lost' the rear end until I put a bag of cement in the trunk! Some friends and I repeatedly tested the 0-60 at under four seconds. That was on the local disused runway of the former WWII front-line fighter station at Tangmere. ( Spitfires and Hurricanes, commanded by the Battle of Britain Ace, Douglas Bader ) .
I think its American history is as interesting and important to its provenance as with over here's. Can anyone help with that, given the scant records I know from memory? I also need to get the VIN for the British Motor Heritage certificate which will give a lot more info. I know where the aluminium plate should be under the hood but I removed it before shot blasting and, of course, over the years it got lost. The body number quoted on my membership profile won't do for the certificate, and the dash is not original; where else can I look? I've got a really good photograph of her on the road in the 1970's, as soon as I find it in the house move boxes I'll add it to the profile.
Thanks and ta-ta for now.

Andrew.

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Gambit Avatar
Gambit Gareth Goodchild
Indian River, ON, Canada   CAN
Andrew, there are several other numbers on the body to give you a clue to the vin number however look behind the dash as the vin number was usually written on in crayon there.

ARAMIS Avatar
ARAMIS Andrew Turner-Cross
Slindon West Sussex, WEST SUSSEX, UK   GBR
Thanks, but the original dash is gone and the whole shell was shot blasted, so need to look somewhere else.

A.

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Jim Gruber Avatar
Dayton, OH, USA   USA
Number plate and behind dash in crayon. Door plate numbers as well, That’s it on a Frogeye. These is a Wheeler Davies number stamped just below RH Hinge plate that would be within a few hundred #’s of the VIN number but that number was not recorded

BMac Avatar
BMac Brendan MacRae
Grass Valley, CA, USA   USA
Hi Andrew,

My Heritage certificate lists the axle number and it matches my 67 Sprite. If you have the factory rear end in this car maybe with both of those numbers they can find your correct chassis number. I would go back to British Motor Heritage and ask them again about the body number and see if they can pair it with the rear axle number. Multiple numbers are better than just one.

The axles are numbered on the front left side of the rear axle tube.

Good Luck.

Brendan

pixelsmithusa Avatar
At this point, the right-hand door ID plate or the engine serial number, if original, are your only chances at determining the original VIN/chassis number. Typically, no other numbers were recorded by BMIHT. The door ID plate you need begins with the letters "BAE"; the opposite door plate will not be of help. I suspect that you removed the door plates for blasting as well, and you've stated that the engine is an MGA, so non-original, so sounds like you are out of luck. Other than the number at the top of the footwell, no other numbers are engraved on the body/chassis. While that will put you roughly "in the ballpark" (within 1000 digits) it won't be traceable to the original chassis ID.

In reply to # 197994 by ARAMIS
I think its American history is as interesting and important to its provenance as with over here's. Can anyone help with that, given the scant records I know from memory? I also need to get the VIN for the British Motor Heritage certificate which will give a lot more info. I know where the aluminium plate should be under the hood but I removed it before shot blasting and, of course, over the years it got lost. The body number quoted on my membership profile won't do for the certificate, and the dash is not original; where else can I look? I've got a really good photograph of her on the road in the 1970's, as soon as I find it in the house move boxes I'll add it to the profile.
Thanks and ta-ta for now.

Andrew.



Gerard

http://gerardsgarage.com/


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