Minor British Institutions: The MG Midget

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The Independent Online

They haven't made any of these for more than a quarter of a century, but you still see a few around, they are all cherished and seem set to be with us for ever.

Less celebrated than its bigger brother, the MG B, or indeed its super-cute predecessor, the "frog eye" Austin Healey Sprite, the Midget is indeed more of a minor motoring institution and aptly named – barely room for two and, on a busy motorway, its tiny proportions mean you will be intimidated even by today's generation of giant hatchbacks.

The most desirable version of the car is usually thought of as a late-1960s example in British racing green with wire wheels and a nice little chrome grille.

Maybe with one of those funny racks for a picnic basket on the boot. More representative – that is of British industrial decline – would be one from its last year of production, 1979, when it was pretty much a living fossil, with absurd rubber bumpers and a raised ride-height to meet US safety regs. We will not see its like again.