1966 - 1969
For practical purposes the Austin-Healey Sprite Mark IV represents the final development of the line. This model was a true convertible, meaning that it had roll-up windows and a permanently attached folding top. It was still the same handsome car as its Mark III predecessor, but now with a 1275 cc engine that produced 65 hp. 20,357 examples were produced.
And again, like the Sprite Mark II and Sprite Mark III, the Sprite IV had an MG Midget counterpart, in this case the MG Midget Mark III. And once again, the differences were few and largely unimportant.
And just like all of their predecessors, many Sprite Mark IV models have been used - hard - in club racing over the years, and consequently have been extensively modified and often significantly damaged and repaired, sometimes repeatedly. Therefore, with the relatively high number of Mark IV Sprites produced, hold out for a good one, and avoid cars with a race history.
Upside: Still a great fun-to-expense ratio, and still easy to maintain. Everyone loves them. Still a large and vital spare parts and aftermarket support base in place. Available for less money than a Bugeye, while delivering largely the same great driving experience and with more power. Good weather protection (although nobody said perfect).
Downside: Perhaps too cramped for taller drivers and passengers. Often mistaken for an MG Midget, if that bothers you.
Bottom line: For practical purposes, the highest development of the Austin-Healey Sprite. Can't go wrong.