Stars and their cars

Stars and their Cars Meeting – 1stApril 2019

Each year the Sprite Club Committee has made the decision to hold a General Meeting at the Sporting Car Club and have a change from the usual General Meetings by having Member cars on stage and a chance to talk to these Members about their cars. This April was our opportunity to conduct this special meeting.

The evening commenced with the opening of the clubrooms and the bar. Members were given a ticket for a drink at the bar while the cars were assembled on stage and the pizza arrived. Members mingled and chatted while enjoying an drink and some pizza and wedges. 

The General Meeting is an edited form but covers the important agenda items and reports. So once completed, Members grabbed a top up to their pizza and drinks and the Cars and their Stars part of the evening commenced.

This year the cars were representative of Sprites and Midgets with a difference. President Gordon Boyce conducted interviews with each owner about their motoring history and the specifics of their vehicles

First member was David Low and his Bugeye Sprite. David and Di have owned this Sprite for over 36 years and it difference is the change in specification of the vehicle over the years of ownership. The Bugeye started as a 948cc drum braked Sprite. David started the changes as he had the engine modified for more power while living in NSW. Moving to SA and joining the Sprite Club continued the Club association.

After using the Sprite for club events, National Meetings and tours of Tasmania,  Gippsland and the Victoria High Country tours, the quest for “more power” led to 1275cc power and disc brakes. This allowed the Bugeye to climb the hills better and allowed for more relaxed cruising on  the highway. While there are no more changes to the Bugeye with a difference, there will be more Club use of this vehicle in the future.

Clive Spreadbury’s Sprite MkIIA fitted with a 1500cc Corolla engine was the next “different” Sprite on stage. Clive purchased this Sprite with a 1200cc Toyota engine and upgraded to larger engine for more power. Clive has used the Sprite for a number of different competition events such as Mallala Supersprints, Legends of the Lakes hillclimb at Mount Gambier and the Adelaide Motorsport Festival.

Clive also has a strong competition history on a smaller scale, building and racing slot cars for many years. Clive now owns and operates Scalex World, where he sells and runs slot car race meetings and events.

The next Midget with a difference was the 1966 MkII MG Midget of Don Williams. Don has been a long term member of the Sprite Club, having owned a MG Midget during the early ‘70s, a Bugeye during the ‘80s (which is now owned by Jim Schubert and was on the stage last year). After a number of years of non-Spridget ownership, Don and wife (and Ex-Sprite MkIII owner) Chris,  purchased an English-built and imported MG Midget – with a difference. This Midget is 1098cc powered and has a removal hood, different to the usual MkIII Midgets we normally see with 1275cc power and convertible hood.

While Don has thought of selling the Midget, he enjoys the driving of the vehicle and has now recovered the seats and new carpets which has made the Midget more comfortable. Don has also researched that a number of these Midgets were imported by BMC dealers, so there may be more around Australia.

The last Sprite was certainly one with a number of differences, the 1970 Sprite Mk IV of Caroline Mercer. Purchased new by her father in Scotland, this Sprite is in extremely original condition having only been repainted. The Sprite had been used for tours of Europe by Caroline’s parents and she can always remember the Sprite as part of her families life.

When Caroline moved to Australia the Sprite followed and was registered in Western Australia while Caroline’s partner and her were working in the mining sector. A transfer to Adelaide allowed the Sprite to head over the border and become part of our club. The Pale Primrose Sprite has 1275cc power, convertible hood, twin jacking points each side, plus numerous other differences to the usual Sprites we see on Australian roads (and Clubs).

The Sprite was also used for Caroline’s wedding, and the 1stApril is her anniversary so it was extra special for Caroline and father in law XXX (as her husband was away with work) to celebrate this special event and special Sprite with the Club members.

Each member had been given a raffle ticket and thanks to Penrite Oils for supplying a number of special, door prizes including framed prints, boxed glasses, lifesized David Reynolds cutout and other posters and stickers, etc. These desirable items made there way to various members garages and “man-caves”.

The Stars and their Cars Meeting has become a special event on the Sprite Club calendar and special thanks to Michael McLaren for arranging the use of the Sporting Car Club,  Stan the barman, pizzas and other items that made the night a great event. Also special thanks to David, Clive, Don and Caroline for bringing their Spridgets with a difference along and allowing us to talk with these “Stars” about “their Cars”.

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