1978 MG Midget Ashley GT

Make: MG
Model: Midget Ashley GT
Year: 1978
Registration Number: SHW 948S
Chassis Number: GAN6-205096G
Engine Number: 43942
Transmission: Manual
Steering: Right Hand Drive
MOT Test Expiry: 20 August 2018
Guide Price: £7000 - 8000

The MG Midget name has been with us since pre-war times, but the actual vehicle has changed greatly and generally become a little more safe and sensible. However the fun factor has always managed to remain even though modern equipment such as wind up windows, perhaps a heater, and reasonable weather equipment have become the norm. It is fair to say that the last of the Midgets with their U.S. Safety spec rubber bumpers, did not go down that well with the dyed in the wool MG enthusiast. Somehow aesthetics were abandoned to please Ralph Nader and his chums over the pond.

Thankfully little firms, such as Lenham, Speedwell, Ashley and others, had developed their own modifications to the Midget coachwork of the period, which might have included a replacement bonnet, a hardtop, or indeed both. These fibreglass panels transformed the model and indeed in making it lighter, made the little MG appealing to those who liked to take the more competitive approach on circuits, hill climbs and rallies. The Midgets and their Sprite cousins could thus become much prettier than the original offerings.

It is always nice to own something a little different and this seems a wonderful way of doing so without breaking the bank. With tuning mods to running gear and suspension you can certainly produce an individual sporting car, which will be less inclined to rot and will be a rare sight on our roads.

SHW 948S started life as a standard rubber bumpered MG Midget and was acquired by the current vendor some twenty-four years ago. Being in need of restoration, it was stripped right down in 1994 and attention given to floors, sills etc.. as usual. A simple Lenham hardtop was initially tried but it was subsequently changed to the full Williams and Pritchard inspired Sebring GT top and bonnet that adorns the sports car today. A good quality re-spray in black was applied to the whole body and a set of wire wheels replaced the standard Rostyles.

Mechanically, an Ivor Searle stage one 1491cc engine was fitted, coupled to the standard four speed gearbox. Frontline suspension was fitted with Konis shock absorbers; and MG was also equipped with an oil cooler, servo brakes, electric fan, a Moto-Lita steering wheel and a rollover bar. The driver’s seat was upgraded and new carpets fitted..

The current odometer reads 37,397, but the vendor suggests it may be on its second lap of the clock. It is known that the replacement engine has covered about 20,000miles. This started easily and ran sweetly on our visit. Apart from some wear to the driver’s seat, the whole car looked to be in great shape and with an MOT test certificate to August 2018, it is ready to be enjoyed. The heater will require re-connecting if cockpit warmth is felt desirable.

The Midget comes with a V5C registration certificate and a huge file of invoices and photographs of the restoration and work carried out since. The vendor has generously offered a large quantity of spare parts, including the original driver’s seat, various alternators, carb parts, steering wheels etc.., all of which can be collected from his home near Southampton at no extra charge but by prior arrangement.

Auction Date: 30 November 2017