Many, many times did BMC and British Leyland attempted to replace the MG Midget. And many times the plans failed to come to fruition. The ADO70 is one such idea that attempted to meld the brilliant Mini’s front-wheel drive mechanicals with a more stylish and sporting body. It was penned in the UK by Paul Hughes, and to keep costs down, the prototype was built in Italy by Michelotti – with the intention that the Italian coachbuilder would also be responsible for its production. The one and only prototype was driven to the UK from Italy back in the day, and evaluated for production. It didn’t happen, but the prototype was retained, and now it resides at Gaydon and is one of its more popular exhibits. In terms of styling, it’s a mixed bag, but overall, it’s a modern and interesting package that would have undoubtedly out-driven a Midget.
WHY WASN’T IT MADE?
It wasn’t the most pressing project on BL’s plate in the early 1970s, at a time of great crisis. Besides, the Midget was actually selling quite well, so there was no pressing need to introduce this potential successor. Besides, it would have been slow and expensive to build.