Friday 26 October 2012

The waiting

I think it is the right thing to do, whilst I wait for my new MG Midget restoration adventure to start, to explain exactly what is running through my mind. Certainly a massive sense of excitement and eagerness to get underway stands at the forefront, but there are many other worries that confront me. 
MG Midget 1965 MKII
I cannot help feeling that I am not the first to experience this. Having not properly looked over the vehicle due to wearing a nice suit at the time and the sheer lack of space in the garage, I am more trusting in my wanting to achieve something from all of this. I cannot but help feel the pressure from within myself to succeed, especially when my father took so many years to complete his restoration of an MG TC and when you commit to a decision like this, there is an enormous sense of scepticism that I might have bitten off more than I can chew. 

Over the past few weeks I keep recalling the countless pictures of MG Midgets with completely rusted sills, bonnets, wings, wheel arches, doors, suspension mounts and floors etc... It is important to note that the closest I have ever come to welding was during my school years. During craft, design and technology classes I managed to braze a few lengths of steel together to make a strange exterior metal spotlight. At the age of sixteen I was very impressed with this. I somehow even managed to get my highest GCSE grade, a 'B'! As an adult, my metal work as progressed to extending the heating system in my home. Not exactly 'MIG' welding standards.

MG Midget 1965 MKII Yet here I am on the verge of taking on one of the most complex engineering projects of my life. How many reading this can provide the number of parts that make up a Midget, let alone in what order to assemble them. The measurements, calculations, experience and skill that is required to restore a classic car is in itself hugely daunting. 

However there is something there. Something that tells me this is a journey worth taking. Because if I take my time, if I tackle each task carefully with the care and dedication that I have so far bestowed on my own devotion to my family, then I am happy in the thought that once I put my mind to something, even as complex as this, with the support of my friends, family and reliance on complete strangers from the world of online forums, I will be successful.

The Midget arrives week commencing 5th November 2012. Let the sparks of reconstruction begin!!

Monday 15 October 2012

The search!

So now I had to find the car for me!

It needed to be British, sporty and something I could get spares for.

Scrolling through the list of classic sports cars made me really think about what I wanted from my selection criteria.

It ended up between Triumph and MG, with MG winning because of my previous experience.

This led me to looking at basically two types, the MGB GT and the MG Midget.

I wanted to find models prior to the 'rubber bumper' era and certainly if I found a MGB GT it would have to be without a leaking sunroof!

But deep down in the back of my mind was that vision of driving my wife around the beautiful Somerset countryside with the top down, which meant Midget or MGB Roadster and the chances of getting a Roadster were slim on my budget.

Now the biggest issue was the budget, I am not made of money, nor have vast savings to call on. That left me with less than £1,000 to spend.

So the Midget it was then!!

I spent the next few week trawling through countless websites. Here are some of them which link directly to 'MG Midget' search results:

After some considerable time and a lot of frustration I just couldn't find one in my budget or close enough to pop over to check out.

Then one day I found a little ad with no pictures on this website:, just a small description which read:

1965 Midget Restoration project. Too many projects, too little space/time!

Correct 10cc engine, Wire wheels (were restored but paint flakey) New Dunlop tyres, new fuel tank, has had o/s sill replaced, but needs n/s sill and n/s floor, rear wings pretty good, dashboard all present/unmolested, correct seats need redoing, does'nt have front wings fitted, but comes with good s/h units, bonnet poor, correct doors and door furniture. Has been sat in dry garage for several years, so abit dusty/grubby. originally BRG, Aftermarket hardtop Would make great FIA racecar!. £750 ono

This seemed like a potential candidate, so I sent an email and to my joy the car was still there and it was only an hour away. So off I went and this is what I found....(click on images to enlarge)

MG Midget 1965 MKIIMG Midget 1965 MKII
MG Midget 1965 MKIIMG Midget 1965 MKII