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View Full Version : Now I have a Sprite and a Midget!!!



RickB
02-28-2009, 07:52 PM
Our mutual friend and fellow President of the Sprite & Midget Club - BillM, called last week to tell me about a '63 Sprite being stored in the garage of someone he works with.
He asked if I might be interested in it, and of course I was.

So today I went and met the (now) previous owner, Brian.
Real nice guy, we talked cars and telescopes and kids and came down to it and I asked what he wanted to get for the car.
Turns out the answer was exactly the amount I had brought with me.
So we exchanged papers.

I'm now the proud new owner of HAN7L38284.
Now where do I go to figure out how that VIN decodes?

The body is in great shape, under and over all great except...

Brian got the car in 1979, the PO before him had some sort of V8 or something in there that required a huge hood scoop.
The thing looks like a BUICK!!!

That's OK - I have 2 hoods here already so I can get one painted red and bolt it right on there.
Now it has a nice 948 in it with dual SU's. SWEET!!!

Oh, the car is Jalapeno Red. That the actual paint code, don't know what it's originally for.

It has a serviceable soft top and side curtains.
Needs new rubber seals, under the windshield etc.
Has seats that look like they are from a 79 Midget. They HAVE to go.

It has an aftermarket 70's looking deep dish steering wheel. It HAS to go.

I'd really like original seats & steering wheel in there and I'll be putting a proper bonnet on it ASAP.

Frankly... I need to do something just to be able to fit in the car - it has a huge roll bar that keeps the seat from going back very far and the deep dish steering wheel, well, just doesn't give me the kind of room I need.

If anyone has some original seats they want to get rid of, or steering wheel, send me an email.

I just bought this on Ebay Australia:
Bonnet Badge (https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&it em=310125150173)

So I guess the front bonnet badge with the wings can be had once in a while, if you are looking for one remember to check the ebay.com.au and ebay.co.uk sites as well as the normal ebay.com

The car will be delivered most likely in about a week. I'm pretty excited!!

Pictures in a minute...

BugEyeBear
02-28-2009, 08:01 PM
AH! The addiction continues to grow!!

Good for you!! :thumbsup:

-Bear- :cheers:

RickB
02-28-2009, 08:15 PM
Here it is...

(more pics after I get it home of course...)

Trevor Jessie
02-28-2009, 08:34 PM
Looks nice, but aren't you worried it will feel a little underpowered compared to the Datsun?

64rocksprite
02-28-2009, 09:53 PM
Looks like a very nice find Rick.
Interesting that it has the padded dash trim above and below..this (to my understanding) came out with the 1098cc/disc brakes. Perhaps a PO added those later(?) Does it have the same 'rolled' trim on the top of the doors or is it flat aluminum like a BE trim?
Looks like a real nice car from the get-go..work on the mods/resto you like while you drive!

Congrats!

RickB
02-28-2009, 10:19 PM
First I have to either lose some girth or get a different seat / steering wheel setup so I can sit in it AND drive!!

Yes, it has rounded aluminum trim on the top of the doors that is covered with vinyl.

I want to make some changes with the dash, but it's good for now.
I like the little motor that's in there now, it starts up real easy considering it's been sitting in a garage for 12 years!!!

RickB
02-28-2009, 10:23 PM
Looks nice, but aren't you worried it will feel a little underpowered compared to the Datsun?

The other morning on the way to work I was wondering why my car seemed to be a bit "light" in the suspension.

After arriving I checked the electronic speedo for "Max Speed" and found I had been traveling at 84 mph.

No, I am not concerned about that. I am actually a bit relieved about that. :wink:

drooartz
03-01-2009, 12:17 AM
Nice find!

Billm
03-01-2009, 12:24 AM
Rick
I notice that those are Bugeye carbs and I know that it is a smoothcase tranny.
If I recall correctly Brian said that they were trying to put a Pinto engine/trans in it before he got it (thus the hoodscoop). It should originally have had an 1100 (therefore I believe that the dash is correct except for the ammeter). The 1100's had a tendency to snap cranks so this may be the result.
You shouldn't get too many speeding tickets in it :smile:
Bill

Whitephrog
03-01-2009, 07:33 AM
HAN7L38284 may have been produced in very late December 1963 but most likely in very early January 1964. This is one of the last few HAN7s produced. The first HAN8 was produced January 28 1964. The original engine would have been a 1098cc with an engine number beginning with 10CG.

blkcorvair
03-01-2009, 08:58 AM
Sweet new ride Rick!

John Moore
03-01-2009, 09:31 AM
NICE! I love the early cars!

tony barnhill
03-01-2009, 09:48 AM
Way to go! But, I was looking forward to seeing a photo of that hood....

RickB
03-01-2009, 11:15 AM
I will photo document the whole car as soon as it gets delivered.
Yes, you will get to see the "buick" hood!

RickB
03-01-2009, 01:32 PM
So I've learned that this was one of the last MkII Sprites produced and was likely made in early 1964. That would seem to make it a 64 Sprite, and that is what it says on the title. Is that right? Or is it a '63? Should I care?

nomad
03-01-2009, 02:03 PM
Rick: The stock seats for that car are, In my opinion, the most comfortable seats ever put in a spridget. Also the seats that afford the most leg room. Looks like a nice car!!! Have fun!!
KA

RickB
03-01-2009, 02:10 PM
I like them too, now where do I pick up a set that won't break the bank?

scoutll
03-01-2009, 02:28 PM
Good find Rick.
The year on the title really doesn't make a difference. Mine was made in Jan 63 and is titled as a 64. It wasn't sold until the following March. Apparently, the side curtain cars moved a little slowly in the North Dakota dealerships. The seat components are very pricy if you buy them from Moss, VB or AH Spares, but you can find them reasonably on ebay sometimes. The best place would be if you can find them on one of the forums or luck out at a junkyard. If you do, check the bottom metal frames well. They have a tendency to rust if the donor car was leaky and not looked after.

nomad
03-01-2009, 02:45 PM
Patience and E'bay Rick! I've got a spare set a while back for $300. I'm not giving them up right now though. Seat pans are fairly simple and can be repaired. The set I have in my BE were patched with a piece of old car hood.
BTW say Hi to BillM from the So Dakota farmer the next time you see him.
KA

RickB
03-01-2009, 04:23 PM
I'll have to keep my eyes open for sure.
Are these the same seats as in a MkI Midget?
Maybe that would open up a little more possibilities.
Maybe I can sell the late Midget seats that are in it now, the coverings are in very good condition and they are black with headrests.
That might help offset the cost of replacement.

Anyone got a picture of the proper steering wheel for a MkII Sprite?

Billm
03-01-2009, 05:21 PM
Hi Kurt!
BillM

RickB
03-01-2009, 07:39 PM
Well there ya go - hi said and returned!!

Geez, I don't even have the car yet and already have all these great plans for things to change / fix on it. Man this is going to be a blast!!

scoutll
03-01-2009, 08:06 PM
Rick, the seat components are the same with the exception of the rails on the passenger side of some. Midgets had adjustment and sliders on the passenger seat, not all of the Sprites did. The upholstery design and piping color changed a few times. Yours should look similar to a GAN2 Midget.
A small picture of a sprite wheel is posted. Sorry it is so small. It looks a lot like a Midget MK1 wheel, but has the "AH" wings moulded into the spokes.

Bryan

GrahamP
03-02-2009, 06:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]I'll have to keep my eyes open for sure.
Are these the same seats as in a MkI Midget?
Maybe that would open up a little more possibilities.
Maybe I can sell the late Midget seats that are in it now, the coverings are in very good condition and they are black with headrests.
That might help offset the cost of replacement. [/QUOTE]

IIRC the Midget and Sprite seats share the same frame and padding but the upholstery panelling was different also the Midget passenger seat was adjustable but the Sprite wasn't.

The same frame and padding was used in the Mk1 Sprite/BE as well.
Graham.