Dating your mg midget

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Come 1972 and a slightly more notable alteration was made, when rounded rear wheelarches were introduced, a design cue not seen since the original Mark I Frogeye Sprite.

Also at this time Rostyle wheels, similar to those fitted to MGB's were fitted as standard with wires still being offered as an option, and all the interior switches were made to be of the rocker type in the aid of safety.

This model, the Mk III, also benefited from a superb new design of folding hood, and a larger fuel tank.

It was at this point however that all further mechanical development of the model sadly came to a halt, it remaining largely unaltered until 1974, although from the Leyland take-over in 1968 there were minor annual styling updates, mostly irrelevant, starting with the application of much matt black paint, a change in bumper design and rear light clusters, "mag" style Rostyle wheels fitted as standard, and a new pattern of seat material in late 1969.

Its appearance due to the bumpers was considerably altered, the Midget 1500 also featuring a return to the square design of rear wheel arch.

In 1976 wire wheels were dropped from the option list.

In late 1974 however the car underwent its final and most significant change, for to keep the model in line with the ever increasing safety and emission rules being introduced in the US, heavy energy absorbing bumpers were fitted along with a 1498cc 65bhp engine from the Triumph Spitfire.

This engine was chosen as it had previously passed all US emission specification requirements, and it was unlikely the "A" series would without serious development.

The biggest change however was to the rear suspension, the quarter elliptic springs being replaced by softer half elliptic's, resulting in a smoother ride.

Equally at home whether being used for racing, rallying, hillclimbing, sprinting, trialling, or auto-testing, these diminutive machines were and are truly competitive, and in talented hands always capable of some giant slaying results.

A joy to drive, easy and inexpensive to buy and repair, these little machines represent the ultimate enthusiasts all rounder. The name "Midget" was first used by MG in 1929 ascribed to the M Type, this being MG's first baby sports car based on the then newly released Morris Minor.

When the TF's successor, the MGA, was being planned, it was considered the car had by now grown too large to be referred to as a Midget any longer, and so the name was dropped, not being revised until the new semi-monocoque car was launched in 1961.

The first 'modern' Midget was essentially a re-badged Austin Healey Sprite Mk II which itself was a development from the the original 1958 Mk I Sprite, more frequently known as the Frogeye.

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