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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - 72 midget key help

hi all,

hoping someone can help me

i have a late 72 midget im rebuilding , when i got it it didnt come with an ignition key , ive been through the heritage certificate and got the original key number - hopefully the steering lock wasnt changed, ive contacted a company selling keys online but they said there should be a code prior to the 4 digit number i have got of the certificare - a key type i believe,

does anyone know what this may be?

richard weaver

I've got a very, very early '73 and my steering lock key number is four digits, 10** and ties in with Gaydon records

above this, just readable and below the plastic thumb piece is BL17

looking at the 'Key blank cross reference chart' in the reprint of the original factory Parts Catalogue it shows -

(key series) BL - (codes) 1001-2000 - (lock manufacturer) Lowe & Fletcher - (key blank part number) 37H 7191

(Ref: 0016)-

Nigel Atkins

Richard, L&F are in the same street as my Grandads pub is.
If its an LF (which is very likely if its an original)they still exist in Willenhall near Wolvo and still make all those small keys like fileing cabinet keys and locks. They probably won't want to talk to you as they are in the 'channel' B to B manufacturing trade and buyers buy thousands off the line when it is run for the product they want for stock however if you try someone like Lewis Locks (small manufacturer and a wholesaler for L&F) and talk to Terry or his family (3rd generation manufacturing locksmiths) they may either have the info / pattern or know someone else who does. (They all know one another and what they do).
The vast majority of these locks and key barells were made in Willenhall in the 70's by companies like Yale (gone to China), Squire, Legge, and L&F, (easily the biggest for this type), many of who are still going and making money in the security business today so somewhere in that area there is very likely the info.
PS LF stands for Lowe and Fletcher Ltd.
Lewis Locks contact info is on
Good luck, I wouldn't think that BMC/MG kept track of which pattern of the key type went in which car. More likely there was a big bin and they just put one in. (that certainly happened in Yale Forklifts where I worked in my holidays as a teenager) I would tend to replace the barrel and lock at this point before its in the car.
Dave Squire (1500)

I took my whole ignition assembly into my local locksmith who cut me two keys to fit .
mark (1977 1500 Midget) Preston Lancs

Mark, how did he know what pattern to cut?

I need a boot lock key for a '73 midget, but I have no idea of the key number, or even if the lock is the original on the car.

Lock is shiny and new looking, so I'm thinking it was replaced, but the person I bought the car from didn't get the key with it from the previous owner. I hate to chuck out a boot lock and handle for want of a key. And the problem is that you can't take it apert to look at the number on the lock, without a key. Catch 22.
Lawrence Slater

I altered my boot lock to fit the same key as the door locks.

The door key fitted the boot lock, but wouldn't turn as the tumblers didn't match. So I removed the lock barrel, swapped the little brass tumbler segments around to get the nearest match and then with the key in the barrel, filed down any protruding tumblers until they were flush with the barrel. Works fine now, and is still secure - well, as secure as they ever were!
Guy W

I think the locks are quite good for the time, but a screw driver in the slot will simply turn the whole lock in the door. When I have the soft top on, I never bother locking the doors, there doesn't seem to be much point really, when you can lift the corner of the roof and lift the lever to undo the lock.

But it is nice to lock the boot, as a mild deterent against someone nicking the spare wheel (I still carry one), or my jacket if I leave it in there.
Lawrence Slater

They are filing cabinet locks (say no more) on the doors and boot. Number of combinations is so poor that when I locked my keys in a BL car in France one year in late 70's the only other car of that type on the car park had the same key and opened it. Cheap as chips.
Dave Squire (1500)

The reason I had mis-matched door and boot locks, was that I had bought a pair of the door locks that fit with a large nut and reinforcing plate rather than the standard flimsy spring clip type. And not wanting to carry more keys than necessary, I modified the boot and the petrol cap all to fit the same key. Having done all of that, I rarely lock the doors. As Lawrence says, there isn't much point is there.
Guy W

The locksmith cut the keys to fit the lock not sure how he did it just left it with him, there should be a good local locksmith in your area
mark (1977 1500 Midget) Preston Lancs

Yep there is one I think Mark. I'll go on Tuesday and see if he can work some magic.
Lawrence Slater

Door Locks on a midget....LOL.

You have to admit, that has got to be the best inside joke ever

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

This thread was discussed between 03/05/2013 and 05/05/2013

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