The MG Midget car revived the Midget moniker first seen with MG M Type Midget of the late 1920’s. It was based upon the successful Austin Healey (Frog Eye) Sprite but with significant body changes and similar Sprite versions continued alongside till 1971. During its life, significant changes occurred including engine capacities rising from 948cc to 1493cc, with the most controversial being the 1500cc.
This was the case as it suffered the most significant changes of any MG of the period. The ‘Rubber Bumpers’ was well known as a change needed for the changing regulations in the US market, but this also drove the change of engine and gearbox. This was partly due to the need to have an engine that complied with US regulations and still produced enough power to be respectable.
In the Midget, the engine sat in a more confined space that dictated some changes to ancillaries that saw a reduced power output and it simply matched that of the outgoing A series 1275cc engine. What this engine did give though was quite noticeably enhanced torque and performance that actually now gave the MGB a real run for it’s money. There were other advantages such as an all-synchromesh gearbox too.
These initial matters aside, the 1500 was a sales success with 72,289 examples being made between 1974 and 1979, and today they remain a favourite, not least from their still sensible values to buy and maintain.