1965 MG Midget Mk II .View vehicle description
Oh we do love a Midget, and why ever not? If you’ve never strapped yourself into one of these basic little roadsters, then you don’t understand what a hoot of a bum-skimming-the-tarmac driving experience they deliver. And they’re uber cheap to run on top, too – win, win.
The Midget name held a special place in the hearts and minds of MG aficionados. In the Thirties the name endowed a series of small, open-topped models, which played a large part in developing the marque’s reputation for sporty little numbers.
So thirty years later it was a no-brainer when the company returned to the name – this time, its new ‘Midget’ was nothing more than a marginally more expensive ‘badge-engineered’ version of the Austin-Healey Sprite.
Faint praise indeed – luckily though, that car was an absolute corker. With basic mechanicals, it was sports car for the everyman and made top-down motoring more affordable than it’d ever been.
Under the Midget’s bonnet sat the same 948cc 46bhp A-Series unit, but it was now allied to modern, squared-off body that was distinctly MG in style.
A MkII arrived three years later in ’64, with capacity now 1098cc and power at a lofty 59bhp – oh, and you got a set of disc brakes up front.
In 1966, the MkIII upped the game with its 1275cc Mini Cooper S sourced engine, before it all went a bit south in 1974 with the introduction of large rubber bumpers and smog equipment on the Midget 1500 in order to meet US regulations.
This 1965 MkII Midget has been essentially a one family car. Bought new by the husband in the same year, he kept the car until his death around 2015, whereupon it was passed to his wife. Although she kept the car until her passing, it would seem she added no miles to the car’s tally of some 54,000. The car was then inherited and sold by their daughter.
Looking over the car and its papers, it would seem the original – and essentially – sole, real keeper of the car was a bit of a tinkerer in an ‘enthusiast’ kind of way. There is evidence of painting over the years, though certainly by no means any kind of formal restoration, and there were some rather original and creative wiring ‘reworkings’ in the cabin. Thankfully, these have largely been set back to standard by a Sussex classic car specialist who looked over the car since the sale.
It is now presented as a very viable ‘would suit enthusiast’ running classic. So if you’re handy with a paint gun or welding torch – or know someone who is, this is a very honest and solid starting point from which to build.
On the Outside
From a distance, the Midget looks quite a striking little beast, certainly good enough to take out for a turn around the lanes, though if you park up for a pint, you will begin to notice the flaws as you sit next to it on the pub bench.
There is very little in the way of corrosion, save for a small patch on the edge of a wheelarch, but you will find other blemishes/pealing, mismatches of colour (from local respraying) and scratches on most panels around the car. Even so, the metal is basically sound.
Panel fit is fair (they weren’t great from new), but the doors fit slightly ‘differently’ on each side. Newer paint around the A posts suggests some work being done here (they are rot-free), so some adjustment might be in order.
The brightwork is largely fairly good. All the thin chrome strips are present and correct, and the bumpers, while showing a little light pitting, are sound and very presentable. Their overriders are nice and straight too. And the headlight surrounds look nice and clean. (there is no corrosion in this area either). The windscreen surround is presentable and its seals good. The quarterlight surrounds somewhat tarnished – but they do open okay. Perhaps the poorest example of chrome is the radiator grill. Several of the vanes are showing dings, with one or two at either end being corroded and quite bent.
The car also comes with a lovely body coloured tonneau cover. It is starting to show some signs of it's age, but with a deep clean it should come up very nicely & appears to be free of any obvious damage. You will see three photos of the tonneau cover towards to bottom of the gallery.
Despite plenty of flaws in the detail, a presentable and solid car. (And terribly cute too).
On the Inside
Predictably, the Midget’s black vinyl cabin has a ‘lived in’ look, though the seats retain a very good colour with surprisingly few scuffs (the various panels are a bit loose), and the white piping remains quite striking. This is true of the door cards too – nor are they warped, though the odd retaining screw is clumsily secured. The dashboard is a little more worn, showing scuffs and scrapes, but the instrumentation is all present and correct. Generally, as you look closer into the details, you will see rougher edges, cracks in rubbers or overspray on metal parts such as roof fixings or door strike plates. And there are still a few odd wires behind the dash.
The steering wheel and gear knob show general handling marks but are not unduly worn – there are some cracks in rubber of gear stick gaiter and chips to the surround.
The carpets don’t show undue wear (and the metal underneath is sound) though the covering on the transmission tunnel is discoloured and worn, having been rubbed by the rather strange seat belt bracket arrangement.
The soft top retains a good colour and shows no significant rips or tears. It raises fine – a little tight perhaps – and its rear and quarterlight windows are clear and crack-free.
The engine bay is ‘workmanlike’; everything in the right place, and nothing appearing neglected. There are no signs of leaks from the block or the head. Clips and bolts all look as if they will take a wrench without much argument and none of the small parts are incrusted in grease or grime. Similarly, hoses and leads look up to their task; supple and with no signs of perishing. Unlike in the cabin, there are no stray wires which seem to go nowhere. More than any other area looks like a ‘department’ where the owner felt most at home in his tendering and tinkering. (The engine also reportedly runs very well.)
The surrounding metal, both here and in the boot space, looks solid with good seams and welds and no serious instances of corrosion.
The underside of the Midget is also surprisingly tidy and clean. Floor pans look solid and chassis outriggers appear to be in very good shape. There is localized corrosion in one place in a wheelarch, but nothing that can’t be fairly easily remedied.
The leaf springs and their hangers look pretty solid and suspension arms struts quite robust. The coil springs also look good and the suspension components inspire confidence, with little or no surface corrosion. Parts of the exhaust also look quite new.
The history file isn’t extensive, but a little forensic analysis suggests that the mileage is genuine – most of the MOT certificates are retained. There are bills for sundry service jobs, but also for such items as carburetor components. These, coupled with notes written on some fairly random (and oily fingerprinted) pieces of paper certainly suggest the owner did most of his own mechanical work. There is nothing to suggest any kind of more extensive restoration… but we’re liking the look of the engine bay and underside.
What We Think
As we said in the introduction, this one is a ‘would suit enthusiast’ buy – but we mean that in a good way. What you see is very much what you get with the Midget. There are no hidden horrors and no really ‘big’ jobs to be done – okay, maybe the paint – but there will be a myriad of fiddly small to medium ones. But, it’s a Midget, so everything’s available.
But before all that, you could probably take the Summer just to drive the little roadster and think about what you might or might not want to do with it. And have a lot of fun doing it. Our estimate for this car is £5,000 - £9,000.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; our offices are open Mon-Fri 9.00 am to 5.00pm. To arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
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