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Dying giant Midgets live large

(image credit: commons.wikimedia/Bob Adams)

While it hasn't quite disappeared it appears to be in its death throes with little real chance of being saved. MG is the company that defined the sports car genre with its Midget series that dates back to 1928.

The first MG was created in 1925, it was in effect a stripped down and tuned up Morris, but it was the Midget series which established MG's pre-eminent position in the motoring world.

BUYING AN MG TODAY

It is a simple task to buy your own MG now, as there are lots around. There are also plenty of experts who can repair them and keep them running sweetly.

And there are plenty of local suppliers who stock just about everything needed to restore or repair an MG. And, if a part can't be found locally, there are lots of companies reproducing parts in England and America.

Before you buy, it's worth getting advice on the model you're interested in.

Here's three to consider.

MG TC

If any model really encapsulates the MG ethos it's the TC, which was really a pretty simple update of the TB.

With a modest 1.25-litre overhead valve four cylinder engine, albeit with twin carburettors and a sporty camshaft among a number of modifications from the family car engine it's based upon, the TC's performance is spirited rather than sizzling.

The exhaust note is one of the true joys of driving a TC and the gearbox is the other delight. A four-speed unit, it has the best shift of any car ever built.

The brakes are dodgy by modern standards and it rides like a dray, but those criticisms quickly fade away on a sunny day when the open air is blowing through what hair you have left and the exhaust is resonating behind you.

The TC was in production from 1946 to 1949 and some 10,000 were produced.

MGA

The MGA was the first modern MG. Built between 1955 and 1962, the A had sweeping lines derived from a one-off streamlined T-Type special raced at Le Mans in 1951.

While the A still sat on a separate chassis, it now had a 54 kW 1.5-litre BMC B-Series four cylinder engine and four-speed gearbox. But like all MGs it handled well.

Top speed approached the magic 100m/ph (160 km/h) mark.

An update in 1959 saw the 1.5-litre engine replaced by a 1.6-litre version and the front drum brakes were replaced with discs.

The final update was the Mark II in 1961 which had more power and the top speed finally exceeded 100m/ph (160km/h). There were also pretty coupe and hot twin cam versions of the A. In the seven years it was in production, 101,470 As were built.

MGB

The B replaced the A and proved to be the most popular of all MGs with more than half a million built between 1962 and 1980.

The B was quite sophisticated, with wind-up windows and opening quarter vent windows, a useful boot and even a folding roof.

The body was of monocoque construction with a hint of fins and it looks good even today which, is testament enough to its design.

Its B-Series engine was stretched to 1.8-litres which pushed the power to 70kW and the top speed to around 170km/h.

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