Two-speed wipers, hazard warning lights and – more importantly – dual circuit brakes all follow for 1978 cars. While it’s true that Spridgets – a charming well known nickname to group Sprites and Midgets together – used nothing more exotic than Austin A35 hardware with Morris Minor rack and pinion steering thrown in, let’s not forget that Colin Chapman hardly used anything more glamorous when he cobbled up the legendary Lotus 7 some 60 years ago. Those old A-Series engines are long-lasting if properly maintained; you should typically see at least 120,000 miles between stripdowns. The A-posts also rot, so check for even door gaps; if they’re all over the place the A-posts are probably rotten.
Throughout the 1960s and '70s, Britain led the world when it boiled down to affordable sports cars. Buy it because you want to enjoy the car. Subscribe to Classic Motoring Magazine and save over 20%, Available at all good newsagents including WHSmith, Vastly underrated fun starter sportster that’s a hoot to drive and super easy to own. You’ll get lots of practice. Despite that, the Midget remained a good seller through to its death in 1979, notching up a very creditable 73,889 units. Enthusiasts dub these models the MK1 1/2 Midget and MK2 1/2 Sprite. All Midgets, even sacrilegious stigmatised Triumph-engined models, are fun to drive and what a sports car should be; eminently ‘chuckable’ around the corners and, since you are virtually sitting on the rear axle, any slide is easily noted and dealt with. The bumpers look even more ungainly on the Midget than the well sculptured type found on the MGB but, at least the driving experience remained much the same. 1974 US emissions regs get the better of the A-Series… Still officially ‘MkIII’ (GAN6), but universally referred to as the 1500, ride height is raised to bring new large black bumpers to required safety height. To be certain, get somebody to apply the footbrake. I would buy it if it's as good as the pics. Car known as GAN2 by MG. 1964 Revised (GAN3) MG Midget arrives sporting (at long last) wind-up windows and an improved more durable 1098cc engine that proves to be more durable and smoother running than the original even if power remains the same.
It was an MG Midget Jim, but not as we know it, as a certain Mr Spock might say. There are so many upgrades and accessories available for these cars that you must pin down exactly what it is that you’re buying. There are those who reckon the MG Midget (and the rarer Austin-Healey Sprite), while being classics, aren’t real sports cars. Spartan cockpit is easy, cheap to resto. Where as values for the fun-looking crazy Frog have soared, Spridgets haven’t budged much since our 2010 guide and yet, classic status aside, are the better cars. Lever arm dampers lose their effectiveness very quickly.
Catalytic converter, smog pump, EGR valve, sealed carbs, this stuff is a nightmare. It was therefore natural to build an MG version, which was launched in June 1961, alongside the MkII version of the Sprite. The MG Midget came about partly because the existing ‘Frogeye’ Sprite was built at the MG factory in Abingdon anyway because wasn’t suitable for the Longbridge production line! I would find the money into do a hobby car but not expect return on investment. In this guide we’re looking at the Midgets with an A-Series engine, with the Sprite, Frogeye and Midget 1500 getting their own guides.
The Midget’s interior is basic, although later cars have more trim than their predecessors. Like-for-like, thecheapest buys are the post -74 re-engined rubber bumper models. To fix properly requires jigs and lots of time and money; more than car’s worth probably. The fl oor usually rusts where it meets the sills and in some cars it’s only the central transmission tunnel that’s holding the whole thing together. The original Austin-Healey Sprite arrived in 1958. The press’s love with this sports car gradually eroded over the years as lack of development highlighted the car’s inherent shortcomings, though to be fair, that’s a criticism you can level at Morgans or Caterhams.
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