One of the last MG Midget 1500s smashed all auction records for the car in the Bonhams Festival of Speed sale. Bought directly from British Leyland by dealership West Country MG – in whose private collection the car had been well preserved for 39 years – the timewarp unregistered Midget had just 35 miles on the odometer.
With brake discs, master cylinders, ignition components, fuel pipes and all vital fluids freshly renewed, and guided at £10,000-15,000, this mass produced – but now unique – car was most keenly contested until a particularly determined lady beat off all comers with a winning bid of £25,000. In total, it cost her £28,750 with premium – very nearly double top estimate.
Much of the perceived value with this rubber-bumper Midget was the lack of mileage, of course, which means that if it’s actually driven anywhere, it could depreciate by the mile.
That said, the new owner hedged her bets by outbidding a major F1 personality in the front row for the keys to a freshly Jag Shop-rebuilt and upgraded 1962 Jaguar E-type 3.8 roadster Series 1, into which she invested another £259,100 – top estimate money.
Two more milestone prices were paid during this £10m afternoon behind Goodwood House, including a 1970 Morris Minor that made £14,375, including premium. The late Trevor Hulks built the 1275cc car (which also has Marina front disc brakes) from a new old-stock two-door shell for hillclimber and rally driver, Joy Rainey, to compete in the 2004 London to Sydney Marathon.
An equally heady £16,675 was forthcoming for a 1955 Austin A30 two-door with a 1275cc engine and disc brakes. It contested this year’s London-Lisbon rally and has so far had more than £45k spent on it.
‘If the car’s actually driven anywhere, it could depreciate by the mile’
35-mile Midget sold for £28,750.
RICHARD HUDSON-EVANS In-depth analysis from our man on the auction sales floor.