The MG Midget can be a very reliable and trustworthy little steed - when treated right. Due to low initial cost many where purchased by owners that rode them hard and performed little or no maintenance. I have owned several and drove one throughout high school. The only time my 1972 Midget let me down was when I neglected to change out a very frayed alternator belt, thinking “I can replace it this summer”. Well, I did end up changing it on the side of the road. In February. My date was not impressed.
About eight years ago I decided to get back into the LBC’s (Little British Cars) and bought a 1976 Midget with the Triumph 1500cc engine. My son and I did a complete “ground up” rebuild which was a great learning experience for him, as Midgets are about as dirt-simple a car as you can find. For example, there are only four major circuits in the electrical system and troubleshooting is a breeze. Try that on a modern car with CAN-BUS architecture, eleven “body control modules” and other computers hidden away throughout the vehicle. Parts are very easy to source and quite inexpensive. My son had such a good time working on the Midget that he later bought his own 1974 MGB and used it as a daily driver for his last two years of high school.
If you are considering any MG or other 40 year old British car you have to be aware of the common rust areas for the model. Don’t look for the cheapest vehicle on Craigslist as it is sure to be hiding issues (unless you are prepared, talented and equipped to do a ground-up restoration). Look for the cleanest example you can find.
My counterpoint would be that if they are such junk, why are so many still on the road and in running condition after all these years? Understand that you are buying a 38+ year old car (the last ones came off the line in 1980) and not a new Toyota Camry. Just stating that MG’s across the board are unreliable does these cars a great disservice, as they can be quite reliable when maintained correctly and a very enjoyable way to get into “classic car” ownership.