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Thread: My "new" 1972 MG Midget

  1. #11
    Class! I always liked these!
    We all stood around in a circle naked, thrusting our clinched fists in the air screaming "Jap Power!!"

  2. #12
    I said I'll update this now that I'm coming up on a year of ownership. I put it in storage over the winter and planned on taking it out again in March, but we all know how that went. So between the bug, and a new family addition, I only got it back out again a few weeks ago. It served me really well last year for the few months I had it out. It was everything I expected it to be, and more. It rarely failed to put a smile on my face any time I got it out for a spin.

    Different sports cars deliver their joys in different ways but I find with many modern sports cars, that enjoyment is only really delivered at speeds that are best left for the track. With the Midget, the particular "joy package" it delivers is available most of the time regardless of speed, or road and traffic conditions. You can hustle it flat out up through the gears to fourth and instead of looking down at the speedo and seeing something shameful, it'll probably just be sitting around 65-70mph. No bother to no one and no one bothering you. It'll feel like 100mph with the top down and sure isn't that all you really need? Do you need to be doing 100mph if you can get away with just feeling like you're doing 100mph? I don't know. My 25 year-old self would have scoffed no doubt but that's why young men get sent to war and the older ones stay home and count how many return.

    I said above that it "rarely" failed to put a smile on my face, which brings me on to the other aspects of older cars - they break more and need continuous attention. On the way to dropping if off to storage last October, the throttle cable snapped. I managed to jury-rig the cable but when I went to start it up again, the battery was dead. Not even an ignition light. And then the bonnet wouldn't close. It got more fhucking and cunnting than a Mexican whorehouse when the Spanish navy passed through town. Luckily (or spitefully) I was within 500 meters of where it was going to be wintered so I was able to call for help to get me going again and I limped into port. Fast forward until a few weeks ago and I charged the battery, put in a new throttle cable and fixed the bonnet latch.

    That got me back to home safe and sound but the next time I went to bring it out it started to run very rough and the ignition light won't go out at all; a collection of symptoms that Google has helpfully diagnosed the root cause as being everything. I'm surprised it didn't diagnose Covid-19. I barely limped home as it would just about rev to 2000rpm. I've been trying to find a nearby mechanic who can, and wants to, look at older cars and have eventually found one only about 2 miles away. However, I still need to get it running good enough just to get it there. I've been YouTubing and googling carburettor setup and tuning and tinkering away with it the last few days and I reckon I'll get there eventually. I do enjoy that problem solving element, but on the other hand, I don't have time for it, so I'd rather be driving it.

    Im not anywhere near the giving-up stage and I knew what I had been getting myself into with an older car. And it's not the car's fault; it's mine for not looking after it better or knowing more about how it needs to be taken care of. I very much look forward to it running well again so I can go for a spin. I think it was the fact that it ran without fault all last year that got me into a false sense of comfort with it. At least when they do break, you can generally fix them with a vice-grips and a screwdriver, or the hammer when all else fails.

    That said, I do find myself looking over the fence with a low simmer of envy at DMZs new MX-5. A very similar but modern interpretation of the old British sports car and a lot less likely to breakdown. And safer. And faster. Its a slippery slope!

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