Springbok K16 YUE 896J (1, 1970)

The K16 was a mid-engined open two seater sports car using the 1275cc Cooper-S engine transversely mounted slightly ahead of the rear wheels. In Killeen's own words The concept of the K16 is the antithesis of the modern production car and intended to cater for a neglected minority. He meant the advocates of small sports cars which were of minimalist design in terms of driver aids (no brake servo or power assisted steering) but could provide exceptional fun to drive as they are of light weight and have superior handling to most other road cars. Such cars are now very much the vogue, and K16 looks not unlike a modern day Mazda, BMW or similar.


The basic structure of the car consisted of two 18swg mild steel diaphragms flanged around their edges and connected by five steel stringers - two high sill pieces, a centre backbone tunnel, and two pieces at the top of the door recess. This frame was covered with a 22swg mild steel skin spot welded onto the diaphragm flanges and longitudinal members. The front diaphragm was only partial and carried an 18swg steel box in the centre to provide room for the driver's and passenger's legs and also attachment points for the pedals and front suspension. The structure was designed to collapse progressively in the event of an impact.

A frame of square section tube was attached to the rear diaphragm to support the engine and transmission unit and to carry the rear suspension by rigid mountings.

The body of the car was designed to be symmetric in shape both top to bottom and front to back. Only four moulds were needed to produce the panels, and the estimated coefficient of drag was cd=0.27, an incredibly low figure. Killeen now suggested that the flat Camm back of the earlier cars had been a fallacy, and that the arrangement of the K16 was better. He however returned to a Camm tail for the later K18 and K19 cars. Pop up mirrors were again used for the headlamps and there was a front mounted radiator.

The K16 was a registered design and production was by Springbok Engineering of 51-53 Newhall Street, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire. At least one car was built, registered YUE 896J In Warwickshire Aug'1970, but there is no vehicle currently registered with this number.

These photos were sent to me by Peter Hardy.

k16_side_small.jpg k16_front_small.jpg k16_rear_open_small.jpg

This one illustrates a more ``sporty'' exhaust configuration.


These photographs appeared in Motor 20/3/71

yue_896j_front_small.jpg yue_896j_corner_small.jpg yue_896j_side_small.jpg


Cooper-S 1275cc 75 bhp
Overall Length:
frontal area:
16 sq. ft.
estimated drag coefficient:
dry weight:
1120lb without spare wheel
typical fuel consumption:
45 mpg
0-60 7.9secs

Rob Allan