THE PRODIGAL MIDGET RETURNS
It’s a welcome return for a classic last seen in CCW three years ago – Mike’s MG Midget is back!
OWNED SINCE September 2003 MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT (July 2014) 2420 TOTAL MILEAGE (1)14,098 LATEST COSTS £0
If you’re a long-standing
CCW reader, you can stop rubbing your eyes and wondering if you’ve inadvertently stepped back in time – that, or the ghosts of the three Harvey Wallbangers you downed before Christmas Day lunch are still haunting you. Don’t worry – you have seen this car within these pages before, most recently following its return from the Lavenham Press Tour in 2014, with a crew comprising me (then CCW’s features editor) and a chap called David Simister. Nice bloke. No idea what became of him.
PCB was, it has to be said, not in the rudest of health back then. A rapidly failing starter motor stranded me at a petrol station before we’d even left Peterborough, and I ended up having to push it out of a sea of other classics and bump-start it before we could head for home after the tour the following afternoon. Then we got stuck in a horrendous Friday afternoon rushhour traffic jam on the A14, watching helplessly as the water temperature gauge soared and the fuel gauge plummeted. The fine line between adventure and stress was certainly blurred that day.
Life has been pretty quiet for the little MG since those halcyon days. Obviously, the starter motor has been replaced, but apart from that it’s needed only routine maintenance and servicing, and usually starts first turn of the key, even after weeks of inactivity. And there’s been quite a bit of that. It spent late 2014 and most of 2015 snoozing in my garage while I shuttled endlessly around the UK and mainland Europe during a brief career hiatus from the classic car world. And it enjoyed an only slightly busier 2016, getting regular, but pretty gentle exercise, including an appearance at my local classic car show in Bourne. Well, all that looks set to change in 2017. I’m determined to exorcise its MG Live! ghost (its first time there was marred by monsoon conditions and the aforementioned knackered startermotor stymied my last attempt to take it there) and reckon that this is the year when I should finally fulfill a long-held dream of taking it to the Classic British Welcome in St Saturnin. Closer to home, it’s recently dawned on me that the prime Midgeteering roads of the Peak District are only a couple of hours away from my Lincolnshire home, too. Geography never was my strong point.
Hopefully, the Midget won’t need much fettling for these adventures, though it still marks its territory with Castrol GTX wherever it goes and the bonnet has resumed its age-old habit of rattling merrily over rough surfaces. That said, I really ought to change the wiper mechanism for something that can manage more than a handful of sweeps of the windscreen inside of a given minute, and I won’t be going anywhere near France until I’ve had a 12v socket fitted to power my satnav and charge my phone.
Meantime, I’m doing my best to not look at cheap-but-sound sixcylinder E28 BMW 5 Series in CCW’s classifieds. I’d forgotten what a truly horrendous temptation they are…
Solo Drive-It Day cruise last year en route to Heckington Windmill. Mike’s Midget basks in the summer sunshine of the Bourne Classic Car Show, June 2016.