The Audi TT has wintered in my garage with a bit of interior work over that time, but as with many garages, clutter and tools and this and that has accumulated around and it’s now time to put the seats back in, clean up the accumulation of stuff and get the beast roadworthy again. I’ve owned the 2001 TT since 2001 and have only 27,000 miles or so on it, but this summer we have a 6,200 mile trip planned in it, so I’ll want to make sure everything is perfect. I’ll write about the trip and the TT when that time comes, but the real excitement of getting the garage cleaned up and the TT moved out is the new addition to our sports car family; a 1962 MG Midget MK1 (1961 built GAN1).
The garage is the new nursery for the rebirth of this classic British sports car. It has been 10 years since I moved into this house and I haven’t taken on an automobile restoration project here yet, so the nursery needs to be equipped almost from the bottom up. I purchased a 5HP, 230V, twin cylinder Ingersoll Rand air compressor with a vertical 60 Gallon tank that needs to be wired and plumbed. I will be constructing a heavy duty wood workbench as soon as the rain stops, and I’ll need to add shelving for new and old parts and much better lighting to see what I’m doing. Furnishing a nursery can be a fun task.
I’ve bought a couple of cars off of eBay (a 2001 Audi TT and a 2007 PRHT Mazda Miata), but I was a little more trusting of the seller of the MG than the other cars. His ad explicitly said that there was no rust through spots on the car. Imagine my surprise when I unloaded the car from the carrier and found that most of the driver’s side floor pan was full of holes and that the passenger side floor pan was completely rusted away. I was very disappointed with the seller to say the least. The floor pans are $157 each from Moss Motors. I guess one silver lining to it is that at some point in history someone covered the passenger side hole with two original Sinclair gas pump signs that were in exceptionally good condition. A quick check of eBay shows buy it now pricing of between $150 and $455 per sign, but I would have still rather had good floors than have had to replace them. It makes me worry about what I have yet to uncover.
An early MG has always been on my wish list of in expensive cars to own. My first car at 15 years old was a 1968 primrose yellow MG Midget that I learned to drive in on the back roads of Pennsylvania. The first car I remember sitting on my Dad’s lap and steering was a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite MK2. It had the sliding Plexiglas windows and no exterior door handles just like my 1962 MK1 MG.
It appears that my new project has been three different colors. From the factory it appears to have been Old English White, followed by some color of blue, followed by the current red. Both of the paint jobs after the original had terrible craftsmanship. If you look close you can see brush marks in the red where it was touched up.
I haven’t ordered the British Heritage Museum certificate yet, but will soon. I’m thinking I will take it back to the original Old English White at this point, but not completely sure. It will stay one of the original color options from 1962 nevertheless for sure. I pretty much have decided on a red interior. I think the original was black, but I’ve always wanted a red interior car and this will be it.
I will be documenting the restoration, so look for more posts coming up.