1976 MG Midget Special 1.5

Summary:

High maintenance... beautiful car

Faults:

When I got the car the brakes needed to be replaced. My wife was driving behind me on the way home and my MG was leaking oil all over her windshield. It left a trail of oil all the way home. When I was close to home the muffler fell off. This was just on the way home after buying the car. My wife was doing everything she could to keep herself from laughing.

After repairing the brakes, oil pan gasket, and the muffler. The car started to over heat. I replaced the water pump.

Not too long after replacing the water pump the starter blew. I am still waiting to replace it.

General Comments:

Believe it or not... despite all of the problems... I love this car. When it runs, I forget all of the problems. This is definitely not a reliable car, but will put a smile on your face during those nice summer drives.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2004

13th Sep 2005, 09:16

Did replacing the water pump solve the overheating problem?

7th Oct 2007, 17:36

I have a 1976 MG Midget, and contrary to the other comments, mine appears to be reliable. It has had lots of things replaced starter, generater, clutch and other things, but it is 31 years old I expect some things to go wrong in an old car, but I have never been stranded and with luck (knock on woood) I never will. I love this little car, I bought a new one in 1973 when I was 18, and always wanted another, and at 52 I got one (lucky me)

12th Feb 2008, 14:51

I purchased a 1976 Midget about a year ago, great car, lots of fun to drive. Mine has been great and has not let me down as of yet. After all it is a British car so it's just a matter of time before something happens. I also drive a Land Rover, so I'm already familiar with the British vehicles. You have to know this going in before you buy an MG, but the fun to drive factor outweighs any quirks you may have. My advice would be to check for any major leaks and check your brakes. There is a line that has a check valve in it that is prone to fail. you can simply plug the line to solve this problem. Buy and MG and have Fun!

1976 MG Midget 1.5L

Summary:

For hobbyists only

Faults:

What hasn't gone wrong with the car?

Brakes, carburetors, engine replaced/rebuilt.

Driveline problems, body rust, generator.

Various wiring problems, headlights, taillights.

Heating, windows stuck, wipers stuck.

General Comments:

Admittedly the car was a "TLC" case when first acquired, but it became a garage lizard as soon as it arrived. It spent more time on blocks or in the backyard than on the road. It was kept happy though... there were Austin Minis back there keeping it company.

I can't believe this car came from the same country that made the Hawker Hurricane and the Supermarine Spitfire. I'm not sure why the Midget was ever made as the regular MG is small enough as it is.

Performance is nil, and creature comforts are nonexistent. After spending 2 years fixing the car it was sold to some other hopeful dreamer. Parts were easy to obtain via the trusty JC Whitney catalog, but getting the car to work for long periods of time without breaking was a major task. I think the secret to this car is knowing the black art of tuning the carburetor. I think only the evil Solex carburetor in my 1971 Opel GT was worse.

As an optimist, I can report however that during the brief periods when it was functional, it was a fun although rather quirky ride.

Overweight people need not try and wedge themselves within. The gigantic steering wheel is puzzling, must be a British thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th June, 2001

22nd Sep 2002, 04:31

Oh dear what a lot of moaning minnies we have!! There are plenty of MIdgets out there, so there really is no excuse for buying a rotten one. The rubber bumper cars are not the work of the devil, and handle every bit as well as my MIni cooper. The (again evil!) Triumph engine is much smoother than the overbored A series, and you don't need to rev it stupidly high to get some go out of it! All Midgets are old and are cars for people that are willing to tinker with them themselves.. I suspect some people on here would be better off with a Honda civic instead. They are small, hence the name midget and I really don't see why people complain about it, it's bloody obvious!! They are surprisingly roomy inside (I'm 6'4" and have no problems at all. MIne despite being cheap and superficially rusty/tatty always starts on the button and is as relaible as the day is long. They are very easy to work on with the minimum of tools and parts availability is second to none... and cheap!! Buy one with the right attitude and enjoy this fun classic!!

1979 MG Midget 1.5 litre

Faults:

You name it, it broke. Front pivots, primary shaft in gear box, u-joint, lever shocks, alternator came apart, carb total disaster (replaced w/ Weber), electrical nightmare, broken piston, thrown rod, etc., etc. Saving grace: parts, although pricey, are easy to get. After-market upgrades make it a much better car!

General Comments:

You have to be a good mechanic to own one and afford it. Things tend not to stay fixed. Absolutely NOT to be relied upon as primary transportation (don't buy one for your kids). Has a terrific heater and actually comfortable to drive (I'm 6'6" and this is a rare treat). Through it all, though, the car was a blast to drive and great fun in the sun with the top down! As the English say, "You repair it on Saturday so you can drive it on Sunday."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 1999

10th Feb 2001, 08:29

Clearly you got a bad one! My Midget has only ever had starter motor and solenoid problems. Any bits that do break are dirt cheap to replace. Most parts can be sourced from Metros etc.

3rd Apr 2001, 08:55

I have a 1977 MG Midget. I have found that once I took the engine out and dismantled the front suspension, then rebuilt by hand, carefully, using advice from MG Owners Club rather than the service book, that the car has run almost faultlessly, including several 250 mile plus trips for holidays etc.

The only disaster has been the SU carbs, which refused to remain adjusted to the correct settings. Repair proved uneconomic, so I replaced with aa reconditioned set from the MGOC.

There are some real lemons out there, but careful selection and TLC will prove successful.