Car of the Month
Owners name: Jonathan Naish
Owners location: Hampshire, UK
Model: Midget GAN5 R/W/A 71-74
Engine size/type: 1275cc A-Series
Year of manufacture: 1972
How long owned: 5 Years
History of Car and any work or modifications carried out: My 1972 MG midget was Bought for £500 off my neighbour's friend for my first rolling restoration project. My grandfather had wanted to buy me, as he put it 'an ol banger' that we would restore together to teach me about mechanical systems in cars and how to look after and service them myself. I always looked forward to this project with him as cars have interested me for as long as I can remember.
Unfortunately, my Grandfather passed away in March 2009, before we could start this project. As soon as I passed my driving test and became confident at driving, I felt I needed to start a Project that would make my Grandad proud. I thought of building a kit car, but with some advice from my Dad and Dave (my neighbour), we soon scrapped that Idea as being slightly too challenging for a first project. We found an MG midget, the car was in a bit of a state, it needed welding, painting and the interior was dire. But Dave said it would be a perfect first project, as most of the rust thankfully was non-structural.
Once the MG was back at home I started the work pretty much immediately, teaching myself how to MIG weld, spray paint, work on an A-series engine, and how to tune and balance those SU carburettors. Once the rust from the boot floor, front wheel arches, dampening brackets, rear wheel arches and underside of the car was removed and repaired, I rust proofed the car as much as I could. Next, the engine went in and after that the rear axle which I took to pieces partly as there was an oil leak and partly as I wanted to know how a differential worked.
Once this was all done it needed a painting, I didn’t have any means for a ‘proper’ spray job. Instead I purchased around £200 worth of Holtz spray paint and painted the car on the driveway much to all my neighbours disgust. The paintwork is nowhere near perfect, but whenever I say that it has been done with rattle cans everyone seems surprised which can only be a good thing right?!
Finally, after a few months of trouble shooting some engine issues (which turned out to be dodgy points), it had an MOT and was fully ready to drive. The interior still looked terrible, but as I was now at university, I didn’t have the time or money to replace all the parts at once, so I saved up, got a carpet set and seat belts for Christmas, re-covered the seats, and finally finished the interior of the car.
I look back at this project now and feel that I would have done my Grandad proud. Everything on this car has been accomplished by myself, with any questions being fired at Dave! It is a wonderful little car to drive, and the sense of pride I get when driving it will stay with me for a long time. I hope you’re proud of what been achieved Grandad, thanks for the support you always gave me, you’re always with me when driving along.
Nickname of Car: None.