THE “DOUBLE-TWELVE” M.G. MIDGET AMONG the models which have been introduced by makers during the past two seasons, few have achieved a greater degree of success than the M.G. Midget ; its pop ularity has been quite out of the ordinary for it is not mass-produced
any means, yet rare indeed to travel far ing one.
Appearance counts for a lot, and doubtless the lines of the Midget are responsible, to quite an appreciable extent, for its quick rise to favour. But it is not a sporting machine in looks only, as has been abundantly demonstrated in reliability trials and races.
Probably the most conspicuous performance the Midget has put up so far was in the ” Double-Twelve ” Race at Brooklands when three of these little vehicles came through that gruelling contest with flying colours.
The cars which were used, as is to be expected, were not absolutely standard. Nevertheless, they were not freaks, and the M.G. concern have now added to their range, the Midget Sports ” Double-Twelve ” model, which is identical in every respect to those used in the race of that name. It may be recalled that we have had one of these models placed at our disposal some time ago, and since then we have had the opportunity of giving the” DoubleTwelve” Midget a further test. If we were asked what impressed us most about the car we would say its astonishing road-holding qualities at high speeds, and its general ” big-car ” feeling. Although it weighs only 10 cwt. it ” sits ” on the road like a heavyweight, and gives the driver a nice sense of control. Without this quality a small, fast motor can be most unpleasant ; with it, the new M.G. is distinctly fascinating. In this high degree of control, besides weight distribution, C of G position and springing, the steering plays a vital part. The Midget’s steering gear is of the worm-andwheel type, and the front axle layout gives a caster action, so that straightening out from locking over is almost automatic. A Rene Thomas wheel is incorporated and the column is set at just the right rake. The brakes are orthodox, the foot control operating on all four wheels and the hand lever is coupled independently. Their action is decisive without being violent. On the particular car we used, the position of the brake lever was not good, being much too far forward and entailing quite a lot of groping. But this matter, together with the accelerator pedal position (which was also rather on the roads without meet
awkward) has now been rectified. The clutch is of the dry-plate type and although it is fitted with extra strong springs its withdrawal is light and easy. Turning to the ” Double-Twelve ” engine, it is found that here the main deviation from the standard unit is in the of a
is a special camshaft, stronger valve springs, a special S.U. carburettor, and special induction and exhaust manifolds. Each engine turned out is very carefully prepared, and before being passed, is freed off and thoroughly run in.
The body fitted has both sides cut away, conforming to International road racing regulations, the general lines being similar to the standard production. There is a special windscreen fitted with Triplex glass, or gauze if necessary, which can be folded flat forward. The upholstery is real leather, whilst the wings and general finish are a pleasing combination of cream and brown.
The model which was loaned us, was the actual car used by Miss Worsley in the ” Double-Twelve ” and had not been attended to in anyway since that event. The tyres had not been changed, and were the original ” five-bar ” Palmers, the latest type of cover made by that firm. A Brooklands silencer was fitted which afforded a reasonably silent exhaust under ordinary running conditions, but set up a particularly raucous note on the overrun at high speeds. It was definitely too noisy, and though not unpleasant for the occupants, would certainly sooner or later attract the unwelcome attention oi the police. It is only fair to say however, that the makers now recommend and fit a Vortex silencer for road use.
An extra large petrol tank to carry 9 gallons, is fitted in the dash, with quick action filler cap, whilst extra strong road wheels, and a strap to the bonnet, complete the chassis specification. The electrical equipment includes a dynamo specially wound to give an output at high speeds, and the same applies to the coil ; the distributor is one made capable of functioning continuously at 6,500 revs, and over.
In addition to the standard speedometer, ammeter, and oil gauge, an oil and water thermometer are fitted, coupled respectively to the sump, and the radiator header tank.
If required an undershield can be fitted, whilst the chassis can also be prepared for long distance racing events by wiring and split pinning all nuts and bolts, and for these two items an additional charge would be made according to requirements.
Book Reviews, September 1948, September 1948
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