Modified MG a folly of youth

John Morland with his 1929 MG Midget.

My first car was a 1929 MG Midget, which I bought very ‘second hand’ in about 1950 for £80 – when I was a student.

I understand that 1929 was the first year that MG built a Midget, that in 1930 it didn’t build any and in 1931 itsstarted the world-famous Midget sports car series with the unmistakable ‘slab’ petrol tank at the back.

Unfortunately – as is the folly of youth – I wanted to make my 1929-er look more modern, so I carried out some modifications on the bodywork! The rear of the car was originally a pointed ‘boat’ shape with the spare wheel on the point. So I squared off the back to try to resemble the MG-B but without a ‘slab’ tank!

The tops of the doors were originally parallel with the road, and so I cut them to slope downwards for the same reason as you can see on the photograph.

This was a very basic car, based on the older Morris. The bonnet over the engine was the only bodywork in metal – the rest was wooden frames with canvas covering. The windscreen was in two pieces, rather like a first world war fighter plane! The petrol tank was in front of the dashboard under the bonnet. There was no petrol pump, just simply gravity feed to the carburettor. The petrol pipe passed through the passenger space, with a tap in it so that it could be turned off from the driving seat.

The engine was the well-known Morris two-bearing side valve. The accelerator pedal was the middle one, with the brake on the left and clutch on the right.

I wish I had it now – unmodified!

John Morland, Chamberlin Court, Blofield.

If you’d like to share your own first car story, send your photos and memories to Sadie.Jennings@archant.co.uk.

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