Used car buying guide: MG Midget

If a Mazda MX-5 Mk1 or Mk2 is too Japanese and a Lotus Elise Mk1 out of reach, then get your mitts on a Midget. The two-seat MG roadster ran from 1961 to 1979 and for years has been popular with motoring enthusiasts on a budget. 

‘Budget’ implies cheap, of course, and while £7000 is sufficient to secure a good chrome-bumpered car (more desirable than the later rubber-bumper variety), for anything tip-top you’re looking at well over £10,000. Fortunately, it won’t be money wasted since good Midgets are rare and their prices are only going one way. Unfortunately, it means dodgy sellers are getting on the bus and asking silly money for, at worst, thickly painted rubbish and, at best, bitsa-cars assembled from Midgets of all ages. 

In fact, we found one. It’s a late 1960s car that looks fresh, but an expert we consulted spotted its incorrect grille and bumpers a mile off. It’s been advertised for some months, often a sign that punters can smell something fishy. Another is an ad that says ‘no time-wasters’. In all likelihood, the time-waster is the person selling the car… 

£9000-£12,999: Includes a restored 1971 1275 with 106,000 miles for £9950. 

£13,000 and above: Rare specials including a mint, 900-mile 1980 1.5 for £14,995, and a Downton Engineering modified 1971 1275 with 48k for £19,450.

One we found 

MG Midget, 948cc, 1961, £11,995: Why settle for second best when for less than £12,000 you could have this rare Midget dating from the model’s first month of production? Restored some years ago but still in top condition and with the authentic ‘Frogeye’ dashboard and Bakelite steering wheel.

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