Tag Archives: Midget

Worlds Best Midget – MG Midget 1500

Regular readers will remember previous blogs on Mr Len Millers MG PA and it’s earlier restoration with storm damage repairs by TJK Repairs in Purfleet in Essex. Today’s featured Federal Spec MG Midget 1500 belongs to Trevor Kirk the proprietor of TJK Repairs and the story of his car was kindly past on by Suzanne Fogg who also works at TJK Repairs.

MG Midget 1500, Essex

His 1976 Midget is seen above in 1995 after Trevor had spent 10 years bringing it up to scratch. After taking it on the Regency Run in 1996 and on a few other events Trevor parked the Midget up in his garden in 2001 and let his MG Owners Club membership lapse.

MG Midget 1500, Essex

Over the next five years the car remained in Trevor’s garden getting covered in moss and filling up with water. In February 2006 Trevor decided he wanted to take his Midget on the Regency Run 12 weeks later and so began a second restoration which required draining out all the water, replacing the bonnet / hood and a new differential.

MG Midget 1500, Essex

The interior had to be completely stripped out all the interior trim, panels, and both seats were cleaned by Suzanne while the car had second bare metal respray in a slightly lighter shade of green. At 6:30 on the morning of the Regency Run from Brooklands to Brighton his car was ready and Trevor completed the run as seen in the photo below.

MG Midget 1500, Regency Run Brighton

In 2010 Treveor changed the gearbox and revamped the motor which can be seen in revamped condition in the second photo above.

MG Midget 1500, International Midget 50, Burghley House

In June 2011 Trevor took his Midget to the International Midget 50 celebration at Burghley House where it weather was so bad he spent almost the entire day inside Burghley House. As Trevor was about to leave a steward flagged him down and asked Trevor to make himself known at the event organisers marquee.

MG Midget 1500, Regency Run, Epsom

When he did so Trevor was surprised to learn his car had not only been voted best in class but also having attracted more votes than each of the 800 other cars put together easily won the best car of the event.

My thanks to Suzanne Fogg and Trevor Kirk of TJK Repairs UNIT 3A, TANK HILL ROAD, PURFLEET, ESSEX, RM19 1SX for sharing the story and photo’s of Trevor’s Midget, TJK Repairs offer customers car and light commercial servicing alongside MOT testing services and can be contacted on 01708 861810.

Thanks for joining me on this “Worlds Best Midget” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


10,000 RHD’s Only – MG TC Midget

A development of the pre-war 1939 MG TB, of which only 379 were built, the MG TC was launched in 1945. and experienced comparatively huge popularity thanks to large numbers of US service men who served in the UK during the 1939 – ’45 war who fell for the cute li’l pre war MG’s that were still in evidence on the roads during the hostilities.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

The MG TC experienced comparatively huge popularity thanks to large numbers of US service men who served in the UK during the 1939 – ’45 war who fell for the cute li’l pre war MG’s that were still in evidence on the roads during the hostilities.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

Powered by a high compression version of the M TB 1250 cc / 76 cui 4 cylinder motor which produced 54 hp in standard trim, the motors could be supplied in different states of tune for specific, competition, purposes.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

The TC’s cockpit was wider than that of the TB and featured a tachometer mounted directly in front of the driver, particularly useful for competition purposes.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

TC’s were raced extensively in Europe, Australasia and North America recording many outright and class wins, both Carroll Shelby and Phil Hill raced and won driving MG TC’s, in their early careers, on their way to becoming stars on the world motorsports stage. Bill Bradley is known to have won his, HP, Class in an SCCA sanctioned event at Opelousas as late as July 1963.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

All of 10,000 MG TC’s built between 1945 and 1949 were right hand drive, despite most of them being exported to Left Hand Drive countries particularly the United States.


One Step Back, Two Steps Forwards – MG TA

The MG TA Midget replaced the MG PB Midget in 1936 with many, of it’s parent company, Morris components. The TA and following T series variants opened up the appeal of sports cars in general to a huge new market that had remained hitherto untapped thanks to the reputation sports cars had for being temperamental if not plain difficult to drive.

MG TA, Goodwood Revival

Built with a 7″ longer and 3″ wider chassis the TA’s motor was technically a retrograde step from it’s PB predecessor which had an over head cam motor. The Morris 10 based TA motor ‘only’ featured pushrod operated over head valves, but with 2 carburetors this still produced 50 hp with the benefit that the valve clearances were much easier to maintain.

If the motor was a technological retrograde step both the synchromesh gearbox, making changing gear much easier and the hydraulic brakes, which needed much less maintenance, were both technological steps forwards that made the TA a much easier car to drive and maintain, than it’s predecessor and added to the durability of the whole TA package.

Top speed of the TA was around 80 mph with a rest to 60 mph acceleration time of just over 23 seconds. 3,000 TA Midgets were manufactured between 1936 and 1939.

Thanks for joining me on this “One Step Back, Two Steps Forwards” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an unusual tribute car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Goodwood Revival 2012 – #2 MGs

Given that I have been blogging about MG’s most Tuesdays since at least January I don’t suppose it is that surprising that I noticed so many MG’s at Goodwood at the weekend. Here is a cross section of what I saw in the classic car park and a couple from the race track.

MG K3, Goodwood Revival

Oldest of the MG’s I saw was probably this 1933 MG K3 driven by Howard Maguire, it was in fact one one of two that appeared during practice for the Brookland’s Trophy on Friday.

MG PA, Goodwood Revival

What looks like an MG J2, above, with its cycle type mudguards, turns out to be a 1934 MG PA which is still used in competition.

MG PB, Goodwood Revival

The easiest way to externally differentiate an MG PA from an MG PB are the vertical slats of the PB’s grill which can be clearly seen on the 1936 PB seen above. The PB also has a 950 cc motor against the 847cc of the PA.

MG VA, Goodwood Revival

Like the MG PB the MG VA has not appeared in a GALPOT blog before, but will appear in the coming weeks so I’ll spare any further details until then.

MG TC, Goodwood Revival

I don’t have a year for the MG TC above but it was built somewhere between 1945 and 1950 being the first MG model to go into production after World War II.

MG TD, Goodwood Revival

From 1950 to 1953 the MG TC was replaced by the MG TD, like the 1950 example above, which used much of the running gear of the TC but the chassis and suspension from the MG Y-Type Saloon / Sedan.

MG ZA Magnette, Goodwood Revival

Rupert Keegan and Julian Thurgood shared this MG ZA Magnette for the St Mary’s trophy races. For some reason it is incorrectly described in the programme as a Mk 3 Magnette Farina with a 1840 cc motor.

MG A, Goodwood Revival

Identifying the the vehicle above I have noticed a major error in my MG A 1600 Mk II blog, the photo’s I used were all of an MG A 1600 without the distinctive lower grill seen on the MG 1600 Mk II above. This error has now been corrected. The car seen above comes from The Netherlands and I have been unable to identify the year of manufacture which will have been between 1960 and 1962.

MG Midget, Goodwood Revival

Surprisingly this is the first non fedral spec Midget I have come across since I started collecting photo’s for ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ the example above was built in 1965.

MG B V8 Roadster, Goodwood Revival

Rounding out this review of MG’s at Goodwood is this 1967 MG B Roadster which has been retrospectively fitted with a Rover V8 motor that was only made available from the factory with the MG B GT Coupé body between 1973 and 1976.

Thanks for joining me on this “Goodwood Revival 2012 – #2 MGs” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some of the Continental Curiosities at Goodwood over the weekend. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hot Cam – 8/45 Double 12 MG Midget

Today’s featured 8/45 Double 12 MG Midget and it’s earlier 8/33 incarnation are credited with saving MG from ruin when sales of it’s larger 18/80 models started to falter in the wake of the great economic depression at the end of the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

8/45 Double 12, MG Midget, Brooklands Double Twelve

For the M-Type as the Midget was known MG returned to it’s roots of manufacturing upgraded Morris vehicles, in this case upgrading a Morris Minor chassis which included lowering the suspension for better road holding and tweaking the brakes to cope with the mildly tuned 4 cylinder Morris Minor motor.

8/45 Double 12, MG Midget, Brooklands Double Twelve

A team of slightly modified midgets with a hot cam won the JCC Brooklands Double Twelve race in May 1930 and subsequently what became known as the Double 12 cam was fitted to production cars such as the 1931 example seen here. 3,235 M-Type midgets are thought to have been built between 1929 and 1931 when the model was superseded by the J-type.

Colin Reynolds, who is seen at the wheel, recorded the fastest overall times in the various tests at the recent Brooklands Double 12 meeting.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hot Cam” edition of edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Specials & Restorations – Colin Cooper

A couple of months ago I set out to find who built an MG that will feature in tomorrow’s blog called the ‘Kayne Special’, see below. Thanks to some help from my friends paulg at the MG Car Club Forum, The Nostalgia Forum, Bob Allan and his friend Peter Croft in New Zealand I have learned that the Kayne Special was built by Colin Cooper and a couple of weeks ago Colin invited me to visit him and discuss his pursuit of speed.

Kayne Special Mk I, Loton Park

Colin Cooper hails from Bolton at 15 he and a school friend purchased an Austin Seven for £2 10s (£2.50) at auction. They drove the car home sans driving licence and between them they built up a special but could not afford to run it and sold it on.

MG VA Tourer,

Colin started driving legally when his Dad bought a 1955 Ford Popular in 1958 which was sold the following year. For his 20th Birthday Colins Mum bought him a £75 MG VA 4 seat tourer seen above around 1960 which seeded his affinity for MG’s.

MB PA, Kinmel Park,

Colin’s interest in cars was primarily a hobby, with a few deals to ease the financial pain, in 1972 he started racing a 1934 MG PA shared with his friend Trevor which is seen above at Kinmel Park near Rhyll in Wales.

Kayne Special Mk I & Mk II, Killeen KI

Having squirrelled various bits pieces away including an MG J2 chassis and MG PB motor Colin set about building the first, see to top photo, of what would be come three Kayne Specials built between 1973 and 1982. The name is derived from Kay, and Neil his children. Above on the left is the Kayne Special 3 in the middle the Kayne Special 2 and the Killeen K1 built by Tom Killeen in 1953 all 3 of these cars will be looked at in greater detail in the coming weeks Tuesday MG blogs.

Lotus Ford 18, Curbrough

In between building and racing his three specials and racing the Kileen K1 Colin acquired, restored, raced and sold numerous fascinating vehicles including a bevy of Lotus 18’s of which the one above, seen at Curborough in 1977 featured some radical bodywork a standard Ford 1500 cc motor with a 4 speed Renault Dauphine gearbox.

Daren Mk 2B, Longridge, Lancs

Some where around 1978 Colin acquired an Ex Targa Florio Daren Mk 2B one of only 8 Mk 2’s built, seen here at Longridge in Lancashire.

Mallock Mk III, Blackpool, 1985, Copyright Frank Hall

Photo Copyright Frank Hall 1985.

Frank Halls photo above taken in 1985 shows Colin competition career drawing to a close at Blackpool, where he drove a Mallock Mk III, one of many early Mallocks that Colin owned over the years.

Colin Cooper, Trophies

Above are some of the trophies Colin won over a span of 15 years in competitive driving, Colin is also a snooker champion, he still uses the same Joe Davis cue he was given on his 13th birthday.

Central England Sports Cars

When Colin retired from his professional career he started a Frogeye restoration business called Central England Sports Cars in 1993, soon after setting up a Mr Ogawa seen on the left signed the first of several deals for batches of six restored Frogeye’s to be exported to Japan paying 50% upfront and the balance when the cars were ready for dispatch to the docks. The business declined with the stagnation of the Japanese economy in 1998 and became the Frogeye Spares Company which was sold in 2000 and is still going strong.

Central England Sports Cars

Before I left, Colin he asked if I could help track down the black Midget seen in the corner of the CESC workshop above. The car registered WHP 94S is still thought to be on the road, it is a MG Midget identifiable by a Sprite grill 1500 cc motor, rear anti tramp bars Frogeye Windscreen and hood with 9 lift of fasteners. Colin sold the car to a policeman for approximately £2000 and he believes the PC bought it for his sister. Colin would like to get in touch with the current owner if you can help please leave a message below, on my fb page or e-mail me direct infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk please type MIDGET in the subject box.

My thanks to Colin for generously giving me the time to discuss his fascinating story and cars, to paulg at the MGCC Forum, to everyone at The Nostalgia Forum, Bob Allan and Peter Croft who helped me find Colin. Thanks also to Tony Gallagher for putting me in touch with Chris Winstanley who kindly granted permission to use Frank Halls photograph.

Thanks for joining me on this Specials & Restorations edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at Colin’s first Kayne Special. Don’t forget to come back now !

24/04/12 Photo of Colin driving the Mallock at Blackpool added.


He who is first will later be last – Auto Gymkhana

BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

Flush with success after my first production car trial, last weekend I joined members of The Bristol Pegasus Motor Club and took part in an Auto Gymkhana for the first time at Sheepcot Farm not far from Chepstow.

Mitsubishi Colt, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Ben in his Mitsubishi Colt finished 6th Overall)

There were 12 entries 11 of which stayed for the full 24 stages of the competition which centred on variations of 4 basic tests.

Marlin, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Nick and Andy shared Andy’s Marlin, Andy finished 2nd and Nick 8th)

The first group of tests focused on parking skills in forward and reverse alongside a plank of wood. Not such a difficult task but when done competitively in one manoeuvre surprisingly difficult to get the wheels as close to the plank as possible without touching the plank. The competitor who parked with the front wheel closest to the plank won. There were further parking tests to see who could park closest to a cone.

Kia Picante, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Kia Picante in which I came 10th)

Next came a timed slalom first time round I got the gates a bit mixed up at the end which meant I somehow contrived to travel a longer distance than necessary. Driving my landladies mothers Kia Picante I was woeful on this test deciding that discretion was the better part of valour I aimed to improve my times through each timed run and tried to avoid scratching the car by running too close to the markers.

Daihatsu Curore, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Daihatsu Curore shared by Chris and Coralie who finished 3rd and 4th.

I did much better when it came to driving round the slalom holding a pint of water in my own time spilling less water than most I finished in the top 3 each on each of the 3 occasions this test was run.

Mercedes 220 CDi, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Ken in the Mercedes C220 CDi with the amazing turning circle finished 11th)

The hillclimb proved relatively simple for everyone except for Ken in his Mercedes C220 CDi which could handle the turns but had no weight over the rear axle to afford the necessary traction over the final incline which got progressively more slippery.

Mazda 626, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Nick soon came to the conclusion that his Mazda 626 did not have a good enough turning circle)

Finally there was an autotest which involved driving round a course of tight circles parking in garages and some reversing. Nick dropped his Mazda 626 out of the competition immediately when it became apparent his car simply did not have anything like enough steering lock to compete. He ended up sharing Andy’s Marlin instead.

Hawk HF3000, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Alan brought his Hawk HF3000 in 9th.)

Alan driving a Hawk HF 3000 Lancia Stratos replica powered by a 3 litre ALFA Romeo V6 needed a co-driver on the autotest in order to open the passenger door and make calls on the positions of the cones when reversing ! I jumped in to help Alan on a couple of occasions and was struck by the heat coming off the radiator in front of the footwell and the engine mounted directly behind the seats. A fabulous car to sit in for the slalom though.

MG Midget, BPMC, Auto Gymkhana

(Mal in his all conquering MG Midget Mk3 )

Clear winner of the event was Mal in his MG Midget Mk3 which he bought for just £250 many years ago.

My thanks to Martin and team of marshals who ran a wonderful days competition, to Tim who kept score of the days activities to Alan for the the ride in the HF 3000 and congratulations to Mal.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Auto Gymkhana edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres, and that you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !