The MG Midget was released in 1961, and was designed to provide MG customers with an entry-level model (sitting beneath the bigger, more expensive, and higher performance MGA). The Midget was a classic bit of British “badge engineering” as it was really a re-badged Austin Healey Sprite, with a few other small changes.
Few people however (and this probably includes a few MG executives) predicted just how popular the Midget would become not just in the UK, but worldwide, particularly in the USA. It ended up in production for nearly 20 years and an estimated 250,000 cars were sold during that time.
There were four versions of the Midget. The MK1 (produced between 1961 – 1964), the MK2 (produced between 1964 – 1966), the MK3 (produced between 1966 – 1974), and the “rubber bumper” MG Midget 1500 (produced between 1974 – 1980).
The most desirable cars (for all round aesthetics and performance) tend to be the MK3’s produced between 1972 – 1974. They feature the round wheel arches (earlier ones had squared off arches), chrome bumpers, and a 1275cc engine producing around 65 bhp!
Despite the well-known shortcomings of 70’s British Cars, there’s just something about the way they look that still captures the hearts of thousands of classic car enthusiasts all over the world. Andy’s Midget (known affectionately as “Margo”) is the right build year too (a 1972 model) meaning it’s got the right engine, and some would argue, the better styling too!
We contacted Andy to ask if he’d be happy to feature his MG project on our site. Thankfully he agreed! Read the interview with Andy below to find out how his project is getting on, what he’s done so far, and what he plans to do in the future!
Also, it turns out Andy’s been documenting his restoration of Margo on his YouTube channel – check it out here. (and the trailer can be found at the bottom of this post)
MG Midget MK3 RWA (1972) – Project Car
- Andy decided to get a classic so he could teach himself (from scratch) how to build a car!
- He wanted an easy to work on, fun British sports car, that didn't make his wallet cry. It also had to be able to fit in his garage! This didn't leave him much choice, but eventually he landed on the trusty MG Midget!
- When he got the car it was clear that a number of jobs needed doing. Previous owners had also bodged a number of areas on the car, so they needed fixing first!
- He's done a huge amount to it including interior stripped out and restored, suspension rebuild with slightly uprated springs up front and poly-bushes, new exhaust system, electronic ignition and more.
- Andy's not done yet though – he still plans to fit a new hood, sort the rear suspension, and get the car cosmetically tidied up at the paint shop!
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car Andy?Back in August 2017!
- And what made you go for a Midget then?I wanted an easy to work on, fun British sports car, that didn't make my wallet cry. It also had to be able to fit in my garage!This didn't leave me a huge amount of choice!I always loved the cheeky look of the Midget, especially the round wheel arch model. They seemed fun to drive and have a good supply of parts.So I bit the bullet and got one!
- What are your plans for the car, and what have you done so far?When I got "Margo" it was clear that a number of jobs needed doing. She's never going to be a show-car, the purpose of the purchase was for me to learn how to work on a car from scratch (Having never touched a screwdriver before!)The interior was a bit of a state, and some of the previous owners had bodged a few things on the car…it was clear a few routine things needed carrying out too.
- Hmmm quite a familiar story that one… so what else needed doing?Well so far I've done the following:– New steering column, boss and Moto Lita Wheel– Replaced the faulty water temp oil gauge– Fitted inertia seat belts– Dash out and resprayed– New poly bushes on A.R.B, rear shackles and u-bolt assemblies.– Sports silencer installed removing old twin box.– Swapped points system for Electronic ignition– New fast road front springs– Plus the usual full servicing!
- And what's still on the "to do" list then?Plans for the future are:– A new hood– Replace a broken quarter light– New rear springs– And then send her to a body shop for some cosmetic improvements !
- Amazing, well the car is looking amazing already so keep it up! Do you plan to do any modifications to the car, or will you try to keep it stock?No, other than the obvious modifications/improvements, I'll keep it standard.
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I think I'll sell it at some point!
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?A '67 Ford Mustang Fastback . There's something about that shape and the look of the front, that grill and those headlights. Plus, for me, nothing beats the sound of a classic American V8 firing up!