Junkyard Find: 1979 MG Midget

BMC and then British Leyland churned out MG Midgets and near-identical Austin-Healey Sprites for 20 years, with the final example coming off the Abingdon line in 1980. Because project-grade Midgets still clutter garages, driveways, yards, and fields throughout the land and they’re not worth much, the clock runs out for many of them every year.

The next stop, usually, is among the Sephias and Jettas of the IMPORTS section at a self-service wrecking yard. Here’s a forlorn ’79 I spotted last week in California.

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Junkyard Find: 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite

As I write this, I’m sitting on the floor of the bag-claim area at the Houston airport, waiting for my LeMons accomplices to arrive from California, with Pantera cranking in my headphones in order to get myself in the proper Texas frame of mind. Yes, races on consecutive weekends; it’s like being in a traveling rock-n-roll band, only with the smell of burning brakes/engines/wiring instead of groupies and limos. With low-budget racing in mind, let’s contemplate a battered little racer that won’t be seeing a track, ever again.

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  • Master Baiter "You can buy them now for drone applications."Link?
  • 3SpeedAutomatic HEADS UP: Just be aware that your activity is monitored if you place an auto insurance app on your phone. It monitors how fast you drive, and how hard you accelerate and brake. It also monitors if you use your phone while driving. This is factored into your auto insurance rate.
  • Conundrum Was unlucky enough to have a ride in the back of one of these things shortly after they first appeared, a project of Mercedes' ownership of Chrysler and that silly German professor with the gigantico walrus mustache who ran the place.Brother rented one of these early Magnums. The ride in the back was of constant wallowing up and down, like a 2015 BMW 3 Series, where my senses were similarly assaulted by lack of attenion to rear ride comfort, Up front was OK in both, back seat ride bloody awful. Must be a Germanic trait.The Magnum had an additional sensory deficit. Interior smelled of the peculiar rubber/plastic dash. Smelled like Chinese winter boots for kids, or Chinese tires of yore. Pass.
  • Anonymous My dad drove an 84 LTD. He always bragged about how special it was. Interesting to see that again.
  • Conundrum Here's how much Ford had to do design-wise with that engine in the article's lead picture.Zero. It was a Cosworth when Cosworth was still original Cosworth, over 30 years ago. The engine shown is a development of the original DFV. Ford paid to have its name on the cam covers for decades.I wonder who Ford will get to design this proposed new F1 engine for 2026. Because sure as hell, they don't have the in-house talent to do it themselves.