Go and try to find more two-seat roadster than this 1979 MG A (AKA
Midget) for under $15,000. If you like traditional British
roadsters, there are not many more affordable ways to get the full
experience than this wonderful British Racing Green MG.
Thanks to a lifetime in the warm, sunny southern US, this one doesn't show any of the usual rust issues that you find with these cars. Typically, the ones used as daily drivers found ways to rust in the most demonic ways possible, but this one is straight, clean, and totally ready to use immediately without any expensive additional work. British Racing Green is always a good color on these cars, giving them a traditional, almost expensive look that seems to defy their diminutive size. Fit and finish are also quite good with panels that are still straight and clean as they were three-and-a-half decades ago. The sporty gold pinstripe along its flanks serves to visually lengthen the car, but until you stand next to it, you can't really grasp how small and agile this one really is. Rubber bumpers were standard equipment in the late '70s, but they're more tastefully done here than on the B, which had its looks radically altered by federal regulations. The trunk rack is a practical and stylish addition, and MGB fans will undoubtedly recognize the taillights.
Small on the outside doesn't mean cramped inside. Sure, it's cozy, but there's adequate legroom thanks to the twin bucket seats. Newer saddle tan vinyl upholstery looks surprisingly stylish given the car's modest price in 1979, and the charm of the back-to-basics design still resonates today. Clear white-on-black gauges have a no-nonsense look that was typical of British cars of the period, and the relationship between the wheel, shifter, and pedals was designed by enthusiasts who seemed to know what they were doing, because it's a joy to drive. The original AM/FM radio is still in the center stack and it works, but we're pretty sure you'll never use it once you experience the brawny exhaust note. Overhead, there's a black convertible top that can be stowed and raised from the driver's seat just by reaching behind your shoulder, a technique you'll quickly master with some practice. Even the trunk is reasonably sized and offers a full-size spare and jack assembly.
Given the car's small size and featherweight curb weight, the 1500 cc inline-four moves it around smartly. Seriously, the guy in a Miata will tower over you and a Mini looks like an SUV in comparison, but that's all entirely the point, as less weight means more performance. Fortunately, the bright red four cylinder engine is a big over-achiever and delivers a wonderful exhaust note that will have you shifting gears just to listen to its snarky bark. It's quite well tended, with all the original equipment intact and lots of new service items. The 4-speed manual gearbox offers light throws and a progressive clutch, so shifting is a joy, and the agile suspension makes carving corners delightful. This is the car that proves the old adage that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, and you can use every bit of this car's performance without fear or arrest or high-speed accident. Beautifully Minilite-style wheels are practically standard equipment on British roadsters, with these wearing 145R13 radials that look right in the wheel wells.
A fun little car that perfectly captures the feeling of traditional British motoring. Better yet, you can own an excellent example for what amounts to little more than pocket change. Call today!
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Though focused on the British brand, other vintage off-roaders invited as well