Meet Bessie, the 1972 MG Midget Convertible

1972_MG_Midget_000

Meet Bessie, the infamous car that Maggie owns in Geoducks Are For Lovers. Queen Elizabeth the Second, or QE II, named so by Maggie’s mother herself.  I searched for this car on Google and was super excited to see that I was able to find one.  Hunter green, no less, minus the white racing stripes.

During my extensive research about this car (Wiki ;-) ), I have found out the following interesting facts.

The MG Midget is a small two-seater sports car produced by the MG division of the British Motor Corporation from 1961 to 1979. It revived a famous name used on earlier models such as the MG M-typeMG D-typeMG J-type and MG T-type.

Originally designed by Donald Healey and his team, the car may have started life as an Austin-Healey Sprite, but was always manufactured by the MG Car Company at its factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. MG developed and improved the Sprite to the point where they felt it was fit to be known as the first post-war MG Midget.

Over the years, the two models came to be given the joint soubriquet Spridget, and from their inception, Spridgets became popular cars to use in grass roots motor sport events all over the world, because of their predictable and entertaining handling characteristics and the ready availability of tuning parts, both from the manufacturer BMC and from independent tuning concerns – particularly Alexander Engineering and Speedwell Performance Conversions.

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The UK still has a race series dedicated to the MG Midget which is run by the MG Car Club. The MG Midget Challenge is a national race series for MG Midgets and Austin Healey Sprites (built 1956–1979). The championship is run at all major UK circuits, with the occasional visit to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, and has been running since 1977.

Spridgets are also still highly popular in the US and elsewhere for vintage racing. All Sprites and earlier model Midgets are powered by the very common A-Series engine, which is very tunable for higher output.

Today, MG Midgets are increasingly being restored to a high standard, helped by the excellent availability of re-manufactured parts. This made easier because many of the components used are common to other Austin and Morris models, and many body fittings on the later cars are common to the MGB. British Motor Heritage, which owns many of the original press tools, makes body panels and complete body shells, and is backed up by a small army of suppliers of parts, both new and used.

Now, if someone would be so kind as to gift me one, I’ll gladly race them!

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