We had a spell of hot weather recently, and what better way to spend the evening than go out for a treat at Sweet Life Patisserie, in an open-top car? And if you’re really going for the full effect, make that an MG Midget, a car that is more worn than driven. Its diminutive size here is all to abundantly obvious; what else can make a Civic look huge and tall?
Only one shot, but if it leaves you hungry for more, here’s my Midget CC. I promise you it will fill you up.
Amazing it even is allowed to exist in Uhmerica. IT’LL KILL YOU! IT CAN’T TOW A 12,000 lb trailer! WAAAAAH!
6 months ago I was on my way to buy my next car when I passed a small store with an enclosed area in front of it. Inside that enclosure, like a big dog being confined, was a mid 60s Midget……with a For Sale sign on the windshield. For the next 25-30 miles I wondered if I was about to buy the wrong car.
No, I didn’t turn around and buy that car (to my regret) because I needed a more reliable car that could get me back and forth from Florida to Pennsylvania a few times a year, in reasonable comfort.
Did I say I regretted not buying that Midget?
I drove a Midget once (actually I think it was a MkII Sprite). I’ve also driven an original Mini and this felt smaller, though I suspect it’s a bit longer than a Mini. Perhaps only a Lotus 7 felt as shrink-to-fit as this car. Spitfires and Lotus Elans also seemed roomy by comparison, and a modern Mini or even Miata … not to mention my wife’s New Beetle … are huge cars as well by the standards of early ’60’s small sports cars. I ride motorcycles and bicycles in traffic but not sure if iI’d actually want to drive something like this today, surrounded by F250’s and Suburbans, not to mention Kenworths.
A friend had one when we lived in Buffalo, NY in the early 70’s- drove it year round until it started to rust away, which seemed to start the day it left the lot.. It was a lot of fun to drive in the warm and dry weather, but no so much in the rain, and somewhat terrifying to drive in the snow. I still have visions of looking up to see the underside of (tractor) trailers passing us on the highways. Good Times!
The Civic is an example of how you don’t need a cramped two-seater to have fun on a twisty road.
I used to look at Sprites and Midgets with an acquisitive eye, until I saw one drive UNDER a semi on the interstate. 40 years later I still wish I could unsee that.
Note to self: don’t try to drive under a semi in anything larger than a go-kart. The results will be poor.
Funny how the photo not only makes the Civic look bloated, but also makes it seem not much smaller than the Ford truck behind the Midget.
I learned how to drive in snow and ice conditions in my cousin’s Midget when I was 15 years old one December up in Utah many years ago. So much fun! These really lost their appeal when the Fiat X1/9 became available in the USA. A much more refined car.
Sweet looking little car .
Spridgets are one of those weird little British cars that truly give you the full motoring experience , they’re greatly under powered (evn the late model ones only had 1275C.C.engines) but as they say : all the fun is in getting there , not going fast , racing etc. .
They’re comparable death traps to any other pre 1970 car so if that bothers you , don’t apply .
However , for those who really enjoy open top motoring , they’re near impossible to beat and out run and out handle those older ‘T’ series MG’s handily .
Sadly they do rust , ever here in Los Angeles many of the undented ones I find in Junk Yards have serious under carriage rust making them not worth resurrecting .
The two issues with these little cars are not the size of them, but the size of the cars and trucks that they share the road with, and not whether one is too tall for them (just look out over the top of the windscreen) but whether one is too wide for them (do your hips wedge between the door and the driveshaft tunnel, or does the steering wheel pinch your gut?).
Like looking at a Crosley or a Bantam, it is hard to believe that these cars were marketed in the U.S. The difference is, a lot of these were sold, and many people really liked them. Had these only been sold by the hundreds or a few thousand in the U.S., like the original Mini, they would command very high prices. Fortunately, for those of us who prefer our car toys cheap, the big supply of these keeps them on the inexpensive end of things (so far).
“what else can make a Civic look huge and tall?”
A first-generation Civic!
A 70’s Midget has recently turned up in my neighborhood, so I’ve been seeing it periodically for the past few weeks. It does seem to get driven regularly (great weather for that right now).
I’ve never driven a Midget but I have ridden in one–that was a tight fit and I’m not all that big (5’10”, ~210). It was definitely the next closest thing to a go-kart for the road though, and more than a little unnerving when something truly large pulled up alongside!
I had a 197 Mk III Midget for a few years in college. Nothing else can capture the fun that you could have with that car. Wildly impractical, of course, for moving anything other than two people and maybe one suitcase. 1973’s were cursed with smog controls and the execrable seat-belt interlock system. You can imagine how well Lucas quality interlock systems worked.
My only recoverable photo of that car is seen below. The car is covered in snow after one of the big Virginia snowstorms that we had in the early ’80’s.