MG Midget Mark 1 1962 – The background

I have had the MG since 1979, passed onto me by my brother. It iahs had a history with the family from new; first owned by my uncle’s nephew, who crashed it into a tree. My uncle and his next door neighbour, who I happened to bump into some 20 years later at an MG meet (whilst telling this tale!), rebuilt it, and it eventually found its way to my brother, who had it stored at the bottom of the garden for a couple of years. The thing had practically rusted away by the time I got it, sills flapping in the wind and four bald tyres (those were the days), so I took it off the road and commenced on a rebuild.

I recon’d the 1275 engine and sorted all the mechanical work, whilst our helpful car mechanic Roy did all the welding and bodywork. Days of painting and sanding got it to a point where it was ready for a respray. Then for some reason (college, work in London) it just sat for ten years, whilst I worked my way through a blue MkII Midget, a fibreglass frogeye sprite, several MGBGTs, an MGB and a Lotus Elite (the pointy one). One day I found myself without an MG and needing to go on an MG run to Germany in November, so got the respray done, put it all back together and it eventually made its way through the MOT. This was in @ 1989/90.

Got married in 1992 and the following year we took the MG to France the following year, driving all over Brittany and Paris (top picture from Bed & Breakfast in Vitre).

Me, youthful and flat stomached, with hair at Mont St Michel 1993

Then babies came along, and the MG failed on rusty front cross members at the MOT. It got abandoned again, until 2010, when I committed myself to a second full rebuild.

Decided to look for a replacement bodyshell, and after searching and asking on MG forums, and a rolling shell popped up in Suffolk. A price was agreed, and me and Big Bob number 1 (Range Rover p38A) and a trailer collected the shell, which was in fact from an Austin Healey Sprite MkII, restored some 10 years ago and stored in a barn.

I set about stripping the original car, down to the very last nut and bolt, and found a buyer for the old shell on eBay, ironically he was going to turn it into an Austion Healey Frogeye. I’ve taken many photos of the strip down, as much to help me with putting it back together as memory is not what it was! The bolt on panels more or less fit quite nicely to the new shell. I sourced some disc brakes and master cylinder for the front end, and the supplied boot fitted OK (couldn’t use my original as this had an dent in it from my brothers days with the car. Still need to lay my hands on a few new parts for the suspension and brakes, sort out the respray, and away we go .

2 thoughts on “MG Midget Mark 1 1962 – The background

  1. Great story. I bought a 1961 Midget last summer. It’s about 90% original. Replacing the 1969 seats with original seats and new leather upholstery kits. Paint is a little faded but that will have to wait till I get the new chrome wire rims and white wall tires this summer. having a lot of fun again with this car. I previously had a 1971 MGB that I drove 40 years ago until the ex wife said it had to go. She’s gone now and I have another MG to play with. Best of luck, Chuck.

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