Amazing 'Wuzzum' meet planned for 50th anniversary

| 21 Sep 2012

The best-ever gathering of WSMs (dubbed Wuzzums) is to take place in Bedfordshire on 29 September.

The meeting will mark 50 years since Douglas Wilson-Spratt unveiled the very first Sprite-based WSM at a Silverstone test day.

Having acquired one of the first three Austin-Healey Sprites off the production line – and enjoyed immediate competition success with it – the Bedfordshire garagiste started drawing a coupé version.

He then bought and modified a Sprinzel Sebring Sprite for the 1962 Monte-Carlo Rally before founding The Healey Centre in London with Jim McManus (the initials of Wilson Spratt McManus giving the cars their name) and built an ally-bodied Sprite for works foreman Peter Jackson.

That car just pre-dated the 'proper' Wuzzums. They were built by Peel Coachworks, looked (coincidentally claimed Wilson-Spratt) like a baby Ferrari GTO and sold 11 units over four years, no two quite the same.

The Spridget-based WSMs were not the company's only output, however, and there were several one-offs based on Healey 3000, MG 1100 and even an extremely elegant XK150 estate (not to be confused with the Morris Traveller merged Foxbat).

The final WSM emerged in 1967 and was based on an MGB.

Tony Wilson-Spratt, the son of Douglas who passed away last year, has organised the meeting to take place where modern, Sanction 2 WSMs are still under construction under the younger Wilson-Spratt's guidance.

Wilson-Spratt says 10 WSMs will be on display – including seven Sprites, the 3000 and MGB – as well as other rarities, plus 100 owners, former owners, racers and WSM notables are expected to attend.

See the website here for more details on the meeting and the people and cars that will be at it.

For the full WSM story, see Jon Pressnell's article and interview with Douglas Wilson-Spratt in the February 1997 issue of Classic & Sports Car.