CC Capsule: 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite – Yakety Yak

The thing about photographing other people’s cars in a foreign country is that one is very rarely interacting with the car owners. And that’s just fine by me – people can be very suspicious of foreigners taking photos of their pride and joy, so the few times I’ve talked with the owners, there was usually a lot of tension in the air.

For once, when I saw this Austin-Healey and made a beeline for it, the owner was there and was himself taking pictures of it. I approached, told him “Beautiful Austin-Healey!” – he seemed pleasantly surprised that I knew what it was. And for once, not only was it cool to take photos, but the man could speak quite a bit of English.

That sort of threw me off, actually. We talked a bit and, as I was not in the habit of doing this, I focused on what he was saying and forgot to keep snapping photos. So he told me of the 1.3 litre A-Series engine, that it was a 1959 car originally sold in the US, what repairs he did on it… He also showed me pictures of his other car (a Jaguar XJ8 with the 4-litre V8 – this guy’s a serious Anglophile!) and we just kept yakking until he had to leave.

As pleasant as this encounter was, I couldn’t believe that I only managed to record only four measly photos out of a 10-minute chat with a willing participant. It’s OK – in the end, it’s just an old Sprite, not some automotive royalty, but this still feels like a missed opportunity. Gotta learn me some multitasking skills.


Related post:


Curbside Classic: 1958-61 Austin-Healey Mark I Sprite – A Sports Car For The Masses, by Ed Stembridge