Austin Healey Sprite & MG Midget Stories
I've had my baby for 35 + years. Bought her in Oct '83 after graduation College and getting my first real job for 4k in Elmira NY. It was the wife's car for groceries I was told. Drove it for till about Thanksgiving that year and stored it, and took the bus to work until a suitable winter beater could be afforded and put on the road.
Well I had a 1965 Austin healey sprite in my younger days and it caught fire 4th of july 1995. In 2005 I moved back to my home town and I found a 68 sprite for sale and bought it as fast as I could.
I bought my Sprite from a Craigslist Ad in 2010. The owner did not know much about Austin Healey, He had it stored in his garage with a Ford Mustang Cover over it
Bought this 1958 Bugeye in 1976 for $1,000. It had the original 948 cc engine, and this was the start of a lifelong love affair. I have long since upgraded to a 1275 engine, and have rebuilt and repainted her three times. She currently is sporting a bright yellow paint job, which for today's world of angry SUV's and congested highways seems a prudent choice in order to be noticed in the melee of everyday traffic.
In 2014 I embarked on disassembling all exterior and interior cosmetic parts and redoing much of the electrical. It received a fresh interior and exterior, along with a fresh coat of Old English White.
Almost 40 years later, I had the opportunity to buy my Bugeye Sprite from a guy in Jasper, MO. It was the right car at the right time for me. Like my 100-4, it is a great looking car, and I have had fun riding the back roads between Kansas City and Lawrence.
In 1978 I was promoted into a job that required frequent rapid responses - night and day and in any weather. I didn't have room for my B and a new, reliable car, so I decided to sell it and buy a new sedan. When the buyer pulled away in MY MGB my heart sank to the ground and I felt like I was losing my best friend.
He placed it in his garage and kept it covered for 10 yrs. Last summer he decided to finally sell it. It was in Missouri. I was hesitant but bid on it. I ended up being the only bidder.
I purchased this car 14 years ago and restored it. I purchased all my parts with Victoria British. The car belonged to people who lived in the Hamptons in Long Island and used it in the summer.
Just got my baby back from Paint. In the process of putting it back together.
The guy said he had a 1976 MG Midget Special. It’s all original with 53,000 miles. Runs and drives great. The price was reasonable so I called and went after work and without hesitation bought it.
The first time ever I saw a Sprite I fell in love. It was all red, sitting in a showroom at a dealership in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I was in the Air Force stationed at nearby Chennault Air Force Base. The year was 1960. I still have the advertising picture the salesman gave me.
The car was my fathers, but it needed some work. He told me it would be a great project for me so I dove in and tore it apart. After about 5 years and countless hours its finally finished.
I have wanted a little British sports car since I was a teen, and when my mid-life crisis period came around I got the bug again. So, I started looking online and locally, and found a red Triumph Spitfire I liked, at $7000. Unfortunately, my wallet was uncooperative so I continued my quest for something a little cheaper.
When I got this car she was a tired little lump. Oh, I did drive it home, in first gear, utilizing the hand brake and hand signals. Stupid. The brake hoses had holes in them, not that the brakes would have worked anyway.
About 13 years ago, my brother and I pooled our money and paid $600 to push this baby off of a car lot and onto a trailer. We were eager to get it home and begin what would end up being a life-long family project.
I was supposed to have the car completed by my senior year of high school to pass a class. Well I passed the class by saying it was a work in progress still. Now almost 3 years after I have graduated it's finally getting close to being done
I never thought of MGs before as being in my price range. As fate would have it, the owners threw me the keys and said take her for a spin. I took it slow for a bit then stopped at the next stop sign, put it in first, chirp, 2nd gear, chirrrppp… I said to myself, “Wow, she is quite peppy.” I drove her back to the owners and we hammered out the price.
I guess growing up in Northern Ireland had a great influence in my developing a love for high-revving 4 cylinder engines and an MG Midget was always included on my ideal wish-list of cars.
I was over at a friend’s house one night drinking a few micro-brews and decided to head home. Once I got home, the logical thing to do was to get on eBay and start bidding on anything without a top for under $1,000. There are a couple of big problems with this logic
I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan. My father was a GM employee for almost 30 years working at Pontiac Motors. This meant not only was I born a car guy, but I also was all about muscle cars, hot rods and never really took the small British sports car seriously.
The restoration was complete and total. A tub-off/bare metal repaint. Original color of Old English white with red interior/white piping. All systems were replaced or updated. Wiring, brakes, shocks, steering, engine, carbs, transmission, clutch, and interior. The restoration was started in 2008/finished 2010.
Took just about one year to restore my 1965 MG Midget. Found it in town under a cover and had to tow it home. This MG is just like my first car when I was 15 years old back in 1967.
After missing my Sprite for a year, I decided to try to replace it, but that was not going to be an easy task. Almost a year later, I found a 1968 MkIV. It was a midnight blue beauty, with only one owner, who had really taken care of her. He was asking $1,500, so I sold my drum set and Honda motorcycle and bought her.
I purchased this 1960 Bugeye Sprite in 1999 after a long search. After seeing one at a shop I just had to have one. I found it in a junkyard in pretty bad shape, after a few years of hard work I think it looks and runs great.
I bought my 1962 Austin Healey Bugeye as a salvage recovery after the 1997 Red River Valley Flood. It was fully submerged, and the engine, tranny, and rear axle were full of water.
About 3 years ago, I found my Midget in the front yard of a residence in Riverside, CA. It wasn't much to look at, but I fell in love with the little car. I bought it and took it home and that is where the restoration began
My wife Carol and I have been driving this car since 1987 and have driven it nearly 200,000 miles ourselves. It has never been restored, but it has been painted twice since we owned it and has had a couple engine overhauls.
My father bought a 1975 MG Midget car back in the mid ‘80’s. Every one of his children and grandchildren have stated that we loved and wanted the car. For years he would just give us the cocky smile laugh and said, “No.”