Welcome to the Sprite Register
My name is Robert Kemp and I'm the Registrar for the Sprite Register, a position I have held since 1982. Although my first ride in a Healey was in a 100, the first car I acquired was a Frogeye in 1972. I paid ten pound for it - but it probably only worth five - and so began an ongoing saga of rebuilds and maintenance, acquiring parts and knowledge along the way.
As with most enthusiasts it is unusual to stop at just one so over the years, a second Frogeye was acquired followed by the Mk IV Sprite previously owned by my father. I must also admit to a few ‘beyond repair’ cars along the way which were dismantled and added to the spares collection. So I think it is reasonable to say that Austin Healey Sprites have always featured heavily in my life, a fact which, fortunately, my wife accepted with good grace, realising that the situation was unlikely to ever change.
Besides the usual regular repairs all 3 cars have had major rebuilds - WXM three times, when I first bought it in 1972 (basic), a planned rebuild in 1983 (better) and then again in the 1990s (best) after a major disagreement with a red VW Golf in Germany. The Mk IV had a new shell after the foot wells began to resemble paddling pools and TDK is about to take to the roads this year after a major rebuild. I cannot take credit for this as I was finally persuaded to sell it a few years ago but have been fully involved in the role of ‘consultant’.
That question of ‘how many cars do you think are left?’ has been asked for many years and that is what prompted me to take over the Register back in 1982. The question is still asked today and we probably still don't have a reliable answer. Hopefully this new Project, sponsored by the Austin Healey Club, and the development of our new database and online capabilities will encourage more owners to let us have details of their cars. We will be collecting any data we can about cars still on the road, under restoration or even scrapped. It will all help to build up a history of the Marque which is the main aim.
So thank you for taking part and we look forward to receiving your completed form, along with any photos and documentation and please feel free to contact me with any Sprite issues.
Robert (Bob) Kemp