FIA Project Car


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FIA Project Car


Prior buying 2080 PO I bought another full steel bodied frogeye with a view of making it down to Monaco with it one day. Clearly to be able to engage into the Monaco would require for the car to be built alongside the FIA specs of the time. So I have started to buy a few bits and pieces to build the car as well as putting some thoughts on what the car will be.


The intention is to replicate the specifications of 2214 UE which was driven successfully by John Sprinzel in the 1960 Liege-Rome-Liege rally. John in an email to me kindly recollected the specifications of the car he drove then.


"...Although the Liege did not require the cars to be homologated, this was the prototype specification which Geoff Healey and I put together for the official homologation for what we all called the Sebring Sprite. Although bodywork was free under the regulations, we used a standard steel body as this was when I was at the Donald Healey Motor company, and we wanted to get maximum publicity in trying for a class victory. Lucas fog lamps were back mounted at either side of the grille, and the steel centre had been replaced with chicken wire for better air cooling. (The Liege was VERY hot). An oil cooler was placed where the heater duct would normally be fitted and the entire heater was removed. The chassis had the stronger Austin a 40 front springs, normal rear springs, a front anti-roll bar (with the mounting points turned upwards to help prevent damage. Armstrong adjustable shockers were fitted to the rear, and 15% uprated units were at the front. The exhaust was suspended by about five strong mountings and protected with welded on angle iron skids (the thin Dexion from shelving kits) The transmission had the specially strong straight-cut close ratio gears, and a 4.5 final drive was used, as top speed was not so important on the Marathon. (Pat Moss victorious Healey 300 also used a very short final drive) A two speed wiper motor was fitted, not because it would be rainy, but to help clear the muck from the windscreen. Standard seats and steering wheel were used, as I did not start the special seat business until 1961.8" rear brake drums and Girling discs were fitted together with Dunlop 60 spoke wire wheels. The hard VG 95 rear brake linings, and DS front pads were used, with a fly-off handbrake. The engine was very carefully built to the homologated 997cc, with special pistons, better quality valves were used with the larger inlets and the stronger valve springs were Healey Speed Equipment items. A fully flowed cylinder head with normal compression ratio was milled to Harry Weslake's own modified design, as he made the model for me which we copy-mold milled for our production units. The milder of our two modified camshafts, machined from the stock blank was used to give more power at lower revs.  Either one and a quarter or one and a  half inch SU's were fitted (we used both so I am not exactly sure which, but probably the 1 1/2") on our short alloy stub inlet manifolds, and a three branch fabricated exhaust was fitted. Payen gaskets made our special steel head gaskets, as the normal ones tended to "burn" between number 2 and 3 cylinders if even the tiniest leak was present, which copper asbestos gaskets were prone to. A Lucas competition coil was fitted, but as this was all on a brand new car, the wiring harness was considered to be OK to use after careful checking. Twin SU fuel pumps were fitted with a simple change over switch. Dunlop Duraband tyres  lasted through the rough event, although the BMC mechanics changed one driver's side rear tyre on the run in to Liege on the last day, as the sidewall had a small bulge - not surprising considering the state of the roads in Yugoslavia.  The car was stock BMC light blue, with the OE white standard BMC/Healey Speed Equipment hardtop, which I believe was made by Jensen. Instruments were all stock, except that Smiths usually rebuilt them for me with silicone damping and accurate calibration. We did not use a Halda Speedpilot, as navigation was not thought to be a problem. I cannot recall the seat belts we used, probably Britax lap straps, as I was not too happy with full harness with such a fragile 'roof', and we did not have a roll-over bar in those days. I also always fitted extra padding both on the sharp bits of the gear tunnel and in front of the drivers door due to my rather long legs banging on these bits.... "

Good luck with your project.

Aloha, John



Clearly the priority is to restore 2080 PO first so as to get the car ready sometime next year, but looking ahead I have already started to gather some of the difficult bits and pieces to find as my though is that they are unlikely to get cheaper as time pass....


Richard Longman forged pistons
Matching set of rare Arrow forged steel beam rods for a small bore engine one of only 10 set made
EN40B "red" crank



    8 bolts flywheel to suit the above crankshaft.
Pair of adjustable Armstrong dampers bought from Apple hydraulics in New York.



  pair of SU H4 1 1/2 inch

whish will need total refurbishing and new float chambers. Still it was a good buy on eBay as they are AUC 6020 bodies which were fitted to car such as MGA in the sixties. All the spares can be purchased from


SU 1.5 mounted on Healey inlet  manifold purchased from Archers Garage
A pair of Riley  1.5 rear brakes back plates for the Sebring conversion
Pair of Smiths stopwatches and an indispensable  Brantz tripmeter....still saving for the Halda
  Enots petrol cap

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This site was last updated 06/12/12