Motoring: My Worst Car; Katie Ledger's MG Midget
Saturday 21 August 1999
When I bought my classic Sixties MG Midget finished in black, it really was a dream come true. I thought it was a little like me really: cool, calm and collected. At least it looked good at the lights. Going around corners was another matter.
In a straight line, I did not have a lot to complain about: that little sports car was very nippy and could do 80-90mph - not that I ever did.
Unfortunately I was commuting between Oxford and Cheltenham at the time and there were lots and lots of corners. I found that if I tackled them at anything more than 35mph the MG would start to take off. A couple of wheels would leave the ground and my heart would be in my mouth. If it was wet, anything more than walking pace would cause all sorts of handling upsets. One day I really frightened myself at 50mph on a huge wide corner coming out of Cheltenham and that really put me off driving it.
The fact that I am quite short, the bonnet was long and the windscreen tiny didn't help either: it was a pain to park.
On top of all that, the heater never worked. Now I know that buying a convertible in the middle of winter wasn't the smartest thing to do, especially as I have poor circulation, but I didn't expect it to blow cold air at me all the time. The hood leaked, too. So cold rainwater would drip inside the windows and make me feel even more uncomfortable.
The last straw was when I parked the Midget in a multi-storey car-park in Oxford and found out just how vulnerable it was. When I got back to the car, the hood was even less waterproof because someone had slashed it with a flick knife. Everything inside, including an overnight bag and the radio, was gone.
If I'm honest, the MG was nothing more than a posemobile. So after nine months I sold it and moved on to a Peugeot 205 GTI. That was a posemobile, too. Not only that, it went around corners like it was on rails.
Katie Ledger is a Channel 5 news presenter. She was speaking to James Ruppert
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