In the early days the MG Midget was the perfect roadster, with its gutsy 948cc A series twin SU carburettors eking out 46 bhp – fine for the early sixties. Later that decade the Midget was given more power, though its de-tuned head gave just 65 bhp and not the full 76 bhp of the Mini Cooper ‘S’, on which this engine development had been based.
In late ’67 the Midget received safety additions giving the final drive ratio better fuel economy than the 1098cc option. The Midget soon received some user-friendly additions, including the hood being permanently attached to the car, with an improved mechanism making it much easier to use.
The MG Midget has proved itself time and again to be an economical roadster even in today’s market, with prices starting at £2,000 or less. With prices so low, could you see yourself in one?
The first areas to look at when it comes to an MG Midget are rust and repairs. Pay particular attention to the lower front panel and lower front wings as these areas are susceptible to corrosion. Wheel arches that are vulnerable may appear this way because of an accident. “A” post hinges are a water trap on the MG Midget and can become over stressed and start to corrode, so look out for this. Check door bottoms and lower front corners for the same.
Rear wings and inner arches will quite often rust away; pay particular attention to the area behind the back of the rear wing where it’s a double skin and comes up to meet the boot floor. Finally check the boot floor itself: areas of corrosion are common along the back of the boot floor where it meets the rear panel. Check for poor repairs here also.
The “A” series engine is a reliable lump; however, look for low oil pressure when the engine has warmed up. A warm engine is a heavy breather and you will be able to detect this by the smell under the bonnet of burnt oil and fumes as well as the exhaust. Beware of over-tuned engines; it will need a re-build every 80,000 miles.
Check to see if the car has had oil and filter changes, recommended every 6,000 miles or 12 months (whichever comes first). The gearbox appears to have no inherent problems, but listen out for worn synchro-mesh as this in itself can become a problem. The steering and suspension unit will need regular greasing; a thick oil or a waterproof grease is best for this as it is an MOT tester’s favourite area for failure.
MG made history in 1957 when they broke the World Land Speed Record in a highly aerodynamic MG EX181 car to the highest attained speed of 245.64 mph or 395.31 kmph, decimating the previous land speed record in that category of 203 mph. The car was driven by Sterling Moss and produced 300 bhp from a mere 1.5 litre engine.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
”The MG Midget brought back one litre motoring to MG enthusiasts for the first time since 1936. The little MG captures the soul of British motoring back in the day with superb handling and great gusto from the legendary “A” Series engine. It just goes to show bigger isn’t always better!”