Austin-Healey Sprite with a Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

This 1960 Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite has had several upgrades and many different engines since it rolled out of the factory.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

The original 948 cc inline-four was replaced with a 1275 cc inline-four. Then it went to a 2.0 L Ford Pinto inline-four and then a 2.8 L Capri with a turbocharger.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

Now the small car runs a rebuilt 3.5 L Rover V8. The engine has been upgraded with ported intake runners, ported and polished exhaust ports, Crane 450/460 camshafts, Crane roller rockers, ceramic coated pistons, balanced rotating assembly, and Holley HP-Pro 390 CFM carb. The owner estimates it makes 200 horsepower which should be plenty for a 1,500 lb roadster.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

Behind the engine sits a lightened billet flywheel, Centerforce clutch, World Class T-5 five-speed manual transmission, and LSD with 4.10 gears from a 1986 RX-7 Turbo.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

The independent rear suspension and sub-frame was taken from a 1996 RX-7 Turbo which was narrowed and shortened to fit. The brakes have also been upgraded to Mazda RX-7 disc brakes on all four wheels.

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

1960 Austin-Healey Sprite with a 3.5 L Rover V8

Source: eBay via Daily Turismo

6 Comments

    • Maxus

      How it’s set-up now likely has more torque and less lag.
      More power usable at any given time, and the V8 can probably run in a high performance setting for a longer period of time than the I4, with less chance of damage to the engine.

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