A great first classic!
The handling on these late model cars is a bit wallowy, bit the fitment of a stiffer roll bar ahs greatly improved it.
The hood on mine had been replaced with an expensive MGOC fabric one. These look great, but They shrink badly so I ended up having to replace it with a cheap vinyl one... as per original spec.
The car needed some minor bodywork around the rear wheelarch. After being quoted £1500 by a "specialist" I ended up taking it to a local bodywork man who did a beautiful job for just £300.
These cars are very crude and thus reliable. They are however all old and they do go wrong. Mechanical parts are dirt cheap and readily available from a variety of specialists, but Bodywork can be expensive. when buying always look at the condition of the body above everything else. It doesn't matter if the engine is blown or the gearbox whines, these parts are all available for next to nothing (usually from abandoned projects which end up being broken for spares!!)
Like any classic if you have no mechanical knowledge and do not have the tools or inclination to fix them when they do go wrong they will end up being very expensive cars to own... all of it dead money as it won't make the car worth any more.
However if you are fairly handy with a set of spanners and have a haynes manual then these are particularly rewarding little cars to own!!
Like I said earlier these later Americanised models do handle in a more wallowy American sort of way, but you will be surprised how much difference a decent set of tyres and a stiffer roll bar will make.
They are awkward to get into, but once you are in surprisingly spacious (I'm 6'4") To drive they are slow by modern standards and quite noisy. The suspension is on the solid side of hard, but the steering (Morrs Minor) is superb. Wonderfully light and direct with tonnes of feel. In short it is a true British sports car in miniature and contrary to others opinions makes an excellent daily driver, if you are young and don't have a family that is!!
One last note... Buy the best you can afford, paying top whack for a minter will give you far less greif and end up cheaper in the long one than and average example needing a bit of TLC.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th January, 2004