For David Jacobs, his love of the “Spridget” runs deep – and can be traced back to a childhood encounter…
My first brush with MGs came when I was about 4; A couple who lodged with my Nana had a black open topped one with a red interior. I remember being plonked in it behind the seats, but at that age, I wasn’t that interested, so I don’t recall if it was a B or a Midget.
They didn’t really enter my consciousness for quite some time after that; my cousin had a sportscar when I was about 10 or 11, but it was only a Triumph Spitfire (!)
During my teen years, I’d been more interested in custom cars and hotrods, but after learning to drive and buying my first car – a 1973 Vauxhall Viva, reality (and insurance!) bit, and my daydreams of dropping a Rover V8 into it faded somewhat. I had started my first job and one of the guys at work had an MGB GT – now this was something slightly different from the run of the mill stuff everyone else had. Then my sister and her husband bought an MGB roadster – better still, as the top came off (never mind the fact that it was so full of rips and tears, you hardly needed to lower it for that wind in the hair feeling!) However, when I came to drive it, I was a bit disappointed as it felt really heavy and unresponsive, so when they came to get rid of it, I wasn’t too interested in taking it on, especially as it needed quite a bit of welding underneath.
Anyway, the scene was set, and I fancied myself in something like this, and having ditched ‘Custom Car’ in favour of ‘Classic Car’, I had discovered that the Midget was probably more to my taste. The more I found out about them, the more I had to try one, so when a 1974 model (one of the last chrome bumper ones) came up for sale in the local paper, off I dashed with my mental checklist of what I should be examining. Well, I did all the examining, and promptly ignored what my eyes had told me once I’d got in and drove the thing. It was love at first drive! Basically, it was fun with a capital F, U and N!
|I drove it in all weathers from blazing hot sunshine (memories of traffic jams in Norfolk, surrounded by clouds of greenflies, attracted by the non-original Inca yellow paint) through rain (lethal handling due to ‘Danubiana’ Rumanian remoulds on the back, which were so bad they were recalled and scrapped!) to snow in the depths of winter…|
So, a day later and my Halifax savings book emptied, the Midget was mine. I drove it in all weathers from blazing hot sunshine (memories of traffic jams in Norfolk, surrounded by clouds of greenflies, attracted by the non-original Inca yellow paint) through rain (lethal handling due to ‘Danubiana’ Rumanian remoulds on the back, which were so bad they were recalled and scrapped!) to snow in the depths of winter (actually not that bad as it has a terrific heater so it’s quite cosy inside – shame about trying to scrape the ice off an extremely brittle plastic hood window one morning). The 8 months of MOT it came with ran out in January 1987 (goodness knows how it had passed judging by the horrors I found) so I took it off the road and started to take it to bits and rebuild it. Lack of a garage hampered things for a while, so it was about 6½ years, a change of colour to Mallard Green, and a worrying amount of cash spent on new parts before the MG was back on the road again, but I had done pretty much everything myself, apart from the engine machining.
Ten years later, I’m still driving it though not everyday, because even though it’s noisy, slow, cramped and totally outdated, it’s still F U N.