1978 MG Midget Reviews

1978 MG Midget 1500 1.5 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carVolvo V40

Summary:

Dodgem Delights

Faults:

It's an old car so the usual things have needed doing: brakes, shocks, etc.

Had a gold seal recon engine just before I got it, but in the 30000 miles I've done in it over the last few years, its never broken down or so much as misfired.

Bodywork needed some work though, new sills, front wings (VERY Expensive!), and some work on rear arches.

Fitted new mohair hood as well, as original plastice one was worn out, which was cheap and not too tricky to fit.

Also use a hard top in the winter, which helps (a little) with the Midgets main problem of letting in water from just about everywhere.

General Comments:

Drives like a dodgem car, steering is so direct that to begin with you feel as though you are going to drive into a field on the next turn.

Once you get used to it though, its great fun. You're so low to the ground, you feel as though you're doing 100mph when the Lada just behind reminds you that you're only doing 30.

Heaters are phenomenal.

Perfect for sunny days with the top down on a windy country lane. Although I've driven mine to Scotland and back on motorways - I'm the first to admit that its not ideal for that!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2003

18th Sep 2008, 08:29

I agree with all of the above. Great fun on windy roads here in the USA as well. The rubber bumper, 1500cc "Spitfidget" engined Midgets are (by some) referred to as the poor cousin to the earlier chrome-bumpered, A-series engined Midgets, but as the owner of a '78, I just don't see it.

Hey it's a warm, sunny September day - what am I doing in here?

Steve

www.1978mgmidget.com

1978 MG Midget 1500 1.5 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.5 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.3 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance90000 miles

Summary:

Fun for enthusiasts and budding mechanics

Faults:

Probably easier to list what didn't go wrong. This one had been professionally bodged by an alleged restoration company "Enigma Restorations" in Lancashire. Repairs included a rolled up copy of the Sun (Newspaper) in one A pillar and lots of filler with iron filings (so you can't tell that it's filler with a magnet).

Knew the 1500 engine well since I had a couple of Triumphs. Engine is no problem as long as the radiator and water pump are clean and working. This one also had an oil cooler.

The only problem with the engine was blowing a piston ring at 80,000 miles - a fairly common problem and not that difficult to fix. It always got me home which is more than I can say for my Golf!

Did a lot of welding underneath including floor pan and an inner sill.

Replaced the front dampers for uprated ones and a thicker anti-roll bar. This improved matteres drastically. Also lowered the suspension by 1/2 inch. It already had telescopic shock on the rear and I put slightly larger tyres on.

Also replaced all the flexible brake lines and one cylinder.

The hood leaked as did the drivers footwell until I welded up the hole under the front wing!

Replaced most of the small suspension parts including bushes and bearings.

General Comments:

It was good fun and actually not too unreliable really. Never had too many problems getting it through the MOT.

It went quite well with some K&N filters and a gas flowed exhaust & manifold plus the suspension mods.

Could frighten an XR3 up to 40 mph, but a bit low geared for the motorway really.

It was good fun at the time, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

You have to bear in mind that it was built at a time when BL employees spent more time holding placards outside the gates than they did building cars. I now have an MX5 which is utterly reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 15th January, 2003

Average review marks: 5.3 / 10, based on 2 reviews