When my wife and I decided to buy a sports car, I vowed to take my time and buy a decent car that didn’t need too much work. Unfortunately, I fell into the classic “first time buyer” category and did EVERYTHING wrong!
We looked at the car at dusk, in the rain. It was a 1973 MG Midget. I was in love before I even got out of the car to look at it! It was red, it was foreign and it was a ragtop! SOLD!
When we got the car home, my friend Mike and I immediately started to clean out the various animal droppings and generally clean the little red beast. We pulled out the moldy rugs and found several holes in the floor covered by cut up stop signs! As we got farther into it, we realized that I had purchased a thrashed “parts car.” After several drinks, we decided to go further and see how bad it was. Neither of us had ever restored a car and had no clue where to start.
Besides the floors being bad, the inner and outer rockers were gone. Also, someone had painted the entire engine bay and all the wiring hot rod black, making a wiring diagram useless. The seats and visors seemed to be filled with a substance similar to oatmeal or Wheatena. The car was a mess, but it ran pretty well.
We started to fix things over the winter, and we decided to sand the car down to prepare for a red re-spray. That’s when we discovered that the car had eight layers of paint on it and lots of body filler and rust! We ended up chemically stripping the entire car down to bare metal. We replaced all the bad panels, removed the marker lights, back up lights, bumpers and door handles. We ended up with a smooth body, which was sprayed in Shelby Cobra white with a VW Salsa red stripe.
New seats and wheels from England, new top, brakes, tires, rollbar and exhaust completed the resurrection. I can’t tell you how many parts from Victoria British were added, but I have a notebook FULL of receipts that my wife has never seen!
The car turns heads wherever it goes and has won several first place trophies. I know it’s not original, but it’s a driver, and I built it the way I like it.
We love the car and will never sell it. It will go to my kids when I’m gone. By that time it will probably need to be redone again!