1977 MG MIDGET 1500
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? This might look like an early Midget powered by an A-series engine, but it’s actually a 1977 1500 with a Triumph 1493cc motor. From the off, the little ragtop feels lively and nimble. Changes within the all-synchro four-speed gearbox are easy and positive through a light clutch, steering is positive and immediate and the brakes pull the car up quickly without wobble. None of the major components make untoward noises and the interior is surprisingly rattle-free. The Triumph engine is known for running a bit warm sometimes, but this example runs cool enough in a wide variety of traffic conditions. Oil pressure sits at 60psi and there’s no untoward smoke from the stainless steel exhaust that was fitted during its restoration. BODYWORK CHECK This late model Midget was restored in 2009 and its impact-absorbing plastic bumpers swapped for chrome replacements to make it look like an earlier model. There is a comprehensive photographic record of the restoration in the car’s history file. Today, the paint remains largely in good order, though there are knocks and signs of wear accumulated over the ensuing seven years. The panel gaps are even and symmetrical but the seams between the panels above the bootlid look a bit uneven and there are a couple of chips in the paint, including one out of the top coat behind the nearside front bumper. There’s also a small dent in the bonnet. Exterior chrome looks good, though the door mirror and windscreen mounts are grubby. The wheels are clean and the hubcaps free from pitting. HOW’S THE INTERIOR? The black seats and carpets are in fine order – clean and retaining strong colour. The dashboard also looks very presentable, though closer examination reveals a couple of small creases to the finish. Interior chrome is untarnished and the wood-rimmed steering wheel largely scratch-free. The hood is torn below the rear window on the driver’s side but the vendor will fit a vinyl or mohair replacement according to the new owner’s preferences. UNDER THE BONNET The car was treated to new spring hangers during its restoration. The workmanlike engine bay looks a bit dusty but all hoses and leads look in good condition and there are no signs of leaks. There are plenty of invoices with the car, which has driven some 3500 miles since it was restored. THE CCW VIEW This is a car in which you can concentrate on having fun, and the fact that it has retained all the mechanical improvements of the final Midgets makes it more usable. MG purists may not be impressed by the retro make-over, but we certainly are.