FOR SALE - A VENDRE
This 1962 Ashley Sportiva is a lightweight special constructed by the first owner, a Mr.Wilkinson, and powered by a 1.5-liter Ford Kent inline-four. It is one of the final models developed by Ashley Laminates, a company founded in Loughton, England which produced lightweight body components for the Austin-Healey Sprite and also developed owner-assembled Ford specials.
The Sportiva’s styling was derived from its predecessor, the Ashley 1172, a model developed in 1958 and intended for a Ford 8 or 10hp chassis. It was released to the public at a “do-it-yourself” exhibition in 1961. The kit was offered as either a fixed or drop-head coupe, designed for use with their in-house chassis or one supplied by the owner. The GRP/fiberglass body features a front-hinged bonnet, as well as a rear storage compartment.
The yellow finish is similar to pale primrose found on other British sports cars of the era, and custom Ashley Ford badges were reportedly made for the car in period. The rear wheel arches have also been enlarged and rounded to provide clearance for a set of wide-five wheels from a Ford Popular. Disc brakes are fitted up front behind a set of steel wheels from a Rover.
The right-hand drive cabin comes equipped with a pair of low-back seats trimmed in light blue vinyl with white piping. Instrumentation is provided by a set of Smiths gauges, and the 3-spoke steering wheel was sourced from a Ford forklift.
The Sportiva was developed for use with a Ford side-valve inline-four, though this example was repowered at some point with a 1.5-liter Ford pre-crossflow Kent engine. Period performance items include an Aquaplane intake manifold and a tube header.
Mr.Wilkinson, the first owner, reportedly constructed the tube chassis, which utilizes a set of adjustable A-arms, steering rack, and sway bar up front. The multi-link rear suspension is built around a Triumph Spitfire differential, which has been adapted to accept Austin Gypsy axles.
A binder containing service records dating back to the 1980s and DLVA history accompany the sale.