That's just how English cars are. I'm an American, but I say it'd be worth the hassle to own a MG Midget or any English collectable for that matter. English cars are known for their quirks with their electrical systems and some engine parts.
My wife always wanted a sports car & the '79 MG Midget is the one she picked. I am the mechanic and found this one to be very reliable.
I did replace the rear shocks; working on a small car can be a hassle. The S.U. carb stays in specs when you maintain same altitude. Special tools and a knowlegable parts man are a must.
We spent many hours and lots of miles enjoying a quick & responsive British sports car.
My husband and I were recently given a midget that has been garaged since 1988. We have $80 into and it has been running successfully for 4 miles. Our 3 year old son loves the new car.
I have a '73 midget with the rare round wheel arches, and all I can say is Rule Britannia!
Provided that Midgets are routinely serviced, looked after and above all used regularly you should find it to be totally reliable. The 1500 however does need it's tappets adjusting frequently... if you can't hear them, then they need doing!!
I own a '72 Midget. I've had it for 6 years and yes I have spent some Saturdays fixing it, but it's 30 years old! It costs me next-to-nothing to run, looks better, feels better, drives better and sounds better than any of the modern junk I care to think about. I love it. Send yours back to England!
I heard a saying about old British sports cars a while back and I've always wondered if there's any truth to it. Someone mentioned "If a British sports car isn't using any oil, then you've got a problem". Any truth to that?
All cars use some amount of oil. I have had many MGB (different engine that what is in the Midget, but Brit iron, nonetheless) cars, from 67 to 78, and they all used a bit of oil. The engine condition ranged from 150k+, 25k original miles to a freshly rebuilt engine (using the proper British parts).
My 91 Olds Toronado uses a bit of oil. My 66 Toronado uses some, too. So does my 240Z.
I used to work for a dealership that sold Jaguars, Rovers, Triumphs and MGs, so I got to drive all of these. I also got to see first hand the problems encountered since the service bays were backlogged on a regular basis.
But one trait of the Midget stood out, even though it was fun to drive: This was probably the twitchiest car I'd ever driven, and I don't mean that in a good way.
This fact was convincingly brought home one day when a block of wood fell off the truck in front of me at highway speed. Given the car's low ground clearance I had to swerve around this block of wood rather than try to straddle it. I avoided the wood, but the car immediately went into a violent lateral oscillation that became more violent as it progressed. It was all I could do to regain control as speed bled off. Touching the brakes would have been suicide.
Otherwise these cars had no handling issues. They weren't quick by anybody's standards, but they liked the curves.
My first car was a 1971 M. G Midget (Camino Gold), I saved for two years to pay for at least half of it. I near wore the paint out polishing it until I got my license. Became very adept at finding where fuses were housed. Only problem I had was unbalanced spoked wheels. Engine was perfect. Handling probably saved my life on at least two ocassions when I was learning to drive properly. 24 years later and I wish I had another one, although I might find it a bit more difficult to get into!
I had a 1976 Midget, which I drove in my early 20s back in the early 1980s. Bits broke (starters, alternator, carbs and mysterious electrical problems) but she was a fun daily driver. She was expensive and time consuming for a person in University to maintain because you had to go to junkyards to get used bits to fix the broken bits, and borrow money from Dad to buy the bits. Fast forward to the 21st century and you can get anything quickly and cheaply on the Internet. Now working on another 1976 Midget after a 22 year hiatus and I can't wait. These cars are best when loved and lavished on.
My wife and I bought our '79 midget, just this last year, and love it!!
Sure, a few things were busted, and a few more completely blew out as soon as we started hammering it. It turns out that it has cost us less money in gas, parts, and time, than our other cars (1972 145E, 1989 5000CS) over the course of the last 6 months.
(Enough to say, hey... why don't we sell one of the others?)
I think the icing on the cake though was a warm winter evening, with the top down... my beloved looked deep into my eyes, as we bombed up the windy way and said..."I think I like this even better than the motorcycle" (1989 K100RS)
We love it, and we will be good stewards. I expect this car to outlast me, in some form, by a very wide margin.
I am currently working on fixing up a 76 Midget. Have encountered one problem though. It has a bad front tire and I have no way to get the tire off because I don't have and can't find the tool to take it off. A very special tool is needed. Can anyone help?
I bought a '79 MG Midget in early 2002. It has always made a squeal which becomes more pronounced at certain rpm's. I thought it may be a vacuum leak but have never been able to track it down. Has anybody encountered this problem or have any tips to solve it?