I work as a U.S. Letter Carrier. I had an older woman named Barbara on my route that had a small orange car tucked away in her garage. I knew it was an MG Midget, and it never moved. I asked her about the car and she told me her son had bought it to play around with, but he was having trouble with the brakes, and never got it running right. She told me her son had died suddenly in the late 80’s while working overseas, and the car had not been touched since.
I asked her if she would sell it but she said no. Well I asked about once a year for 5 years until she decided to let me have it. That was 2007. At that point I had my brother-in-law Joe who is an ASE Master tech, come look at it with me. The seats were full of mold, all 4 tires where flatland the hood latch cable was frozen so we could not even see what the engine looked like. The car was structurally sound, with just some light rust.
I bought the car and had it towed back to Joe’s house and stuck it in his garage. 2 years of Sundays working on it and the car was ready for the road. Complete new brake system, fuel system, rebuilt shocks, New Kingpins, timing chain. The car had 70k miles on it and the engine looked to have normal wear.The clutch had been replaced and was like new, though we did need to replace the slave cylinder. Joe called this process a “Sympathetic Restoration”. This meant everything that needed to be replaced for safety was, and everything else was clean up to a standard of how it would have been if the car was well taken care of it’s whole life. We did put a Weber Carb in place of the Stromberg. Other upgrades include Halogen headlights,LED Tail lights, custom seat covers,minilight wheels and a Monza exhaust.After 2 years it got new paint.
Luckily I have been able to take Barbara out for nice rides in the car. She even came to a British car show to see the car. Whenever we were riding she always called the car the Happy MG!
She was thrilled the car went to a good home and was on the road again.
A few weeks ago out of the blue she called me. AT 85 Her speech is slowing down and has since moved out of state to her daughters,but she was still thanking me for the rides in the MG.