MG Midget

Mike’s Drive-It Day by the sea in­volves a bag of chips and… Ken­neth Williams?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - MIKE LE CAPLAIN PRO­DUC­TION ED­I­TOR

My Drive-It Day ad­ven­tures have var­ied, over the years, from the great (head­ing off in a sun-soaked two-MG con­voy with my wife and son to a club event at a stately home), to the not-so great (tak­ing off on my own on a cold, driz­zly Sun­day in search of a wind­mill – it’s a long story).

This year I drove the Midget to Hun­stan­ton, Nor­folk to scoff a bag of chips by the sea, some­thing that’s been on my per­sonal bucket list for the near-14 years that I’ve owned it (the Midget, that is, not Hun­stan­ton). Don’t ask me why. Un­like my last Mid­geteer­ing foray into East Anglia – CCW’s group trip to Cal­i­for­nia – this one stuck to fast, sweep­ing A-roads, with the oc­ca­sional cor­ner-cut­ting cross-coun­try dash on un­clas­si­fied roads lined with daz­zling fields of fra­grant oil-seed rape. And – also un­like the Cal­i­for­nia trip – the weather was warm and sunny, so no need for a scarf and gloves this time.

My son was im­pressed with his first close en­counter with Crosskeys Bridge in Sut­ton Bridge and wrig­gled ex­cit­edly in his seat when­ever a classic car zoomed by in the op­po­site di­rec­tion, usu­ally with a flash of the lights, a honk of the horn and a cheery wave. He was par­tic­u­larly taken with a strik­ing-look­ing three-wheeler with a fa­mil­iar badge on its snout that we passed just out­side San­dring­ham, and there­fore rather miffed when I couldn’t im­me­di­ately iden­tify it. Later in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that it was, in fact, a Citroën 2CV-based Lo­max.

Our luck held as we swept tri­umphantly into ‘Sunny Hunny’ an hour af­ter leav­ing home – we found a seafront park­ing space at the first at­tempt and were sit­ting on the prom, nurs­ing a cou­ple of brews and gaz­ing at jet-skiers ham­mer­ing across the millpond sea min­utes later. Rather dis­ap­point­ingly, we spot­ted no other clas­sics in the town – I don’t count the bloke in a yel­low TVR Cer­bera show­ing off to his mates – so hit the road again for a gen­tle cruise through Old Hun­stan­ton. A photo op­por­tu­nity im­me­di­ately pre­sented it­self in front of the 19th cen­tury light­house, which, to my eye, ap­pears to have a com­i­cally shocked Ken­neth Williams ‘oohma­tron‘ ex­pres­sion on its face. That could just be me, though.

Hav­ing lux­u­ri­ated in some more lazy seafront gaz­ing, it was time to re-join the Midget and get ready for the sun-soaked run home, where it ticked it­self cool with 90 more miles on the clock than when it started and half a tank of petrol still in re­serve. More im­por­tantly, the old boy had be­haved im­pec­ca­bly all day, of­ten in swel­ter­ing con­di­tions. As Drive-It Days go, this was one for the books.

The chips were de­li­cious, by the way.

Le Caplain reck­ons Old Hun­stan­ton’s light­house looks a bit like Ken­neth Williams. Oh dear…

The Midget gets its first glimpse of the sea in more than a decade. It won’t be its last…

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