Well, where do I begin?! RWA Midgets are often seen as the most sought after of the lot – and as this Blaze Orange example has been subject to a comprehensive professional Heritage Bodyshell restoration - surely that makes it the best of the best! It represents excellent value for money and is a great investment. In fact, Mike Authers, the Midget Guru, recently had a very similar car in stock that was a great deal more money!
Before I start, I must say that this is without doubt the best Midget we’ve ever had pass through our hands. In fact, we have known this car for several years now, originally selling it three years ago having bought it from its long-term owner, and couldn’t resist buying it back to have the pleasure of having it in our stock once again.
The car was subject to a major restoration in the mid 1990s – the bulk of the work being carried out by Naylor Brothers MG Specialists, which included the preparation of a brand new British Motor Heritage Bodyshell. Over 200 hours labour was put into the shell alone to make the panelwork and panel fit as good as possible – and it shows! If you know anything about restoring these cars you’ll know that none of the panels line up or fit properly, so you’ll be able to appreciate the work required to get even a brand new shell up to scratch. Really, to build a top quality example on a Heritage Shell these days will cost you around £30,000 – making this one an absolute bargain. An unpainted shell alone now costs over £10,000+VAT, and that’s not even painted!
What’s really nice about this car is that it’s been built pretty much to the exact spec it came out of the factory – with very little deviation whatsoever. Included in the raft of paperwork is the Heritage Certificate, which, for example, shows that the car came out of the factory with the very rare Chrome Rostyle wheels which it still retains (including the spare). Another interesting fact – few people know that the ‘BL’ roundel on the front wings was only fitted to the passenger side from the factory, and it’s correct on this one too!
The bodywork is phenomenal – there is absolutely no bubbling or blistering on the wing-top seams, A panels, wing bottoms, door bottoms etc – considering the paint has been on the car for 20 years now, it just goes to show the level of preparation and quality of build this car has to show. The spot welds etc are sill visible on the wheelarches, door shuts etc – the paintwork is as good inside the engine bay and boot as it is on the outside. The finish is incredibly deep, with an excellent shine. Chromework is all in very nice order, and is not cheap repro stuff – they were NOS British Leyland items, as were the door handles etc.
The engine bay is in fine fettle, and again, practically show standard. The inner wings are free from any corrosion, as is the bulkhead (and the rest of the car!) – everything was painted to a very high standard before assembly – and effectively all of the fittings to the shell were replaced with new at the time of rebuild.
Mechanically, the car starts, runs and drives just as you’d expect a top-quality Midget to. No differential whines, no ‘clunks’ in the drivetrain and a peppy 1275cc engine with excellent oil pressure and compression. Electrically, everything works just as it should, including the heater blower. The gear selection is really nice and slick, and the car stops in a straight line, just as you’d expect. They’re excellent fun to drive!
The interior is in excellent order, with unmarked doorcards, refurbished dashboard, excellent original seat covers, steering wheel and an expensive carpet set. The hood is a very rare original British Leyland ‘Vyback’ type, and still displays its Vyback stamp in the rear window. Also included is an original hood cover which in very good order.
The car has covered 15,000 miles since the rebuild but has had continual work since – recent major refreshment over the past year or two includes:
• Full suspension rebuild by Fisher Services (MGOC Approved specialists)
• Full rebuild and refresh of the carburettors, new fuel pump
• New starter motor
• New Propshaft UJs
• Full service, including carburettor balance and ignition timing check
• ..and much more!
Usually, Heritage Reshell cars are built from absolute basket cases, so normally have very little history from before they were rebuilt. This isn’t the case here – I have tax discs, MOTs and history going back to the late 1970s – all very nice to have, as it helps to paint the picture. There is a great deal of bills and receipts from over the years, including all of the receipts from Naylor Brothers for the Heritage build and the Heritage Certificate. I also have an album of photos showing the rebuild. Also included is a selection of ‘Spridget’ and ‘MG’ books and literature – see the pictures. The paperwork shows that the car was built in 1973 but not registered until 1974.
No, it’s not an absolute concourse show car, but it’s not far off – but this car has been built to use, rather than trailer to shows! It is without doubt the best sub-£10k Midget you’ll find. When you come to see the car, you’ll clearly be able to see the excellent level of build quality and finish throughout. You’ll see from the MOT History that it has been completely clean (unheard of!!) and has covered minimal mileage every year.
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