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SpriteSpot.com • View topic - About AN5L 3631

About AN5L 3631

Have a good motoring story you'd like to share?

About AN5L 3631

Postby SpriteMeister » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:22 pm

I am new to SpriteSpot and if you have seen all of my messages and my photos, you know i am enjoying it! my friends who have seen the car seem to enjoy the background on it so I thought I would send it along. If you enjoy the reading, tell me. If it was a waste of your time, tell that too.

I ordered my new Sprite from the local dealer (suburban Philadelphia) as soon as they were introduced into the US. The waiting time was driving me crazy and I hoped to get it in time to drive it to the Watkins Glen races, September 20, 1958. My order was for Speedwell Blue with the minimum of equipment. My plan was to enter it in the newly formed Pennsylvania Hill Climb Championships and I wanted to get the blue interior and then change the color to white with blue racing stripes.

A best friend was running the shop for Royston Distributors, in Philadelphia. He was the one who took the cars off of the ships and processed them for delivery to the dealers. The week before the Glen, he called me to make sure what color I had ordered. He said the dealer was scheduled for four cars but none were blue, he would see what he could do. I in turn called the dealer and told them if my car came in I would like to take it to the Glen that weekend. They said "not a chance, four cars coming but not a blue one". About an hour later they called back, surprised, and told me their order had been changed and they were now getting a blue car. However, it could not be ready by the weekend.

When I went in to pick up the car, Monday after returning from the Glen (I took my MG-TD), I lifted the drive shaft tunnel mat to show them my name written in yellow crayon by my friend at Royston's. He helped me prep the car for the hill climbs, paint it white with the blue stripes, installed the roll bar, built a tow bar so I could tow it with my '53 Studebaker Hardtop, and occasionally went along as my "pit crew".

In the summer of 1960 I decided to get a Fiat Abarth Zagato Double Bubble. There was one that ran in my H Production class and if he was there, I always finished 2nd. I sold the Sprite and bought one of the spare Team Roosevelt cars from the Sebring 12 hour race. The Abarth served me well until 1974. BUT, after getting married and moving to South Central PA, my friend called one day in 1964 and asked if I was interested in buying a Sprite. He was now running his own body shop and had a towing contract with the PA Turnpike. He said that he bought this Sprite, unseen, on an insurance bid sheet. It was hit in the left front corner while parked. He could replace the left front suspension so I could tow it home. He continued to tell me it was WHITE WITH BLUE RACING STRIPES. The roll bar was the same color scheme and it had a custom tonneau cover, blue with white stripes. Needless to say, he sold it! The same girl I sold it to was the owner when it got hit, so even though I bought it new, I would be the third owner (but I put it in my wife's name, same initials).

It sat in the barn while I worked on remodeling the house, rebuilding several early Fords, and raising a family. In 1992 we got it out and started to work on a restoration, but, in 1993 my wife won a Corvette. Now she had a convertible to drive so the Sprite went back into the barn. In 1995 the Corvette became a motor home so the Sprite went back on the priority project list. Work re-started in 2010 and with some luck, we will be taking it behind the motor home next summer as our "sight-seeing" car.

I didn't plan to ramble on like this but it seems that each detail helps to embellish the story. Hope you enjoyed it! DON

See some of our other cars at http://www.BrewsterCars.com and you will know why the Sprite was on a back burner for so long.
SpriteMeister
Pit Crew
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:27 pm

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