Launched in 1961 with a comparatively weedy 948cc A-Series engine, the MG Midget was constantly revised over the next two decades, going through MkI, II and III stages before finally becoming the Midget 1500 in 1974.
The main distinguishing features of the last model were Rostyle wheels, a more modern interior, a higher ride height and new rubber bumpers to improve crash performance for the all-important US market. To compensate for the car’s added weight and to improve performance, a new 1500cc engine was now standard which gave the car a top speed just a whisker short of the magic ton. An immensely successful model, Midget production finally came to an end in December 1979 by which time over 2.2m had been sold, 73,900 of them in 1500 form.
First registered in January 1978, this particular Midget 1500 has had just two owners since 1998 and really stands out from the crowd with both bumpers removed, a mesh front grille, subtle bodywork modifications and sporty bucket seats. An invoice on file shows that it was fully restored in 2002 by Classic & Custom Cars of Kidderminster, including a full body restoration and a repaint in Tartan Red, all the body mods being lead loaded. The fuel tank was also renewed along with all the exterior lamps and the door, boot and window rubbers.
The engine was overhauled with many new parts including the water pump, radiator, fuel pump, timing chain and tensioner, propshaft etc. The braking system was also totally renewed and the suspension rebuilt with many parts replaced. The wheels were refurbished and fitted with new tyres and the interior retrimmed with new carpets, new Cobra sports seats trimmed in red and grey, new inertia reel seat belts and a new grey soft top and tonneau cover.
Very little used since the restoration was completed, it remains in excellent condition throughout with an MOT until June 2019 with no advisories recorded. Supplied with a large history file and many photos documenting the restoration, it also comes with an indoor car cover and a Haynes workshop manual and will now qualify for free road tax and MOT exemption under the new rolling-40-year regulations. It also has a personalised and transferable registration number, VJI 5275, which is included in the sale.