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Finding the perfect custom car for you can be quite a tricky task. Choosing something that’s a little out of the ordinary is something that potentially a lot of car enthusiasts are looking for. The Smoking Tire has met up with Tyson, the proud owner of a 1971 MG Midget Mk III, not something you see every day.
The car has a 1.3 liter engine, is hilariously small and slow but great fun to drive. It weighs about 1700 lbs so it’s fairly light and has a 4-speed gearbox.
It’s a great little car that’s a lot of fun and one where you can’t help but hang your arm out the window when you’re driving. Bought in 2012, this 1971 MG Midget was second choice as Tyson couldn’t afford a Morgan 3-wheeler but the driving experience is very similar.
The steering is very light and the tires give really good feedback, the manual brakes are good too – although a little spongy to start with.
It’s rare that people ever hold you up when driving this car. It’s pretty light on its feet with 13″ alloy wheels and just some basic American tires on there. Race tires wouldn’t be worth it as the car doesn’t really go on the track and wouldn’t be able to keep up if it did.
Does it work properly?
When it’s maintained well it’s a dream but you really have to look out for what the car is trying to tell you. Like most traditional British cars, it tells you when it’s leaking, when it’s smoking and you just have to keep a watchful eye out for the signs.
With 86,000 miles on the clock, the car’s been driven but not overworked and has – mostly – all original partners. When Tyson got the car it wasn’t in great shape and even now on the outside it doesn’t look all that special but mechanically it’s back in working order.
The origin of the 1971 MG Midget
The Mark 1 was built in 1960, this one is Mark 3. It shares a chassis with the Austin Healey Sprite but a lot of people shy away from buying them because of the British heritage.
The car has a lot of character and is really driver friendly, there’s a lot to like about it. It’s got quite good fuel economy too and has a surprising amount of torque. You can floor it through every gear and when it comes to getting off the mark, you can leave it in second.
This car hasn’t yet reached over 90 as it starts to get a little unsteady but the experience of the drive outweighs that completely.
Are they affordable?
The answer to that is: yes, very. Tyson actually recommended it as an entry car into the world of customizations and vintage vehicles because you have to keep up with the maintenance and it can give you a lot to do.