MG Midget by Dave

  • Related topics: (no related topics)

User avatar
Dave
Just posted the below on the Enthusiasts, but also wanted to put it here, as I know that Mick has recently bought a Midget!

I need to ask a bit of advice before I do something stupid and commit myself to something that's probably not going to happen!

First, a little background to explain why I am considering it!

My mum has a bloke that does some work in her garden on a casual basis. The current project is tidying up the area of the front garden that meets the road, and on one side, adjoins the neighbours drive. There's a tree ever-so-slightly overhanging their drive and on this drive is a car under the remains of a tarpaulin. My mum had a word with Mrs Next Door Neighbour a few days back to ask if they would mind if the handyman chap cut the offending branches back. They replied "of course - you didn't need to even ask". She then said that she was worried about damage to the car. To this the neighbour said "Don't worry - I've finally persuaded him [husband] that it's got to go so it'll soon be off for scrap" :-D

Turns out that even though I see these neighbours as being "new" they've now been there for 14 years (time flies) and the car has been under the flapping tarp for all that time! Of course, my car radar went off and I was dying to know what it was :D They've now gone away for a week, so I had a peek under the cover yesterday, and it turns out it's a Midget. Now it's in a right old state (from what I could see) with no floor on one side, interior that's been open to the elements for years, rust you can push your hand through etc, so I've gone from thinking I might have knocked on their door and said "I'll take it off your hands" to "wouldn't touch it with a barge pole"

However, I came home and started mooching around online, and found this body shell on eBay, which looks, possibly, reasonably sound for it's year and which also has the benefit of being in the town I live!

So, now musing on the possibility of making two cars from one! I realise it most likely will not happen, but would be interested to know about the legalities of this. In the "old days" it would have been no problem, but now, how would it affect registration and insurance etc? Also, I wouldn't want to end up with a Q plate......

Any knowledge or advice (even if it's "don't do it"!) would be appreciated! :D

Posted 25 May 2014, 10:10 #1 


PaulT
Has the shell got a V5 in which case build it u using parts from the neighbours car and it will have the reg of the new shell. Just inform DVLA of an engine number change.

A little naughty transfer the chassis plate from the neighbours car and stick the reg plate from that on to the car.

So the car is now registered and for the insurance company there is nothing to tell - it has not been modified. With older cars they often get fitted with replacement engines, gearboxes, back axles, suspension components etc.

The price that the shell is at and presumably the cost of the car will not be very much so I would go for it. If the project does not progress you can always sell the parts on eBay.
Paul

That apart Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play

Image

Posted 25 May 2014, 10:20 #2 

User avatar
Mick
(Site Admin)
Online
You are looking at spending up to 10K and two years of your life, providing you put most of your spare time in.
The shell you are looking at is mostly rust the £100 is for the V5. All parts are available new or good used except bonnets. That one requires the nose cutting off and you making a new one and welding on. (I know it only shows rust on that part on one small part of the leading edge, you may get away with a part patch welding in.).
Without seeing the one you found I suspect most of the mechanicals are salvageable. Bear in mind a recon gearbox £480, recon engine aprox. £2000, chair refurb. parts only £400. Front wheel bearings £18.00 a set. they will last 2k miles then you will be looking for an OEM set or replacement hub units circa £400.

I spent the best part of a year looking for a decent one, as I was not up for doing anything more than a bit of maintenance, it was a nut and bolt ground up rebuild in 1995 which took 2.5 years, an expert engineer and £7000 to put right. He did everything himself except the engine rebore. That was on what looked from the outside a worthwhile buy for £1200. Since then it has had a further £1000 spent to keep it up, including recon gearbox, £480. And, even so, due to very low usage £700 by me to replace some bearings and seals, set of new boots, fluids etc. That was with a mileage of 18K in the intervening 19 years.

If you are really keen on owning one that requires just a bit of repair work maybe 1K to 1.5K's worth in a workshop (much less as DIY) this is a gem. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171328898674? ... EBIDX%3AIT Back in show condition worth around 5-6K insurance value 8K and an investment.

Posted 25 May 2014, 11:54 #3 

User avatar
Dave
PaulT wrote:The price that the shell is at and presumably the cost of the car will not be very much so I would go for it. If the project does not progress you can always sell the parts on eBay.


That makes sense, but sadly so does all of what Mick has written!

Thing is, I'd love to be able to buy a fairly sorted car (and the one in the link looks great!) but on the other hand, I think I'm looking for more of a project, more something to occupy my time and mind, even if it did never get finished! Add to that the fact that even if it did cost more to do it bit by bit, I could also budget for it piecemeal. Having said that, some of the prices you are quoting are scary Mick!

If I do go for a project, it doesn't have to be a Midget. Don't get me wrong, as I do like them, but this one if if came off would be down to having two cars suddenly available within a four mile radius! :D :mrgreen:

Posted 25 May 2014, 12:15 #4 

User avatar
Mick
(Site Admin)
Online
If you need any more advice on a Midget project you are welcome. You are quite close to parts suppliers. MGB Hive. MGOC Spares, mail order Moss Europe. I've got a handle on what parts cost and what parts are NLA. Some silly things like thrust washers for rebuilding diff. for example. Recon diffs available though. Go figure. Nothing insurmountable.
Midgets are the cheapest way into classic rag top motoring as there were so many produced and so many still on the road.

Posted 25 May 2014, 12:24 #5 

User avatar
Dave
Out of interest, comparing shells on eBay, the one already linked looks better than some, for example this one, which doesn't even seem to come with the doors, let alone a V5!

Posted 25 May 2014, 12:25 #6 

User avatar
Dave
Mick wrote:If you need any more advice on a Midget project you are welcome. You are quite close to parts suppliers. MGB Hive. MGOC Spares, mail order Moss Europe. I've got a handle on what parts cost and what parts are NLA. Some silly things like thrust washers for rebuilding diff. for example. Recon diffs available though. Go figure. Nothing insurmountable.
Midgets are the cheapest way into classic rag top motoring as there were so many produced and so many still on the road.


Cheers Mick!

Chances are it won't happen, but if it does, nice to know there's someone willing to advise! :D

Posted 25 May 2014, 12:26 #7 


PaulT
If you want to avoid the rust then go for a kit car. Most are fibreglass. Part finished ones can be picked up quite cheaply (but remember they will probably need inspecting to ensure compliance with the regulations and may therefore require modifications if an older kit). There are plenty about that require mechanical and or interior refurbs. Whilst some are basic and the structures are a bit flimsy others are extremely well engineered - having built a Royale Sabre which was over-engineered but no shame in that.
Paul

That apart Mrs Lincoln, did you enjoy the play

Image

Posted 25 May 2014, 15:06 #8 

User avatar
Dave
I built a Dutton Phaeton many, many years ago! Not sure I want to go there again mind! :D

Posted 25 May 2014, 15:14 #9 

User avatar
Mick
(Site Admin)
Online
Dave wrote:Out of interest, comparing shells on eBay, the one already linked looks better than some, for example this one, which doesn't even seem to come with the doors, let alone a V5!


67 has had some work done, lots of surface rust but nothing too terrible. has a rear axle and good springs plus a lot of other mechanical parts hanging around including an engine. Repaired bonnet. Picking it up on a fork lift was a seriously bad move.

The other is just a bare shell no mechs to speak of and, is a 70's car. I doubt it will get a bid. Even though it a round wheel arch model.

Posted 25 May 2014, 15:23 #10 

User avatar
Dave
Another quick question for Mick!

Although my Midget-y knowledge is sparse - I think I know that it began as an Austin Healey Sprite, turned into a chrome bumpered MG Midget and ended it's days as a suspension hiked, rubber bumpered BL version - I'm not sure how the front end works on the earlier models. Whereas the last model had a conventional rear hinged bonnet, did the earlier ones have the whole front opening, front hinged (allowing much better access?) or was just the AH's? Actually, looking at photos, do any of them do this?!

Posted 25 May 2014, 15:40 #11 

User avatar
Mick
(Site Admin)
Online
It was only the AH frog eyed sprout that the whole front end assembly tipped. All the bodies were virtually the same. AH Sprite and Midget. from then on.
‎MG Midget MkI (1961–64) Perspex side screens, fat chrome full rear bumper and over riders, Michelotti style removable hood and frame, steel wheels - ‎MG Midget MkII (1964–66) steel or wire wheels, wind up windows, fixed hood and frame early ones had same bumpers as Mk1 then slim bumpers and overiders, 1/4 rear bumpers - ‎MG Midget MkIII (1966–74) 72-74 round wheel arch, Rostyle or wires, chrome trims deleted. grill options.
Each had it's AH counterpart 61-70. Just styling details and badges.
Engines range from 948-1098-1275
MklV Rubber bumpers and 1500 Spitfire engine.

http://www.simoncars.co.uk/mg/midget.html
http://www.simoncars.co.uk/ah/sprite.html
Mk 1 Midget. http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C496758

Posted 25 May 2014, 17:13 #12 

User avatar
Dave
Useful links - cheers Mick!

Posted 25 May 2014, 17:33 #13 


Top

cron