MG Midget Page

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     In 1992 , after a lengthy search, I purchased and completely restored a 1972 MG Midget, but that wasn't my original intention when bought it. I was so happy at having found one at all that wasn't a rust bucket that I didn't look beneath the new coat of black paint. When I bought it from Tr--t Auto Sales in Birmingham, I mentioned that I might be planning to restore it, "what do you mean, it's already been restored!" replied the proprietor, obviously irritated at my comment. It was 2 days later when I discovered the two inch thick slab of Bondo and another two months before I realized the magnitude of the project ahead of me.

     I had stripped the car down to clean, inspect and paint when something struck me as not being quite right, and then I saw it...a twisted shell! My heart sank as I thought of the white elephant I had just purchased. Much soul searching ensued followed by visits to 2 local frame shops, the first was unable to straighten it properly ("we need it all assembled to align it properly" they said), but to give them credit, they did no harm. The second............well.........."it was like that when it came in", said Bubba. I now was 400 dollars poorer AND the proud owner of a bent and CREASED frame....I now only had one option left if I was going to keep the car; replacing the damaged shell components. The car had come with an old Victoria British catalogue under the seat and I used this as a starting point. Between this company and Moss Motors, I was able to order 90% of the parts needed to complete the project, the remaining parts came from Toms English Car Spares in Atlanta, various other suppliers, 3 parts cars, (2 bought from local salvage yards) or were fabricated.

     Much thought went into the planning of the frame repair and as the project progressed, I decided to go ahead and do a first class repair rather than the half-arsed job I had originally intended. Two basic problems presented themselves, after I cut it apart, how do I keep it aligned, and how do i put it back together? I thought about it and decided to build a metal frame that was rigid and could be suspended so as to allow the shell to be rotated about 75 ° either way. The shell was welded to the frame at 4 points under the rocker seams and had additional diagonal bracing under the rear axle arch. (see the photo's) This would keep the shell in line while I cut it apart and would allow me to work on it easily. I bought a Miller SP 100 MIG welder for reassembly because of its low heat (less warpage than brazing, gas welding or stick welding) and it'll run on 110 volts. Spot welds are also easily duplicated by drilling a hole and puddle welding.

     Essentially, there were three separate collisions, all major, that needed to be repaired, (and one supposedly had been, but they missed the frame in the estimate). The car had been in a front end collision severe enough to drive the left main beam 1/2" rearward into the shell, this also straighten out its preset "bend" that controls kingpin inclination ... very important to get right, or the car will pull to one side. Needless to say, this wadded up anything welded to this part, so everything forward of the firewall had to be replaced. The other two collisions required replacing all the skin on the rear of the car except the right rear quarter panel. The doors were also reskined (rash and rot), the front fenders were replaced (as was the hood), so the only original body skin left is the rr quarter and the section just under the windscreen. Severely rusted parts had to go too, so it also got new floor pans and the right front rocker panel got sectioned. Many of the smaller internal body parts were not available so they had to be fabricated or carefully cut from the parts cars (that's why I bought 'em). If this sounds like a mountain of work, that's because it, don't try this at home.

mg index 1

     Other improvements were also added to the vehicle and I shall attempt to provide details about them here. The photos link to other pages with more detailed information on each one. Regrettably there are no photos of the car before work was started and many of the photos taken during disassembly are missing at this time. When they turn up, I'll scan and post them accordingly. 

     Because the Midget was an economy sports car (that means cheap), it didn't come stock with a fuel filter. These were added normally under the hood for easy access, but they didn't protect the fuel pump or trap water. Here I have added a Toyota filter and bracket between the tank and pump to act as a water trap and filter...this is where it NEEDS to be. If you own one and are planning any sort of restoration, check this mod out, I'm quite pleased with it.

mg index 2

     If you are interested in restoring a Spridget of your own, I have made available the bookkeeping files I created while performing this miracle, including source references, and a list of major parts used, although the prices are 3 years old so don't use it as a cost chart, just a reference.

parts list  eastwood list  resource list

If you have any questions, you can drop me an email I'll get back to you as soon as I can, but I stay pretty busy so it may take me a bit..........Keep 'em on the road!!!