MG Midget History
I have had the MG since 1979, passed onto me by my brother. It has had a history with the family from new; first owned by my uncle’s nephew, who crashed it into a tree. My Uncle Len and his next door neighbour, Sam, who I happened to bump into some 20 years later at an MG meet (whilst telling this tale!), rebuilt it, and it eventually found its way to my brother, who had it stored at the bottom of the garden for a couple of years, because he had another lime metallic green Midget. The thing had practically rusted away by the time I got it, sills flapping in the wind and four bald tyres (those were the days), so I took it off the road and commenced on a rebuild.
I recon’d the 1275 engine and sorted all the mechanical work, whilst our helpful car mechanic Roy did all the welding and bodywork. Days of painting and sanding got it to a point where it was ready for a respray. Then for some reason (college, work in London) it just sat for ten years, whilst I worked my way through a blue MkII Midget, a primrose yellow fibreglass, but real, Frogeye Sprite, several MGBGTs, an MGB and a Lotus Elite (the pointy one). One day I found myself without an MG and needing to go on an MGOC run to Germany in November, so got the respray done, put it all back together and it eventually made its way through the MOT. This was in @ 1989/90.
Got married in 1991 and the following year we took the MG to France the following year, driving all over Brittany and Paris.
Then babies came along, and the MG failed on rusty front cross members at the MOT. It got abandoned again, taken off the road in 1997. Until in 2008, I committed myself to a second full rebuild.
Decided to look for a replacement bodyshell, and after searching and asking on MG forums, a rolling shell popped up in Suffolk. A price was agreed, and me and Big Bob number 1 (Range Rover p38A) and a trailer collected the shell, which was in fact from an Austin Healey Sprite MkII, restored some 10 years ago and stored in a barn.
I set about stripping the original car, down to the very last nut and bolt, and found a buyer for the old shell on eBay, ironically he was going to turn it into an Austin Healey Frogeye. I’ve taken many photos of the strip down, as much to help me with putting it back together as memory is not what it was! The bolt on panels more or less fit quite nicely to the new shell. I sourced some disc brakes and master cylinder for the front end, and the supplied boot fitted OK (couldn’t use my original as this had an dent in it from my brothers days with the car. Still need to lay my hands on a few new parts for the suspension and brakes, sort out the respray, and away we go .
It took until August 2019 to complete the restoration/rebuild, but the MG is finally back on the road.
Vitre, Western France, outside our B&B, 1992
Me, youthful and flat stomached, with hair, at Mont St Michel, 1992
Other photos found of the car
Somewhere in France 1992
Trip to Ibiza (brother Nick) mid to late 1970's
Suffered damage to the rear on the ferry