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Midget Models


Midget models are one of the famous cars production back in 1920’s. The M-Type Midget had been developed from the baby Morris Minor by MG as the manufacturer. This car wins a lot of car lovers’ heart as the design was a fun two-seater, inexpensive, basic with sporting pretensions which triggered a whole dynasty of Midgets.

Austin Healey Sprite
Austin Healey Sprite

During late 50’s, Austin-Healey Sprite was developed and yet this is another fun two-seater, inexpensive and basic sports car. This car was built at Abingdon which appeared in 1959. It was powered by a 948cc pushrod engine which exactly the same with the Austin. The engine been used was four-cylinder A-series unit, overhead valve, twin SU carburetors and it produced around 42bhp which consider as a very powerful car during 50’s. This engine match to the car and was adequate to boost the car to ~80mph/130kmh. Austin-Healey Sprite was known as “Frogeye” Sprite as the look of the headlamps is set like a frog eye and the grille look like a frog mouth. This car had a newer version after some years which known as Austin-Healey Sprite Mark II but then a De Luxe version came out and it had been re-badge to MG Midget which has make this car famous since 1950’s until today.

A short talk about Midget Design

  • Midget designed to be unitary construction.
  • Floor plan and body of the car being built as strong and rigid structure.
  • Rigidity body
  • Deep transmission tunnel
  • Suspension been used was the same as the Austin (with double wishbones and coil springs where the upper wishbone was provided by the lever arms of the dampers)
  • Using rack and pinion set-up steering just like Morris Minor.
  • hydraulically-operated rear brakes
  • Mounted axle (on stiff quarter-elliptical springs controlled by lever arm dampers)
  • Removable soft top and side-screens.

MG Midget started as MK I model and ended with MK IV model. MG targets the market to accept this car as a fun, safe, good handling, powerful, cheap and a little car. All these are the characteristics for MG Midget.

Midget models (by generations)

MG Midget MK I (1963)

  • A-series engine 1098cc, 55bhp.
  • Front disc brakes.
  • Centre-locking wire wheels (This require wire wheel cleaning for all the MG Midget lover).

MG Midget MK II (until 1966)

  • Improved rear suspension from MK I.
  • Semi-elliptic leaf springs replaced MK I’s quarter-elliptic leaf springs.
  • Lateral location of the rear axle has been improved and car’s tendency to oversteer.
  • New curved windscreen was fitted.
  • Doors were fitted with wind-up windows and opening quarter-lights.

MG Midget Mk III (1966 onwards)

  • A-series engine 1275cc, 65bhp (The engine used in Mini Cooper S).
  • Additional folding soft-top.
  • Sculpted steel wheel which known as “Rostyles”, rear wheel arches lost the squared off tops and becoming fully radiuses. (For 1792 model).

MG Midget Mk IV (1974-1979)

  • 1493cc with four-cylinder, pushrod, OHV engine (from Spitfire) 66bhp.
  • Top speed up to 100mph/160kmh.
  • Run by “Rubber-bumpers”.
  • MK IV slightly higher a few inches to fit the rubber-bumper.

Midget models are a range of sports cars that make MG an excellent reputation in motor sports. The production of Midget was stopped during late 70’s. This is because of resources were not obtainable for the car that designed back in 60’s. There are nearly 230,000 Midgets were produced and it have been doomed for the manufacturer to end it, it is a pity for all sports car lover, but I do believe the enthusiasm of the MG legend will live on forever.


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