arrow-left Sheldon Brown Photo arrow-right

The "Bateau Rouge"

The "Bateau Rouge" was a red 1962 Austin-Healy Sprite. The '62 Sprite was very similar in appearance to a MG Midget-'62 was the first year after the demise of the "bug-eyed" Sprite. Peter's had a fibreglass hard top, but otherwise it was a classic british sports car. No wimpy roll-up windows, it had proper side curtains, and a 988cc four-banger. He had brought it from England when he moved to Belgium.

It couldn't go back to England without paying a hundred pounds in road tax. It was not street-legal in Belgium either, because the import duty hadn't been paid. In addition, it was right-hand drive, and the body was rusty enough to attract unwelcome attention from the authorities. On top of that, it had been vandalized while sitting in the field-all of the switches had been removed from the dashboard, and the wires cut. Peter said that I could have it if I could use it.

We went to Radio-Shack in Brussels and bought some switches, which I installed with the help of a wiring diagram that Peter had for a different model British car that had a similar electrical system. I got some plaster intended for patching walls in houses, and used this to cover the worst of the rust, sprayed red with Dupli-color. It looked ok from a distance, possibly one of the shoddiest body repair jobs in history, but good enough for a month. At "Lenny's Stock Amaricain" we got a muffler bandage and a tin of "Gun Gum" muffler patching cement to fix the rusted out silencer, bought a 30 day insurance policy and were on our way. The car was legal for use anywhere in Europe except for Great Britain and Belgium, so we had to tip-toe to the French border.

Back to Europe 1975

Sheldon Brown's Photography
Bicycles Bicycle
Racing
Disposables Europe, 1975 Europe, 1989
France IPIX
Panoramas
Quebec Whales Yucatan 1980


Visitor # since December 26, 1999

Sheldon Brown's Personal Pages
Books Boston My
Bicycles
My
Family
La Belle
France
Home
Page
My
Hotlists
Humor My
Journal
Misc. My
Music
My
Photography
Québec Radio

Copyright 1999, Sheldon C. Brown

E-Mail: CaptBike@sheldonbrown.com

Back to Sheldon Brown's Home Page

Updated Friday, September 1, 2000

If you would like to make a link or bookmark to this page, the URL is:
europe75/bateaurouge.html