The last in the line of MG Midgets actually started life in 1961 as a re-badged Austin Healey Sprite. A development of the famous ‘Frogeye’, the Sprite used a unitary body with double wishbone suspension at the front and quarter-elliptic springs at the rear.
The first cars had rudimentary sliding side screens and were quite primitive. As time went on, improvements were made such as winding windows, semi-elliptic rear springs, engine capacity increases from 948cc, through 1,098cc to the 1,275cc A-Series engine from the Mini Cooper S.
By the time the MkIII was introduced in 1966 with a proper folding hood, the car had evolved significantly. This lasted until 1974 when major revisions were undertaken including the rubber bumpers and the 1,500cc engine from the Spitfire - things were never quite the same after that.
This 1972 Midget MkIII has had just three owners from new and was first owned by a Mrs Garson of Coventry who kept it right up until 2003. A Triumph employee, she bought the car under a ‘works scheme’ which offered preferential deals to BLMC staff.
Around nine years later, Leyland offered cut-price ‘new old stock’ engines and gearboxes (to help clear the MG works at Abingdon) and GUE 145K was re-vitalised, although the original 1,275cc engine and box were retained and can be collected from the vendor.
The Midget moved to Wales in 2003 and the new owner cared for the car for the next nine years. During that time over £4,600 was spent on improvements, including specialist chassis restoration (by Pat Jerome Cars of Penarth) and an under-bonnet refreshment costing £2,000 |(by Chris Leverett of Claverham).
The current owner bought the car in 2011 after suffering withdrawal symptoms from the sale of his MG TF. He has kept the Midget up to scratch, replacing the dynamo in 2012 and having a new clutch fitted in July 2015.
Looking most appealing in its period ‘70s colour scheme and with only 78,000 miles on the clock, this much-loved Midget comes with an MOT until August 2017 with no advisories recorded, 10 old MOTs, various invoices and the original engine and gearbox if desired.
The round wheel-arch Midget MkIII is considered by many to be the one to have: improved hood, wind-up windows, best engine and back axle combination, sharper styling and classic ‘70s Rostyle wheels. Nippy, reliable and cheap to maintain, they also respond well to all manner of tuning should you want a little extra urge.