The '65 Sebring Race was noteworthy for both rain and Jim Hall's Chaparral stealing the chequered from better-funded competitors Ford and Ferrari. While the big dogs slid through the slush, one little Sprite showed them all how it was done.
Sprites competed at Sebring from their inception, and each year they got a little faster and less bug-eyed. By '65 the factory was campaigning a pair of aerodynamic coupes with Lola-like noses and kamm tails. While there's no documentation that this is the same #61 that came in fifteenth overall that year, the seller spins a riveting account of driving to the track in his 1961 Frog-eye and watching this car dice it up with, among others, the GT40s and Porsche 904s. He goes on to detail his being reunited with the car, and its rebirth under the direction of its creator- Donald Healey:
Fifteen years later to the day of that race I found and bought this car. I shipped it back to England and Geoff and Donald Healey restored the car to the original Sebring specs (including the crap Lucas coils). The car even has a new set of the original Dunlop rain tires it ran on. The car is original and as run at Sebring in 65. When the car was returned to me Geoff and Donald gave me their file for the car from Sebring. Entry form, tech inspection sheet and even the shipping documents from England to Sebring. I already had the program and poster for the race. And I had photos of the car in the rain. Shortly after that I got another package and in that envelop were pictures of the car being built. They even gave me their original line drawing of the car before they began construction. I have misplaced the line drawing but will find it and everything goes with the car. There is a spare windshield for the car and multiple rear diffs with different gear ratios. The paint has some cracks, but I left it this way as this is how it came from the Healey shop. This is a great piece of racing history from the greatest era of road racing…the 60's.
This fascinating piece of racing history is currently bid up to over $145,000, with less than a day to go in the auction. One hopes that the eventual buyer will let others enjoy seeing it in action once again, although possibly not in the pouring rain.