The Cars

1979 MG Midget 1500

This was the second car I owned. I purchased it while in my late 20’s as my hot “Southern California” singles machine. I owned it two years concurrently with my 1977 Luv. This car was the most enjoyable car to drive I’ve ever had – when it ran. This car also taught me what “high maintenance” really meant.

Me with my 1979 MG Midget, at my sister’s house in Redondo Beach, California.

Read The History

1979 MG Midget Specifications

Purchased: – From Private Party, May 1984, San Diego, California, about 32,000 miles
– Sold to Private party in July 1986, San Diego, California, about 56,000 miles
Standard Features: – 1493 cc 4-cylinder engine
– Zenith-Stromberg Carburetor
– Red w/ Gold Pinstripe
– Beige/Black Interior with Custom decorated fabric seats
– 5 speed manual transmission
Custom Options: – Convertible Soft Top
– Split Tonneau Cover
– Chrome Trunk Luggage Rack
– Wire Wheel Covers
– Am/FM cassette Stereo
– Under-dash mounted digital clock
– Custom seat upholstery
Major Repairs: – Overhauled Carburetor
– Replaced Starter Motor
– Replaced Alternator
– Replaced all 4 brake slave cylinders, master cylinder
– Replaced front disc brake pads, rotors
– Replaced stock distributor with Allison Electronic Ignition System
– Replaced mechanical fuel pump with trunk-mounted electric fuel pump
– Replaced fan belt
– Replaced all four Pirelli Steel-belted radial tires
– Replaced horn button along with turn-signal stick
– Replaced Clutch, crankshaft, front and rear main seals
Comments: – Convertible Soft Top
– Split Tonneau Cover
– Chrome Trunk Luggage Rack
– Wire Wheel Covers
– Am/FM cassette Stereo
– Under-dash mounted digital clock
– Custom seat upholstery
External Reference: Wikipedia Entry for MG Midgets
Fact Sheet for My MG Midget 1500

Photo Collection

1979 MG Midget and Proud Owner. This was one of a series of photos taken near my sister’s house in Torrance, California, in the summer of 1984.

Yes, this is Mom with my MG. She did not enjoy riding in this car with the top down.

The ad I placed to offload sell my beloved MG. I’ve heard it said for boats that the two best days in a boat owner’s life are the day they buy the boat, and the day they sell it. This would be true for my MG.

1979 MG Midget Factory Brochure

Cover page for a Factory 1979 MG Advertising Brochure.

Foldout photo of the car. The large front and rear bumpers were required to meet DOT standards in the American market. The bumpers were filled with some type of fluid that allowed them to compress and distort, then come back to normal after the pressure was released. This picture does not show the wire hubcap option my car had.

For all the mechanical problems, the MGs are pretty little cars. I personally believe that the red with gold pinstriping color scheme was the best-looking model.

I did have an MG ballcap, but not a T-Shirt.

People who have owned an MG will immediately understand the association with windsurfing. Adding sails to an MG would greatly increase the odds of getting home without a tow.

This picture makes the interior look a whole lot larger than it really was. The horn button was on the end of the turn-signal arm, not on the steering wheel itself. Hitting the horn too hard (like when someone just cut me off) would break the horn button, requiring replacement of the entire signal arm switch assembly. I learned this.

A display of the options and major features. The shifter had a very short throw that made for quick shifting and easy handling. The split tonneau cover was actually a slick idea. Sometimes I would keep the passenger side cover on while driving, which would provide some wind-protected space for books and papers.

The roof could be put up in a matter of moments, which was handy whenever I spotted approaching rainstorms.

The trunk (called a “boot” by the British) mounted luggage rack was a nice feature. I used the luggage rack for several trips, including my cross-country drive to Wyoming.

More windsurfing association. Notice that this brochure does not have any pictures of the MG in actual or even simulated motion.


1977 Chevrolet LUV (Isuzu Luv Series Six) Pickup Truck
1979 MG Midget 1500
1980 Chevrolet Chevette 4 door Hatchback
1988 Isuzu LS SpaceCab Pickup Truck
1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta 1.6 Four Door Sedan
1978 Mercedes Benz 200D 4 Door Sedan
1991 Volvo 240 Sedan
2004 Isuzu Rodeo LS SUV
2000 Volkswagen New Beetle GL 2 Door Hatchback
2009 Nissan Versa 1.8S Hatchback
2013 Nissan Versa 1.6SV Sedan 
2015 Jeep Cherokee “Latitude”
2024 Thor Scope 18G RV
Final Thoughts and Table of Changes

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  1. […] basis over an eleven year period for family visits. My more memorable trips were made with the MG Midget  I briefly owned, but ghosts of my frequent commutes are everywhere along the I-5 […]

    March 26, 2015
  2. docreport said:

    Yikes, trying to comment and somehow ended up in your WordPress control panel. That was weird!

    So anyway, found someone that’s owned a few cars like me,although I have ya beat by around 20 LOL.

    Read most of your R. Garwood story. Geez that sucks.

    January 2, 2016

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