First registered new in Jersey in March 1978, the Midget has been part of our Classic Hire fleet since 2014, prior to which it went through a process of refurbishment in our workshops.
The first version of the new MG Midget, announced at the end of June, 1961, was essentially a slightly more expensive badge-engineered version of the MkII Austin-Healey Sprite. The original 'frogeye' Sprite had been introduced specifically to fill the gap in the market left by the end of production of the MG T-type Midget as its replacement, the MGA had been a significantly larger and more expensive car with greater performance. Many existing MG buyers turned to the Sprite to provide a modern low-cost sports car and so a badge-engineered MG version reusing the Midget name made sense. The new Midget differed from the Sprite only in its grille design, badging, colour options and having both leather seats and more external chrome trim as standard to justify its higher purchase price.
The square-shaped rear wheel arches became rounded in January 1972. Also in this year, a Triumph steering rack was fitted, giving a gearing that was somewhat lower than earlier Midgets. A second exhaust silencer was also added in 1972. Alternators were fitted instead of dynamos from 1973 onwards. The last series with impact bumpers and the 1500 cc engine was introduced in 1974 and continued in production in 1979.