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Richard's Frogeye Sprite, 1961.Richard dropped me a line and jotted down the potted history of his Frogeye Sprite, built in 1961. He's on the lookout for a suitable steel bonnet to fit his Mk1 Sprite, so if you can help, and are able to ship to Australia, please get in touch and I'll forward your details on to him.
Some years later, whilst still used for regular transport and club competition meetings, I noticed that rust had set in in the usual places (lower body sctions, sills etc.) and decided to give it a makeover. I dutifully rubbed it down to bare metal after taking it all apart, and then gave it to a panel beater, only to find that the "repairer" thought my uncle was Bill Gates! Needless to say, I re-posessed it pronto after some good money went his way for not much work.
The car languished in the garage (as a storage cupboard) whilst my children grew up - no spare money for cars then .... probably 20 or more years passed and I met a local panel beater who was English born and trained. He raced Hillman Imps, no less, and seemed to be building cars for racing and the odd bread 'n butter job. We became quite friendly and I asked whether he would finish off the Sprite for me. "In due course'" he said. . . . then a year or two later he was ready for it.
I gave him all the boxes of bits and in about three months, I took possession of my immaculate Bugeye.
Would you believe, 12 months after taking delivery and driving it only on fine days (the hood had not been on it yet), two kilometers from home, one summer afternoon, a woman driver made a right hand turn in front of me (illegally, according to the attending Policeman) and left me no room to avoid a smash. The bonnet was dinged on the left side and looked to be too wrinkled for repair. I was heartbroken - especially as other than the radiator needing to be recored, the car was drivable!
Thanks for the story Richard! can any Frogeye Sprite owners in the UK suggest places to source replacement panels, and, equally importantly, vouch for their quality and fit? so many pattern repair panels are a hopeless fit, so personal recommendations for this kind of thing go a long way. If anyone can help, please drop me a line via the contact page and I'll forward your details on.
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