Bumper Bypass: 1977 MG Midget – Sold?
December 17, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
We’ve debated on many late seventies vintage posts we’ve featured about the merits of backdating these “Rubber Bumper” cars with proper chrome units. The seller of this burgundy over black vinyl 1977 MG Midget originally listed in November 2021 on Craigslist in Litchfield, Connecticut did one better by removing the bumpers altogether and smoothing the pans supporting them. It’s a great competition-inspired look that works well and is much less expensive to complete than backdating a car.
Currently offered for $5,500, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their MG Midget priced two hundred dollars above this guide’s #3 “Excellent” estimate of $$5,300. Interestingly, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool provides a much different assessment as in this case the asking price falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $4,250 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal or $6,900.
First launched in 1961, Morris Garage’s (“MG”) Midget was fun and a true sports car that lasted in production through 1980. Although spritely in its earlier iterations, by 1974 the revised Mk IV version added large black plastic bumpers front and rear and increased ride heights to meet new U.S. standards. The increased ride heights affected handling, and anti-roll bars were added to help with the higher center of gravity. To meet U.S. emissions, MG replaced its dated A-Series engine with the 1493 cc Standard SC engine from the Triumph Spitfire, coupled to a modified Morris Marina gearbox with synchromesh on all four gears. The increased displacement of the new engine was better able to cope with the increasing emission regulations. Although horsepower ratings were similar the 1493 cc engine produced more torque. The increased output combined with taller gear ratios resulted in faster acceleration (12 seconds 0–60 compared to 13 for the 1275 cc version) and a top speed of just over 100 mph. In the US market, British Leyland struggled to keep engine power at acceptable levels, as the engines were loaded with air pumps, EGR valves and catalytic converters to keep up with new US and California exhaust emission control regulations. Home market cars had twin SU HS4 carbs The U.S market’s dual SU HS2 carbs were swapped for a single Zenith-Stromberg 150 CD4 unit catalytic converter.
The Memory Museum YouTube Channel features this 1977 vintage U.S. commercial for the MG Midget:
This is a great-looking sports car that will likely get you compliments and more awards every time you enter it in a classic British car show.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1977 mg midget, new clutch, new transmission, new engine, good tires, recent brakes, runs strong drives well. 39k original miles, the car is a lot of fun. Great weekend driver
Show or go: what would you do with this driver-quality MG Midget? Comment below and let us know!