Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Brit Ragtops For £5k - DAVID SIMISTER ED­I­TOR

I’m on record as be­ing an MGB devo­tee – and love mine, of course – but for af­ford­able rag­top fun, the Midget of­fers even more for your money.

There are plenty just wait­ing to be plucked out of our clas­si­fieds for un­der our £5k bud­get (p52), and what you get is a two-seater that thrives on be­ing chucked into bends and de­liv­er­ing two windswept oc­cu­pants out the other side. For this sort of money you’re more likely to end up with the later 1500 model, with its bor­rowed Tri­umph en­gine and polyurethane bumpers, but as soon as you snick the snappy four-speeder into ac­tion and go for a drive you won’t care that you aren’t in one of the chrome-snouted ear­lier mod­els.

The firm sus­pen­sion, com­mu­nica­tive steer­ing and the low, snug driv­ing po­si­tion put you right in the heart of the ac­tion, and the em­pha­sis is far more on mid-bend im­me­di­acy than straight line oomph. You’ll love it!


IS IT RUSTY? It’s im­por­tant to check the Midget you’re look­ing at for signs of cor­ro­sion – pay par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the rear whee­larches, bon­net edges, and the chas­sis box sec­tions.

SHOCK­ING STUFF Don’t worry if the car you’re look­ing at has been fit­ted with elec­tronic ig­ni­tion – it’s a com­mon up­grade and markedly im­proves re­li­a­bil­ity and econ­omy. A starter mo­tor that won’t en­gage in­di­cates worn brushes.

KEEP IT COOL Make sure it’s not run­ning too hot on a test drive, as it’s some­thing cars con­verted to run on un­leaded can do. It’s not un­com­mon for up­graded ra­di­a­tors and cool­ing fans to be fit­ted to help.


EN­GINE 1493cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 65bhp@5500rpm TORQUE 76lb ft@3000rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 97mph 0-60MPH 11.9sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 25-32mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, four-speed man­ual

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