I have read with interest the recent road impressions of the MG Midget and Clan Crusader in your magazine. I am one of the “stick in the muds” driving about in a new MG. I am afraid I was not very adventurous in my choice, the reason being simple economics, factors such as resale value, part exchange prices become very important if you are buying a car in this price range for use as a “first” car.
The two main rivals to the Midget, the Clan and the Ginetta, both suffer from the disadvantage of having Stiletto components. I owned a Stiletto a couple of years back and although the engine was very smooth and quite surprisingly powerful at high revs., it was a “gutless wonder” when driven in a sober fashion. The clutch was a swine and the gearbox packed up after only 15,000 miles. The servo-assisted drum brakes would grab alarmingly at high speed, causing one or two nasty moments. I have never come across a car which suffered more from bump-thump and road noise. You can see that most of the mechanical components which caused me much annoyance have been transplanted directly into the Clan!
The MG, by comparison, has plenty of torque, good brakes and is easy to drive at town speeds as well as providing sufficient speed out of town to make driving interesting. When delivered, however, it was the usual BLMC “kit-car”. Careful adjustment and reassembly of the “kit” results in a transformed car! Why the customer should have to do this beats me.
The hood on the MG is very good. I say this particularly as many people are put off by the ideas of draughts, leaks and rattles. My hood has not leaked one drop of water and the car is very warm and draught free even on cold winter nights. Similarly there are no rattles and only the occasional creak when going over unmade roads. The possibility of fully enjoying our rare sunshine sets the Midget apart from its rivals.
The final pleasant feature which I will mention is the amusing habit of Midget owners “flashing” each other. I thought such friendship was dead.
I would like to thank everybody at MOTOR SPORT for producing an adult sensible magazine so consistently. I have been a reader since 1961 and I still think it to be the best magazine available.
I. F. Heath.