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MG Midget Forum

TELL US THE WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW YOU BOUGHT YOUR SPRIDGET!

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Bondkbond Avatar
Bondkbond Silver Member Kurt Bernhardt
Tomah, WI, USA   USA
Well I'm as green as my Midget when it comes to these cars but am excited to be an owner and willing to educating myself here. I DID get to drive mine home(100 miles) but I paid a lot more than you folks, so it better get me home! I was actually looking for something older than a 76 but it's all good.

Sure are a lot of good folks on this site!

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nassau66 Larry Cross
Browns Mills, NJ, USA   USA
Bought mine off Craigslist in North Jersey on 6 October, 2014.

When I started this project, I was looking for something 'interesting'. It also had to be small, a convertible, relatively inexpensive, and rusty.

Those criteria quickly narrowed my choices down to one - a Midget.

The purpose of this project was to teach myself how to weld.

I'm very happy with the way it turned out.


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Bondkbond Avatar
Bondkbond Silver Member Kurt Bernhardt
Tomah, WI, USA   USA
Very sharp Larry!

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grichn Avatar
grichn Richard nicholson
crevillent, alicante, Spain   ESP
1976 MG Midget MkIII "The Shed"
1977 MG Midget MkIII
Hi Kurt
I've had a number of Midgets over the years as my hobby is restoring classic cars and because I am retired and an expat Brit living in Spain I have the space and weather to do it comfortably.

Last year I digressed from MG's and restored a Lotus Europa one of which I had when I was very much younger: I sold that to a guy who said he wanted to see it because there were only 4 of them in Spain. He turned up with a trailer and a big wad of notes..... At least my wife was happy.

So, I scoured the usual sales sites and discovered a 1997 Midget: ex Californian car, imported into the UK, Liverpool, in 2002, driven for a year and then parked for 15 years. It only had 17,000 miles on the clock.

The seller wanted 1,500 GBP but I got him down to 700. Transport from the UK to my home in southern Spain cost 500 pounds. I was nervous when it arrived: was it a rust bucket even though I had been told that it was 'solid'? Was the mileage true? Was the engine seized ''turns by hand, haven't tried to start it''.

The paintwork in the only sales photo (!) looked good but it had an amateur paint job and was flaking all over, the hood was shot. It had been fitted with some terrible seats which were far too big and this necessitated the fitting of a 9 inch wheel in order to get in and out..... The original seats were supplied with the car and needed a lot of TLC. There wasn't any rust bigger than a small fingernail, floors were solid throughout.

I changed the oil, cleaned the carbs, put in a new battery, tried the starter without connecting the coil: I had oil pressure. Squirted some Quickstart in the carbs and it started!! Everything about the condition of the car confirmed the mileage. Its now called 'Piglet" because it was a 'pig in a poke' (a buy unseen in Britspeak).
So far I have restored the interior, cleaned the engine bay and sorted out a lot of loose wires and now starting to strip the nasty paint by hand - probably take another 2 weeks or so.

I intend to keep this one so I have some radical ideas which - I guarantee- will shock you!

Keep up the good work

Richard in sunny Spain

littlecars Avatar
littlecars David Bassett
Nashville, TN, USA   USA
1965 Chevrolet Corvair "Ski Team Transport SOLD!"
1965 MG Midget MkII "Buffoon"
1966 MG Midget MkII "Swiss Cheese...SCRAPPED"
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "Tamara's Turd... SOLD!!!"    & more
In reply to # 3730670 by scouser1929 He found a '66 (I think) Midget body in Georgia (for free) and we went down to get it. The shell turned out to be in better shape than thought and he stated "This body is too good to cut up". He claims I talked him out of the thing. Long story short - it became mine.

Where in Georgia did you find this car? I think I looked at it around summer of 2013 somewhere in northern GA by the Tennessee line.

Tim Ursuliak Avatar
Lacombe, AB, Canada   CAN
1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite "Rita"
1970 MG MGB "Orson"
I bought my Bugeye the summer of 2016. I had become obsessed with owning one over the winter and spent months searching for the right one. They are pretty thin on the ground where I'm from, but I did manage to find a few. They were all, unfortunately, a little too far gone (thanks to this forum for steering me away from a massive project!)Finally right in the middle of a meeting at work one popped up on Kijiji and I knew that this was the one! It was a restoration that the current owner had lost interest in. I excused myself to the bathroom and wound up missing the rest of the meeting while I frantically sent emails back and forth. It turned out I was about fifth in line to check it out so things weren't looking good. By a stroke of luck, a few people never showed and one gentleman who was particularly interested backed out because the bonnet was not currently with the car. As it turns out, the bonnet was stored with a Bugeye that I had looked at earlier in the summer so I had a pretty good idea of what kind of shape it was in. After a chat on the phone with the owner I arranged a time to make the trek down to check it out. It looked too good to pass up so I handed over the dough and loaded up everything that wasn't attached in my little Rav4. It was a pretty cramped drive back home as my Dad came along for the journey. Two guys over six feet and about a quarter of a Bugeye in a small vehicle for two hours isn't the most comfortable situation. The next few days were a bit hectic as trailer arrangements had to be made, as well as rewiring my Grandfather's less than reliable truck for the trailer. That following weekend we loaded her up and drove her home. The whole journey people passed us smiling and a stop for coffee produced a little crowd of baffled people wondering what the little car was. We rolled it off the trailer and into my parent's shop where it still resides (things always take longer than I think.) A few days later I got married to my lovely wife and we drove our trusty MGB to and from the wedding (thankfully the B didn't breakdown out of jealousy.) It was a whirlwind and sometimes stressful journey, but that little car always puts a smile on my face every time I see it.


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Yankeedriver Avatar
Yankeedriver Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Joel Young
Albuquerque, NM, USA   USA
These are wonderful stories. Keep 'em coming!

For those yet to write, I hope you can see that some people relate merely the external facts, while others include more of the internal, experiential stuff. Either or some combination of both adds up to great ingredients for this virtual pancake breakfast pow-wow.

Joel


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scouser1929 Avatar
scouser1929 Kenneth Edgar
Hudson, NC, USA   USA
1958 Morris Minor 1000 Saloon (2-door) "Bender"
1961 Chevrolet Corvair "Little Red Corvair"
1961 Ford Zephyr
1966 Triumph Spitfire MkII "The Spit"    & more
David,

The car was just north of Atlanta (Marietta, I think). The owner had listed it on this forum - that's how my Brother-in-law discovered it.

Ken

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littlecars Avatar
littlecars David Bassett
Nashville, TN, USA   USA
1965 Chevrolet Corvair "Ski Team Transport SOLD!"
1965 MG Midget MkII "Buffoon"
1966 MG Midget MkII "Swiss Cheese...SCRAPPED"
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "Tamara's Turd... SOLD!!!"    & more
Thanks. The one I looked in Sept-November 2013 at was nearer to Chattanooga. I retraced my correspondence from that period on my phone and email. The one I looked at was a 66 Sprite instead, but it looked almost exactly like that. It had been listed for $400 (the seller bought it from the trash dump where it had been left for that amount). His wife told me I could have it for free. Drivetrain was frozen, upholstery shot, but body was straight.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-05-10 02:02 PM by littlecars.

sam-i-am Avatar
sam-i-am Sam L
Caledonia, Wisconsin, USA   USA
I answered a Craigslist ad that was offering a TR6, listed as "gas and go" yea, right. Go to the junk yard! The frame was so rusty you could crunch it in your hand. But, he did have a 68 Sprite in the garage. After cleaning out his garage there was the Sprite, up on blocks and completely disassembled. The parts (that were there) were in many different boxes. So what I was offered was a fairly rust free tub, new shocks and an engine that was rebuilt but never run. The newspaper that was wrapping many of the parts was from an early 80s edition of the Chicago Tribune, this told me that the car had been apart for more than 30 years. $500 sealed the deal. The Sprite has been on the road now for about 3 years and I enjoy the top down fun every time I'm behind the wheel.

Sam.

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ktm Avatar
ktm Keith M
Simi Valley, CA, USA   USA
It was 1969, I was 21 years old, and had just lost my job at Pacific Bell Telephone Company. I was driving a 1967 Camaro that I bought new at 19 years of age. I decided if I was to have a future I had better go to college. I couldn't afford to keep the Camaro so I decided to buy a more economical car. I opted for a 1969 M.G. Midget, as my brother had a 1964 Midget which I had driven and thoroughly enjoyed. I bought the Midget, with my Father co-signing for me. I still have the Midget which I restored in 2008, and drove today. I wish I still had the Camaro. I am currently looking for an MG TD or a TC.

Keith

The Bs Knees Avatar
The Bs Knees Patrick McConnell
Sonora, CA, USA   USA
1964 MG Midget MkII "Perserverance"
1970 Volkswagen Beetle "Volksy"
I'd say I was probably 12 years old when I laid eyes on my first Midget, or MG, or British car for that matter. The year was 2010. It belonged to my grandma's best friend's son who had abandoned it years ago. It was sitting uncovered, beside a shed, had chickens living in it and was in quite a decrepit state. But to my 12-year-old eyes, it might as well have been a Ferrari - sleek little two-seat British roadster with wire wheels (how exotic!) and a cockpit that felt more like an airplane. At the time, it fit my 12-year-old body like a glove. To say the least, I was awe-inspired and forever doomed. Alas, it was not for sale.

Fast forward 4 years (2014, the car's 50th birthday), 4 Volkswagens and 1 MGB later, that little '64 Midget was still in the back of my mind even though I had come to realize how bad of shape it was in. When visiting my grandma's best friend, I casually inquired about the little car to which she responded, "I wish he'd get that damn thing out of my yard". Things were starting to look up for me. A couple weeks later, I was shaking hands over the hood of the car with the previous owner after 20 years of ownership. $400 and a few hours of yard work sealed the deal but, at the time, I think he got the better end of it. I remember my dad helping me bring it home and him not-so-tactfully asking if I was the one paying $400 to haul it away or the previous owner.

After leaving a substantial trail of oak leaves streaked across the county that blew off the car, it arrived at our shop. 4 years and 6 inches in additional height (6'4"winking smiley from the time I originally sat in it, I folded myself into the car and thought to myself, "This is quaint" and decided it was the car for me.

What is funny is that I had never thought about what I would do with the car once I had bought it. That whole time, I guess the thrill of seeing that car for the first time stuck with me and I was destined (or simply determined and misguided) to save it. Now that it was sitting in front of me, I was a bit dumbstruck. Not knowing what else to do, I disassembled the ENTIRE CAR and realized that every single piece was completely worn out or had succumbed to the test of time. This ruled out any possibility of a simple mechanical and cosmetic refresh.

After the body was sandblasted/powder coated and was found to need a fair amount of work (not so much rust as dents and prior shoddy repairs). It was at this time that I decided to cut my losses and buy a car in better shape. By poor judgement, I ended up buying a '67 Midget that was in a lot worse shape; time to reevaluate. As my dad and I sat looking at a shell and a pile of rust that both vaguely resembled Midgets, he asked me what I wanted to do. I thought about it. I was a junior in high school at the time and life really was not going in my favor, to say the least. At the time, I don't think I saw it as clearly as I do now but I needed something to keep me going; something I could build, something I could see progress on, something I could use my hands with, something to keep my mind off of everything else and, most of all, something I could accomplish and feel proud of. I wanted to restore a car.

With very little besides headlong determination and perseverance, I restored from top to bottom and back again that 1964 MG Midget to exactly how I saw it in mind's eye. Although I did not personally perform the bodywork/paint, motor build and seat upholstery, I can say with confidence that with the help of my family (Mom, Dad, brother and Grandma), I built the entire car in about 2 years. I am now going to be a third-year student at SF State, which has been going great and holds lots of promise for the future. I would say that the car definitely had an impact on where and who I am today.

Looking back on it all, I wonder who needed who more, the car or me? I'd say it was probably a draw.

Here's a link to a thread on the finished car: Coop to Roadster: It's Finally Finished(ish)!
Here's when I went to the Ironstone Concours d'Elegance: Headed to Ironstone for Concours!



"Quite by accident, I bought a genuinely brilliant little car."
-Jeremy Clarkson ('69 Sprite)

"If I was t-boned in the driver door, I'd be toast. At least I'd die doing something I loved."
-AmishIndy


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scgrant Avatar
scgrant Silver Member Grant Summers
Aiken, SC, USA   USA
Where: Rochester NY
When 1971
What: 1963 MG Midget, White red interior
I remember saving up my paper route money and buying my first car at 16, I purchased it during the winter and and could not drive it until the spring. Spring came and that was it at one time after school I had 6 girls and me all riding around in it.I know sounds crazy but they loved that car. I got stop , the officer was cool and said i needed to drive real careful and take them home.I have been hooked ever since. I now own 3 Midgets and 2 Sprites.

ingmarB Avatar
ingmarB ingmar B
groningen, groningen, Netherlands   NLD
my story with th midget is only eleven years old. My friend and neighbour was going to leave the country and was selling all their cars, a merc 300D, LR 109 diesel and the midget.
He'd put the cars on a Dutch craigslist and didn't get any offers, to boost his ad I put in an offer. he did'n't know it was me and send me an email to at least caomne and see and testdrive the car before talking about money. A few days later at a birthday at their place I told him in a round about way I made an offer on the midget. He at first didn't get it, as I was building a Seven type kitcar. But a drive and a chat later the car was mine. Not the prettiest but no real rust, mechanicaly sound apart from a worn out synchro on second and third. I have been driving it up to two years ago when the gears wouldn't disengage and the car would alway creep a little when the clutch was pushed al the way in.
Now on the next fase of the car I'm starting to take it apart and doing some rustrepairs and modifications.
NB we are still friends and we agreed that it was an old car and anything could happen to the car, it is still original Cal. spec car but with twin SU's.

CarverBoldman Carver Boldman
Kirbyville, MO, USA   USA
Man, our story (technically not even "our", more like "His"!) sounds cheezy compared to your stories! Although, this is pretty amazing.
So, in the spring of 2018, my Grandpa was in "the car mood", and (of course) wanted a car. Now, my Grandpa has had a 1953 corvette, an old jaguar (can't remember the year) a '55, '56' '57 Chevy (bel-air) an old Ford, (split window, I think) in his day. (He also gave my Dad a 1967 convertible Mustang, which he later traded for A POWER WAGON?!?!) So he knew the ropes of the car buisines, but our Grandpa always has had a love for little cars, such as sprites, karmahn ghias, etc. Well, our Dad started looking and found an MG located in Branson, MO, which is only 20 minutes away from where we live, and decided to take a look. Turns out that it belonged to man who's wife (very sadly) had passed away, and he was removing what she had had in her life here on earth. The 1975 MG Midget was one of them. When they opened the garage door, the MG had flat tires, holes in the soft top, and a few minor scratches. Other than that, the dark green body and autumn leaf interior was spotless. It fired up on the first try. Overall, this car was just as good as it was in 1975. The best part? We only paid 2,000 for the car. AND it had a brand new soft top in the trunk, along with an original luggage rack for the back!!! This was probably the deal of the century.

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