1975 MG MIDGET 1500View vehicle description
Badge engineering is not a new thing because the MG Midget is proof that it was alive and well back in dear Old Blighty in those dark post-war years. How so? Because the Midget was, at first at least, not a new car at all and simply a more expensive Austin-Healey Sprite. Sure, it might have had better interior trim and a different badge and grille, but the main components were taken over wholesale and merely marketed in a different way.
This means the early cars have a 948cc A-Series engine under the bonnet. With just 46bhp at their disposal, the cars’ owners didn’t have to worry too much about over-stressing the chassis, so seven-inch drums on each corner and leaf springs at the back were adequate for a car with such limited power at its disposal.
Because, the engineers (and this is a car from a time when engineers rather than accountants were in charge…) realised that the name of the game was simple fun. How simple? Well, let us put it this way: if you see an early car with a heater in it then that’s only because someone was happy to pay extra to install one.
So, the first cars are simple and straightforward - and not at all fast.
But the size of the engine rose over the years, of course. First to 1098c and 56bhp, which meant that front disc brakes were now the order of the day. The MkII Midget of 1964 brought a further small increase to 59bhp, which meant semi-elliptic rear suspension was fitted to replace the original harsh cart springs.
Nineteen sixty-six saw the (detuned) 1275cc engine from the Mini Cooper S being used, which gave the driver a heady 65bhp to play with, and a 1493cc engine found its way under the bonnet from 1974 onwards. Marketed as the 1500cc, the unit came from the Triumph Spitfire and while it had the same 65bhp as the old Mini engine torque was much improved, which gave the car slightly faster acceleration than it had ever enjoyed before.
The MG Midget continues to punch above its (modest) weight even today thanks to direct steering, a surprisingly compliant suspension, and some of the best retail and garage support in the classic car business; the Midget has been a decades-long stalwart of the classic scene with good reason.
This delightful MG offers the rare opportunity to own a car which has been in the same family for almost its entire life, with only three owners on the logbook sharing one address - first and third keeper were the same person, whose name is on the original Passport to Service book!
The current owner is a bit of a collector with an eclectic mix of classics and bought this on a whim six years ago in the condition you see it in today. He has driven, enjoyed and cared for the MG for that time but has now decided to slim down the fleet and concentrate on just a couple of cars, and move the Midget to a new home.
Presented in the perfect combination of Tropical Orange and black hood and still looking good from an older restoration it is the ideal summer fun soft top.
On the Outside
The MG was recommissioned in 2013 and underwent a full respray which still has a lovely deep gloss and an excellent finish while the bright orange colour makes the small sports car really stand out. As an older paint job it now has a few marks - the odd stone chip and some small marks on door corner tops and a small blemish on the nearside bonnet shut line have been touched in and there are some small blisters below the boot handle. Around the inner return edges of the wheel arches there are the inevitable stone chips that come with use.
The black hood was replaced at the same time and, when up, the black fabric is in nice condition, free of rips or tears and fitting snuggly over the windows with undamaged window panels in the back and rear three-quarters. It folds down easily and supplied with the new roof were both a tonneau and interior weather cover so the roof can be left down when the car is parked, both are in good condition.
The brightwork is all excellent, with undented chrome side strips, nice badges and clear lights and the rubber bumpers are a deep black, straight with no parking dings.
The Rostyle steel wheels are the perfect 1970s upgrade, looking good and in silver black, their matching tyres have deep tread all round, and the nearside benefits from an MG logo’d mudflap.
On the Inside
The interior is in great shape. The carpet looks almost new with very little wear to the heal pad on the driver's side. The black vinyl seats are in superb shape, looking almost like new with no splits or marks on the fabric and the squabs are not squashed, and they are fitted with headrests. The matching door cards are also excellent, undamaged and not curling.
Behind the seats there is a satin black roll cage with undamaged paint and with the roof up the underside of the hood remains clean and fresh.
The crackle finish dashboard looks great although a small patch has flaked off by the speedo, which like the other chrome bezelled, black faced dials is crisp and clear. The wide spaced speedo and rev counter have a traditional functional British sports car vibe thanks to the big blocky numbers and two stage red line colour bars. Within the centre console housing in the dash is the original Motorola radio, which even still has the instruction book.
The metal spoked, leather rimmed sports steering wheel is in fine condition, and is tactile and chunky to hold.
Lift the lid of the boot and the courtesy light pops on, the body colour painted metal boot is even shinier than the exterior, there is no corrosion and it is home to a Rostyle spare wheel shod with a Pirelli tyre, plus the jack and tool kit.
The floor of the MG is in very good condition, it looks like it only needed one small patch repair over the years and is otherwise sound metal.
Under the bonnet appears an honest engine bay, not a sparkling show queen hiding leaks but a genuine patina of use revealing a lack of water or oil escaping from the 55,000 mile motor or its ancillaries, beyond the expected rocker cover gasket moistness.
Looking under the car it’s a simply constructed machine and looks to be in good, usable condition with nothing to worry the MOT man although the underseal is flaking in places.
Having been recommissioned in 2013, including new paint, roof and tyres, the car has been in regular use ever since with the current owner taking possession 6 years ago. Although the last book service stamp is 2003, the owner has self-serviced the car, and put a fresh MOT on the car in July, which it passed with no advisories.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
And please be reassured, we’ve undertaken a full COVID-assessment and put into place strict control measure to enable us to safely facilitate a no-contact, socially distanced viewing that includes disinfection of the vehicle before and after your viewing.
However, if you’d rather not come to see the car in person, please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on.
Or, even better, why not contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call? You get to direct us in real-time, giving you a virtual personal viewing experience while maintaining the lockdown. We like to call it ‘The Market’s 2020 Vision’…
What We Think
It would look good outside any country pub, town coffee shop or at a car show. It has the odd mark as shown in the photos but that makes it easier to live with as the stress of a too-perfect car takes much of the fun of actually driving away. And, it’s not as if it’s going to cost you a fortune. Offered with no reserve, we think the virtual hammer will fall somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000.This is a great example of a fun car. It is in very nice condition in a desirable colour combination, rust free in body and chassis and a nice running engine.
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with the seller in Rochester; 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’.
This vehicle is not with us at The Market’s HQ near Abingdon, which means we have had to rely on the owner’s description of it, in conjunction with the photographs you see here, to compile the listing.
With this in mind, we would encourage potential bidders to contact the owner themselves and arrange to view the car in person, or to arrange a dedicated video call in which they can view the car virtually and ask questions.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
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.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
Want to know how The Market auctions work? Take a look at our FAQ'sView FAQ's