Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | June 24-27, 2020
John Britten’s Arkley was a kit car launched in 1970. The SS was a fiberglass re-body for cars such as the MG Midget or Austin-Healey Sprite. This car is based on a 1966 Austin-Healey Sprite.
Power is from a 1.1-liter inline-four from a Morris Minor, and the car features front cycle fenders with the headlights perched between them and the hood. You can still clearly see the Sprite underpinnings along the sides of the car near the doors.
About 1,000 Arkley kits were produced during the initial run. The rights were sold in the late 1980s and were available again for a short time thereafter. This one is offered at no reserve from RM’s “Essen” sale, which has been pushed back to June and is now online-only. You can read more about the car here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Coys | Woodstock, Oxfordshire, U.K. | June 29, 2013
The Speedwell GT was a version of the Austin-Healey Sprite that was intended for racing. It was developed by Speedwell – an outside tuning company – and there were some noticeable differences between the Sprite and the GT.
First of all, the Sprites are commonly referred to as “Bugeye” (or Frogeye) Sprites because of their inset headlights that gave them a unique – if not dorky – look. This car has the lights in a more traditional place and it’s a fixed-top coupe.
Speedwell was founded by John Sprinzel, Len Adams and George Holbert in the late-1950s. The GT was designed by Frank Costin, brother of Cosworth co-founder Mike Costin. This is one of very few factory-built Speedwell GTs and it is based around a 1961 Sprite Mk I. The engine is a 948cc straight-four making 43 horsepower. Many of the new body panels were aluminium to save weight. It’s a quick car for its class.
The car was campaigned in the 1960s. It’s racing history includes:
1966 500 Miles of Brands Hatch – 17th (with Keith Grant and Grahame White)
1966 1000km Nürburgring – 32nd, 2nd in class (with Grant and White)
1966 GP Mugello – Not Classified, 2 laps down (with Grand and White)
In the 1970s, it was raced and then parked and forgotten until it was rediscovered in the late-1980s and restored. It has appeared at the Goodwood Revival three times since and is in race-ready condition. It should sell for between $75,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ Blenheim Palace sale.