Car of the Month
Owners name: Dennis Wharf
Owners location: Weedon Lois, Northamptonshire, GB
Model: GAN3 Mk2 w/up windows 64 - 66
Engine size/type: 1330cc A Series
Year of manufacture: 1966
Colour: British Racing Green
How long owned: 26 Years
History of Car and any work or modifications carried out: LYL 411D has a strange and rather short history, for having been purchased originally in London in May 1966, when four years old and showing just 23,000 miles, its original owner laid the car up in a domestic garage in Stony Stratford, near Sliverstone. During a violent storm in 1979 the garage roof collapsed, obviously causing damage, such that the Midget was considered a right off. Local MG expert Peter Wood, more known through his MGA Twin Cam expertise, bought the damaged car initially considering it useful for spares.
Once Peter had the car back in his workshop however, he quickly realised that despite appearances the damage was in fact quite light, and the car was well worth repairing, so following a complete strip-down and a re-paint in its original BRG, Peter carefully put the car back together, using only genuine original new BMC parts he had in stock, where they were necessary. Peter's intention was that his daughter could use the car having recently passed her driving test, but on seeing the Midget she wasn't that keen, "too old-fashioned", so it then simply began to gather dust back in Peter's Westwood Portway workshop.
I'd often seen the car on my visits to Peter, and had frequently asked if he would sell it to me, but without any success. (Since 1971 I'd continually owned Midgets, three in total all being 1275 models, but had always preferred the simpler lines of the MkII). Then one day in 1991 completely out of the blue he asked if I still wanted it? Price agreed, I became its third owner a few months later.
I've never regretted buying LYL 411D, it having carried us all over Europe and the UK many times, but although Peter made a superb job of balancing the original 1098cc engine, which was as smooth as silk, with the increasing speed of modern traffic, two years ago I installed a 1330cc engine for the extra power. It could probably use a five speed box now, but being such an original MkII it would simply be wrong to cut the car about. The quality of Peter's workmanship has stood the test of time, the coachwork for example never being touched since 1980, despite having covered over 80,000 miles in the meantime, although it does now have a few stone chips.
LYL is certainly a big part of the family, our son Chris having his eyes firmly fixed upon it when I become less bendy and unable to get in it - he has some time to wait yet though - I hope….
Nickname of Car: Many, but none of them printable!