1962 MG Midget, 2-door convertible
Donated by: Kim and Nita Deyo, Kearney, NE
Original price: $1,940.00
Previous owner: John Luke, USAF; Mr. Deyo’s father-in-law Charles Mumma, Grand Island, NE used it for several years before returning it
Number made: 16,080 MK1 models, June, 1961- October, 1962, 948 cc engine
Engine, etc.: Austin Healey 1098cc, 56 hp; 4 cyl.; 4-speed transmission; front disc brakes
This car belonged to an airman who worked under Mr. Deyo’s direction. The airman lost his life in a motorcycle accident and his family did not want the car. After trying to sell it, the family asked if Mr. Deyo would buy it. He bought it at Patrick AFB, Florida in 1974 when he was a non-commissioned officer in the U. S. Air Force. The car went with him as he moved to Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota, and finally back to Nebraska for the last time.
The 948cc engine was replaced with a 1098cc engine in 2005 and the cloth interior was installed in 1990. The car also got a new paint job that year.
In the 1920’s, the M-type Midget was developed from the baby Morris Minor. It was a basic, cheap two-seater with sporting pretensions that triggered a whole dynasty of Midgets. It was the Midget that established MG as a manufacturer of sports cars with an excellent reputation in motor sports.
The Midget was produced from 1961 – 1979. The first series was produced 1961 – 1964 and was known as the Midget MKI. It found a ready and enthusiastic market among dedicated MG fans. It was a sports car with traditional MG character, small, inexpensive, fast, and safe with predictable handling. It was, above all, a fun car.
The MKI had a 948cc A-series engine with twin carburetors. The body was suspended in place by a quarter elliptic rear axle from the Sprite. Drum brakes were more than adequate to stop the 46 hp vehicle. When the larger 1098cc engine was introduced in 1962, disc brakes were placed in the front. Wire spoked wheels became available also.
The Midget was a simple machine with sporty handling but few amenities. The vehicle wasn’t very secure since there were no external door handles or door locks and windows consisted of sliding Perspex side screens. A heater was an optional extra.
Sources: http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z17166/MG-Midget.aspx (1964 model)