Unfiltered – 1972 MG Midget

For the final feature inspired by last week’s Subaru BR-Z rental, here’s another car that has overlapping qualities with that newer coupe. Granted, there are vast differences, but among new cars there is not a lot there for the classic car enthusiast who bemoans the loss of sensation in today’s newer cars – no engine noise, no road noise, no vibration, and – who in the dark days of the early 1980s knew we’d complain about this – too much power to really have fun. The MG Midget and Austin-Healey Sprite twins certainly had none of those problems – there’s plenty of engine and road noise, a little vibration here and there, enough power to have fun but not so much you’ll get in trouble, and it one-ups the Subaru with things like a challenging roof. Check out this 1972 MG Midget for sale for $4000 in Sacramento, CA.

1972 MG Midget left side

First impressions are good, but the car is for sale by a friend of the owner, who’s moved to Texas. Putting on rose-colored glasses, let’s look past that and focus on the car itself, which has a nice French blue paint job, but two minor rust spots – as usual, you’ll want to do your own inspection as the owner (and perhaps the seller too) is not mechanically inclined. Which is why the car was parked due to a failing fuel pump, though it apparently starts and holds an idle, so perhaps the issue is something else.

1972 MG Midget nose

As you can see, it’s been debumpered, so parallel parking in San Francisco is out of the question. The car is said to benefit from much recent work, including new ignition, fuel hose and filter, rear brake hose, rear wheel cylinders and shoes, a resealed fuel tank, valve adjustment, and valve cover gasket. It’s been parked on non-op since 2004, and in 2000 it was treated to a full restoration including paint, bodywork, carpet, engine, and top. The brakes are said to need bleeding still, which is rather surprising in light of the recent work. The owner apparently has more paperwork to document work done – perhaps the seller is the owner’s mechanic?

1972 MG Midget interior

The interior really looks quite decent, and it seems the car was only used as a daily driver for four years after restoration. You’ll want to ask the owner some pointed questions, but considering a fair amount of the resuscitation work has already been done to bring it back from 11 years of storage, it seems like this is not far from being a usable driver. Is this driving experience pure enough for fun, but good enough to use as a daily driver?

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3 Responses to “Unfiltered – 1972 MG Midget”

  1. Kent Wright Says:

    RE:” it apparently starts and holds an idle” with recent fuel hose and filter replacement, If they used 1/4″ hose these don’t run right. Vacuum bleed the brakes when you change the fluid, the master cylinder can be finiky.

  2. alfaguy Says:

    “but among new cars there is not a lot there for the classic car enthusiast who bemoans the loss of sensation in today’s newer cars – no engine noise, no road noise, no vibration, and – who in the dark days of the early 1980s knew we’d complain about this”

    Kind off topic regarding the MG, but in reference to your comment above, there is at least one car that fits the bill here … if you have not had the opportunity to do so, please go find an Alfa 4C to drive.

    Need I say more?

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Totally agree, at least based on what I’ve read. Unfortunately $65K is out of reach for a lot of people. Can’t deny that I’ve tried out the mental math to make it work, though!

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