John Sprinzel Bits..

General Chat with an emphasis on BMC Minis & Other iconic cars of the 1960's. Includes information on MK1 Action days.
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CALIMKIIIS
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John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by CALIMKIIIS »

When my 1970 MKIII S came to the USA, attached to the lower L/H boot lid was this metal Sprinzel badge along with an enameled key fob badge. Not having a clear history of his business around 1970, I'm curious as to his connection to the car. Rumors here were that he was a British Leyland agent that sold cars outright from the factory. Otherwise perhaps he was possibly commissioned to upgrade or modify cars from B/L or lastly, just did the same from owners who purchased cars elsewhere? Seeing from browsing this site that he did mini modifications at his shop in earlier (BMC) years leads me to wonder if it carried to to the B/L era as well.
sprinzel.jpg
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"You're not a true petrolhead if you've never owned a mini" - James May 2012 Top Gear
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Pete
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by Pete »

He was definitely still supplying cars in the 70s.
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CALIMKIIIS
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by CALIMKIIIS »

Perhaps the car's origination story might be true then, as I have no documentation to reveal otherwise, Thanks!
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mk1
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by mk1 »

John Sprinzel was a bit of a force of nature that ran through the tuning industry of the 1950's & 60's.

He started off as a Graphic designer based in Golders Green starting to race as an enthusiastic & quite successful amateur. Following a bit of racing success he joined with a few mates & set up Speedwell Performance Conversions in 1957. Speedwell grew from strength to strength, but by 1959 he left because of arguments over the direction of the business with some of the other directors.

He briefly had a job working with Don Healey on improving the performance & appeal of the current range of Healey sports cars, leaving to start his own business John Sprinzel Ltd.
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JSL was always based in Lancaster Mews. With his aptitude for telling a good story & an ability to "get on" with pretty much anyone his business grew from strength to strength. Supplying many, many modified cars to customers all over the world.

John left London in the Mid 1970's for adventures new. He eventually settled in Hawaii where he ran a wind surfing school for a number of years. John still makes occasional appearances at Motoring events both here in the UK, the States & Aus.
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This is just a tiny sample of what John has achieved in his long life to date, successful racing driver, rallyist, author & media personality are just a few I have failed to touch on.

If you can get a copy of any of his books, they are all a great read.

I particularly recommend "Lucky John"

http://www.sebringsprite.com/booksandregalia.html
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mk1
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

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Mark F
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CALIMKIIIS
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by CALIMKIIIS »

Thanks for providing the most interesting history and further links to more of same! In more ways than one I can relate to his interests, not only about Sprites, Minis, racing and tuning A series engines but I also spent some years in Hawaii surfing as well. On a side note, if you folks in the U.K. think you have problems with rust, the climate in Hawaii will make your issues with 'tin worm' pale in comparison!
"You're not a true petrolhead if you've never owned a mini" - James May 2012 Top Gear
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by mk1 »

Funnily enough I heard from John this morning.

The article below is a great synopsis of John's very interesting life, so far.

http://www.sebringsprite.com/johnsprinzel.html
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by 9330FN »

John Sprinzel was a bit of a legend to me as I was in to Frogeyes before I got a Mini Cooper and what an amazing life he has had.
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Re: John Sprinzel Bits..

Post by Bitsilly »

My old jag's reg plate has 'Sprinzels of Lancaster Mews' on it, I was quite proud of that!
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