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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Car with wrong engine - advice?

Hi Everyone

I am currently looking for a chrome bumper midget after selling my 1500.

I have found a chrome bumper car very close to me up for
R Williams

Buy it, bin the engine and box, replace with a good 1275

Just make sure it isnt a 1500 made to look like a 1275 and a tax book swap

Contact me if you want to move the 1500 and box, still not decided if my final frontier car is having a K or back to original.

Like Peter says check it. It needs to be 74 or earlier to be an A series chrome. Somewhere in this web site or the archive are the exact body numbers for the production runs or someone will post them soon. Thats the real test cos it may also be a car that was produced and then registered late. (Like some K reg moggies)
Dave Squire - Notts

Nothing wrong with a 1500 that's been lowered and converted to chrome.

Shouldn't be masquerading as a 1275 though.


There are a few 'ringers' around.

Some post-'73 cars have had their IDs swapped with pre-'73 cars to make them tax-exempt.

Dave O'Neill2

at best a mongrel and at worst a ringer, personally I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole especially as there are so many others out there. Don't get sucked in by the 'near by' convenience, be prepared to travel and look at lots....
David Smith

With David on this one.

There are plenty of good 1275's around don't go for a lemon.
Go for one that you want to modify the least.
It will save you money and trouble
Onno K


same as above really , £3500 seems a lot for one with incorrect engine , 4K buys a good useable one that you can do bits on as you go along.

You can swop the engine and box as Peter suggests andits not hard to do but the prices of good 1275 engines and proper boxes are rising and I think it would be a false economy for you in the long run. I just had a box rebuilt and a short engine done and it came in at £1100.

You will get some money back on the 1500 engine and box but the prices are nowhere near the 1275 stuff , have a look at e bay for examples

Hope that helps
Andy Chaffey

I'm amazed at these prices.

Mine's a '66 1275 Sprite, It ails through MOTs year after year, and the most I thought it was worth is 2.5/3K.

So 3.5K for a 1275 car with 1500 engine and box, is bloody crazy. Why would anyone have done that?
Lawrence Slater

Think the point is - Is it a chrome bumper 1275 with 1500 engine etc or a 1500 with conversion chrome bumpers ?

Should be easy to tell by the shell reinforcements etc even if it has changed vin/sills etc.

richard boobier

Thats it Richard, I couldn't put it so simply.

Is it a 1500 with the chrome bits? If it is its worth less (not worthless).
Dave Squire - Notts

Sills will have 2 jacking points on each side if its a 1500 and one per side on a 1275

Also look for box section in each a-post for mounting the courtesy light switch in.

Square sections on the rear valance where the bumpers used to mount to.

As mentioned above, secondary chassis legs running higher up on the inner wings and going all the way to behind the grille.

Rear additional reinforcement in the form of extra box section down each side of the boot floor, making a cubby hole in the space behind the rear arches.

Im sure there are a few more differences in the shell alone, but right now I cant remember them.

GAN5 1275 Spridgets have the square boxes for courtesy light switches, not just 1500s.

One/two hole sills aren't necessarily a good indicator, as sills are often replaced - and not always with the correct items.

I have seen 1500s with single jacking points and I have also owned a 1275 with one hole on one side and two holes on the other.

The 1500 bodyshell does not have an access hole in the tunnel for filling the gearbox. This is often a good identifier.

Also, the crossmember where the steering rack is attached. On a GAN1-5 car it is a straight square box-section, whereas the 1500 has a dip in the middle of it to clear the crankshhaft pulley.
Dave O'Neill2

The 1500 also has the very useful access hole in the tunnel floor for the front propshaft coupling.

richard boobier

I was going to mention that, but Heritage shells and replacement floorpans also have that. I'm assuming that yours does, Richard?
Dave O'Neill2

I would have thought it's more likely that chrome bumpers have been fitted to a 1500 car.
Front Panel inside the grill will have the heater inlet on the passenger side on a 1500 and the heater is reversed compared to a 1275 version
also I think rocker switches on a squared rear wheel arches car is probably a 1500 car
M.J. Griffin

I don't know if this is the same car but I remember a 1275 being advertised with a 1500 engine

if you want the car with a 1500 then this could be a good buy as it's selling price would be lowered by being a hybrid - but if you don't want the 1500 engine then it's not a good buy

all subject to paperwork and vehicle being in order of course

there are loads of reasonably good 1500s and 1275s around so as a buyer you can take your pick without too much compromise with what you want

look at and test drive as many good examples as you can including some well out of your buying budget to see how good the cars should be and that you may need to increase your budget Ė it usually works out less expensive to buy a good but higher priced example than a poor lower priced example
Nigel Atkins

I really want a chrome 1275 car.

I have only ever driven my somewhat ropey 1500, so it is not a good benchmark to compare by.

If any of you are interested the car is advertised here:

R Williams


It doesnt look like a 1500 body, I can't see any of the of the extra reinforcement on the inner wings but judging by the state of the under bonnet I'd look very closely at the rest of the car.

R.A Davis

I'd pass on it if I were you... Looks pretty ropey under the bonnet for that price even given the fact that it has the wrong engine.

If you buy it drop me a line - I have a spare 1500 engine and box that I ought to get rid of at some point... ;)
James Bilsland

Looking at the pics on that Autotrader link . . . .

I know nothing nothing about pre-1975 Midgets. But one of the pics shows, in the engine bay, the wiper motor bolted to a metal plate. I'm sure my r/h drive 1976 1500 doesn't have a plate situated there - do pre-1975 Midgets have such a plate? Could the car be a l/h drive conversion to right hand drive?

Irrespective of the above - the car looks like a right dog. Personally, I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

Andy Hock

No don't go for that one

these all look like better options

not a 1275 but way cooler

Plenty around
Onno K

Looks rough to me, with 1500 seats and whats under the black below the bumper line? Engine bay also a bit of a mess. DVLA list it as a 1275cc.
Tony G

It looks like a fair car and price to me...its a winky winky midget, the right side fender does not match the left side and .im not sure what the front bumper actually fits dosnt look right for some reason

Get some black seat skins, a real wooden steering wheel , and it ready to roll... You can always drop in a 1275 down the road

To me... The body alone is worth the price by its self....offer them 3000 cash, walk away if they dont take it.

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

I take it back....

I LOVE that green 71 that Onno found, last at the bottom of his list for 3500

Now that is a sweet little girl....its got to be stolen, because that is super cheap for such a nice car....thats a game over car at that price


Prop and the Blackhole Midget


It's not often that everyone agrees on here, so you've performed a rare thing.

Don't buy that car!

Onno's suggestions look great. I also like the mkII Midgets/Mkii sprites, even though I have a Mkiv 1275 Sprite.

You could buy a pre -'66 Spridget, and up the power of the 1098, or look for a 1275 lump to transpalnt in.

Either way, you'll be a lot happier than if you buy that dodgy looking doggy.
Lawrence Slater

Rylan: I think everyone is right mate. Knowing your passed experiences I would be very wary with this one. It was the picture of the engine bay that put me off. It just doesn't "feel" right. It's a fair chunk of money - I'm sure you could do better than that one.
Graeme W

I must admit I did have serious reservations at the state of the engine bay. i was more tempted due to the fact it is only about 2 miles away and shares the same dialing code (01634).

I really don't want to go from one iffy car to another (or worse).

It certainly appears that 3 - 4k can get me a nice car, I do like the mk1 with 388 NOB. It is such a way to travel though :( It does prove that a nice car doesn't have to cost the earth, this is why I love midgets so much!

This seems a better buy, potential to haggle maybe due to the hood?:

I just hope that my next one will live up to my dreams and expectations of a fun car to drive/be in!

It is nice to know that for once I have achieved a united opinion!
R Williams

That looks nice but....
Why won't they show the left hand side.....

Don't be afraid to travel for a good car, that just makes a nice story for later.
I had to travel across a sea to get to mine but it was worth it every bit!
Onno K

Thats a nice too R. Williams.
Onno, I think your getting paranoya on them not showing the left hand side. LOL

I very much like the 308 Nob car too that Onno found.
It shows to be a good runner too as it has been to the LeMans Classic 2012 so you know its a good/reliabla runner if the owner does these kinda long distance trips.
Arie de Best

hi rylan,

seems you have everyone on here looking for a car for you, including me.ha ha. how about item number 121010471208 on fleabay.dont know what reserve is but looks nice.

Rylan: the one you list has obviously been around for some time as the seller talks about "now the summer is here". But it could be more worrying if the soft top had snow on it! Could be a chance to haggle on price.
The right hand side looks good, so that's 50%! And it's rwa -at least on one side!

Actually you can just see the other side in the front view - it looks all there so there is probably nothing to worry about. Probably the bloke taking the pics did.t think about it.
Graeme W


Yes correct - my Heritage shell (RWA) has the propshaft cut out - very useful too !

richard boobier

air filtersorry but you
Nigel Atkins

Probably I'm being overly suspicious, but the Blue 72 RWA certainly has an incorrect thermostat housing fitted - I can't see exactly from the photograph, but I'm not 100% certain at the moment that its a 1275 engine... I'd certainly want to check before I bought it...

Just shows that buying a Midget can be a minefield and its a good idea to get someone who knows about them to accompany you when you go to look at one...

I'd certainly give the Mk1 a home (if I had the money and the space), although he could keep the index number as far as I'm concerned... :)
James Bilsland

Rylan, where are you in kent? Are you near me?

And I'm afraid, that these days, in the search for an old car, you just have to be prepared to travel to find the right one. actually that's true of any 2nd hand item if you ask me, just even moreso with 2nd hand cars.

If you don't look at enough of them, not only might you end up with one not exactly as you'd like it to be, but you might also miss a gem.

Don't believe descriptions, until you've seen the car up close and personal.

The one you listed first might well be a dog, but I'd go and waste his time anyway, just for a look see.

The more of them you see, the more instinctive you'll get at spotting a good -- or a bad -- one.
Lawrence Slater

Hi Lawrence,

I am in Gillingham, where are you?

I certainly agree with your points Nigel, it does make a lot of sense.

The blue one I listed does appear to have the thermostat cover off centre, if it was rotated by one stud it would fit the hose better.

R Williams


Its a Mini thermostat housing... The housing and hose is incorrect for a Midget with a Xflow rad (which is what should be fitted)

James Bilsland

It's definitely not a Midget t'stat housing, but it is a 1275 engine...well, a 1275 head, at least.

The small bore engines have the t'stat housing in a different orientation...rotated approx 30 degrees anti-clockwise, so the two studs nearest the spark plugs are not in-line.

They also have the heater tap at a different angle.
Dave O'Neill2

I noticed the thermostat housing and wonder if the head or engine had been changed and then remembered the thread about the crossover period with the 'old' thermostat housing coupling with the 'new' x-flow radiator before the 'new' housing was fitted or thought it might be a Marina engine but can't remember number of studs and position

it being a different or non-original engine wouldn't worry me if it worked well - not all Spridgets still have their original engine
Nigel Atkins


I bow to your greater knowlege of small bore engines :) I couldn't make out the shape of the front of the head from the photograph.

A 1275 Marina engine wouldn't be a concern, but if someone (for instance) had fitted a 1098 from a Morris Minor (unlikely but possible on a 1275 Midget) I for one would be somewhat cheesed off...

James Bilsland

I take your point about it being a Moggy 1098 instead of Spridget 1275 engine but if you've driven a few mechanically good 1275s you should notice the difference even if you don't know the cause - as I was suggesting to Rylan you need to test drive a few mechanically good 1275s so you know what to look for and how good they should go
Nigel Atkins

James, I wouldn't want a 1098 in a 1275 car either, but wouldn't mind a 1275 in a 1098 car, as long as I knew the history.

However, I wouldn't really want a Marina engine in there either. If you're buying a car complete with the engine, I'd prefer the original engine, or the same type as a replacement. Much easier to sell again later if you have one of the original Spridget engines in there.

Rylan, I'm in T/Wells, and you have another neighbour, Graeme, even closer to you, should he be willing to tell you where. Email me if you like.
Lawrence Slater

Having now seen the blue car on something bigger than my phone.
It looks nice but
The lower rear corner of the door sticks out slightly (or it looks that way) indicating that sill and lower rear wing have had work done.
Check if this has been done well and if your not to bothered with the amount it sticks out.

Now I realy want to see the other side....

Yes I am very sceptical when looking at cars to buy
Onno K

It's been in there since May, and it's now almost winter. I bet you could get that for less than £2.5K if you turn up with the readies. If you want it though, is another matter.

Depends how it looks close up.

Even if the door gaps aren't even, or the panels completely flat, I wouldn't care about that. It's a 39 year old car. As long as it has no serious hidden rust, and it's all there, and fitted essentially with what's supposed to be in it, and it goes as described, with a half decent g/box, I'd say it's very much worth a look see and drive.

I do like RWA, so for that money, if it goes well enough, I'd say it's worthy of serious consideration, -- subject to crawling all over it.
Lawrence Slater

Hi Rylan

Sorry, came to this thread a bit late. I am in Rochester with a road worthy 1275 if you fancy a spin sometime.

M Adams

Hi Mark

I would definitely like to take you up on your offer, it would certainly let me get an idea of how a 1275 should drive.

R Williams

Basically as others have said, there are plenty better out there for the money - especially in cash form. Resist the temptation to fall in love with the first you see!
Mark O

great of Mark to offer so don't miss the chance

no disrespect to Mark or his car because I'd say the same about my car, you also need to go in as many good mechanical examples as you can

note I put good mechanical condition, this is because you'll be able to see if it's in good cosmetic condition but it doesn't follow that it'll also be in good mechanical condition or that there isn't unseen rust
Nigel Atkins


Nigel is right. I should point out that there are much better spridgets about than mine. Mine is now a rolling project with a load of jobs still to do. there are also some aspects that are not right, mainly the shut lines due to not being properly braced during welding many years ago. I am more than happy to point out all this in the flesh so you get an idea of what to look for.
On the plus side it sailed throuh an mot and has been, in my opinion, driving well ever since. I have a nasty feeling that I am going to end up working most of this weekend, but if not will try and hook up with you. Will send you an e-mail later to exchange contact details.

M Adams

Rylan: If you want to look over my 1275 Mk 4 Sprite, you are welcome. I'm in West Malling and Alan A will give you my email. You have seen it in passing at the MASC meetings (on the few times it has all wheels on) but you are more than welcome to have a detailed look. Might be worthwhile to pursuade Lawrence over at the same time!
Graeme W

hi all,
i am about 30 mins the other side of QE bridge.whats the chance of a few of us meeting around the dartford area and showing rylan our cars and having bit to eat or drink.
regards bob.

At the risk of being lynched!
What about The Angel, Addington Green, Kent lunchtime on Sunday 25th November where Masc meets each month as most concerned, who have offered Rylan a ride, plus Rylan,have been there before and know its location.
Alan Anstead

I did mean yours wasn't a good one, shut lines don't matter when you're looking at good mechanical bits and how well the car drives and goes

plus an owner that accepts the car has faults and warts and is prepared to highlight them is invaluable to some one looking to buy that model - you could help Rylan at lot

you could also help yourself by taking up Bob/Alan's idea

even current owners could perhaps learn a bit from going in others cars
Nigel Atkins

Alan - a few new members too!
Graeme W

whoops, done it again - missed the word not out

it should have been -

I DIDN'T mean yours wasn't a good one,<<

damn keyborad
Nigel Atkins


If every body here was upset by the odd typo then a certain trans atlantic enthusiast would make us cry on a day to day basis.
Also your second paragraph was spot on and was exactly what I meant in the first place.

M Adams

Hi Everyone.

To all those of you who have offered to meet up and show me your cars I am extremely grateful. This is something that will be incredibly useful for me!

The willingness of the members on this forum to help others is something that always surprises me, thanks to you all.

I am hoping to get my next midget before the sunny weather next year as prices are lower in the winter (for obvious reasons), this means I may be able to get a very good buy. But conversely means I may not be able to enjoy it as much :) due to the cold weather.

R Williams

I know what you mean about typos (especially from my technical guru) but it's a bad habit to miss the word not out as it completely reverses the meaning

I'm not too sure that prices reduce that much over winter especially for good cars but if cars aren't selling at anytime the prices, at sale at least, will reflect this

there are loads of better driving days and opportunities in late autumn, winter and early spring than in the extended summer period, plus you'll learn to drive the car better if you start driving it in the winter

but don't rush to buy one, look at as many as you can, I'm always impatient and my impatience always costs me a lot of money - do as I say not as I do and it'll be less expensive for you

also do research, here, on t'web, paper books!

and of course I'd strongly suggest buying a copy of the Driver's Handbook before you even go looking at ones for sale as the 1275 does vary from the 1500 plus if you read it you'll know more than even some of the long term owners who are selling - (Ref: 0057)
Nigel Atkins

Hi Rylan,
I would have emailed you directly, but I think it's worth writing my comments here. -- Just for the record, and to be controversial. LOL.

I've kept my car for 35 years. I didn't intend to.

What are your intentions?

If you intend to devote your -- by all accounts -- still relatively young life, to the search, persuit, and then the perfection, of a 1275 Spridget, then do as others have suggested many times on this BBS. Look for the very best example, for the cheapest price, with the least need of work, and the most accurate components making the whole.

If on the other hand, you already know (or think, as I did ) that this is just a bit of fun for a few years, then don't be so fussy. A few bent and misaligned panels won't spoil the enjoyment of thrashing around in a 1275 Spridget. ---- As long as it's good enough to GENUINELY pass a full MOT, and the engine and box are good, it will do you. Buy a cheap one, and thrash the crap out of it. You won't kill it, and it'll be fun.

If then as time passes, and in a couple of years you still have it, and find it still gives you a buzz, you can always decide either to sell it, and look for a more perfect model, or you can keep it and rebuild it yourself. You'll have the advantage of a couple of years of fun and experience, know better what you want, and how much of your time and money you really want to devote to a Spridget.

Frankly, I've spent an afwul lot of time f@#@##$ing around with my Sprite --- and other cars. Far more than either needed or deserved. By comparison, I neglet my Sprite these days. It still keeps going, and I have more time to myself.

Come over to me, and I'll thrash my well worn wreck up and down the A21 for you.
Lawrence Slater

I don't disagree with most of what you've put but you need to bear in mind Rylan already had experience of one Midget that he sold

I always stressed good mechanics over cosmetics, confirmed with most of the classics I've owned including my present Midget

when you got your car 35 years ago you knew about cars and cars of the time and by the sound of it plenty of life experience

Rylan's already made it clear he'll probably not travel all over the country and with his budget he should pick up a reasonable car but not concours, he might pay a lot less and pick up a scruffy but pretty sound car or without further research and experience pick up a money pit

I bet if you were spending a couple of grand or more on anything else you'd do a bit of research first and look at alternatives - I don't expect Rylan to do a master degree course on Midgets just so knowledge to help him make a better purchase decision

and thinking about it you're one to do the most extensive research and spending lots of time and experiments on Midget items ! ! :)
Nigel Atkins

this looks like a prime example of earlier cars identity put on later car i would say. ebay 330825286526

Yes, another fine example!
Dave O'Neill2

that ebay one is a definite 'ringer' the ride height is way off!

This does tempt me, but the lack of proper photos and info is a bit disconcerting:

I would like to get a car with as good bodywork as possible, mechanical can always be dealt with.

Can any of you think of other places that I may be able to find midgets for sale?
R Williams

2 different cars in those pictures 1 got removable hood the other fixed.??? 1 got boot rack other hasnt.

Haha, hilarious!
Dave O'Neill2

Rylan, I know of a 1967 Midget and a 1962 Sprite for sale both based in Pickering (so not exactly next door..) No worries if that's too far :)

send me an email on robDOTarmstrong86ATgmailDOTcom if you're interested and I'll forward the details.
Rob Armstrong

As much as I love Yorkshire and have gone through Pickering on a few holidays, it is a little too far, I appreciate the thought though!

Looking again at that car I posted it is of 2 separate cars, a 60's car and a 70's one?

The pictures that show a 60's car seem to look pretty good
R Williams

personally - and this will upset some - I'd avoid wire wheels especially if you're going to use the car regularly, bu**er to clean and they can have additional faults to them being on the car

wood on the interior is another personal choice as you don't usually see it on cars that are used frequently

PistonHeads classifieds

Classic Car Weekly

Classic Car Monthly


Classic and Sports Cars



and then anywhere that advertises cars, Exchange & Mart, Auto Trader, car dealers, classic car dealers, eBay, advert card in a supermarket

you get the idea

ETA: ask people - at work, clubs, MASC, MGOC, MGCC even down the pub

Nigel Atkins

Go for a steel or alloy wheeled car.
Wires are a pain and not only for cleaning, they are just less comfortable.

Then go for one that is the least modified.
Onno K

My preference is for a steel or alloy wheeled car, it just seemed a good buy! My search could take a while but I will eventually get what I want at a price I can afford!
R Williams

Consider this.

The cars for sale in more distant locations, are harder to sell, because people are reluctant to travel to see them. But often they are the best cars. By not travelling beyond certain limits, you may miss the best cars.

I bought an 8 year old, 1990 E30 BMW 318iS, about 100 miles from where I lived. Prior to buying it, I looked locally (kent/Sussex/London) at about 20 or so of them. They all either had high mileage, were too expensive, or not well looked after. The one I travelled 100 miles (each way) to see, was one owner, 50K miles, and looked like it had just come out of a showroom. It cost me less than one from London, and was a cracker. I'd have travelled 200 miles if I had to.

Rob could probably give you a very good idea of the exact condition before you went there, so I'd at least get the details and would consider it if I were you.

But, horses for courses. :).
Lawrence Slater

Someone ought to report that eBay one to trading standards as it is a garage that is selling it. If he doesn't know it's a ringer he really should do! If he bought it himself in good faith then he's an idiot.

"when you got your car 35 years ago you knew about cars and cars of the time and by the sound of it plenty of life experience"

Before that though Nigel, I bought some real dogs of cars, and had a very dirty learning curve gaining my experience. And, still for all that experience, my Sprite was still a wreck when I bought it. So much of a wreck, that today most people would call it a full restoration project. It never did get fully restored, and it's still going strong.

"and thinking about it you're one to do the most extensive research and spending lots of time and experiments on Midget items ! ! :)"

Yup, I go through phases Nigel. I play around with the spare parts, and leave the car alone, -- as long as it goes. :)
Lawrence Slater

I agree re: Trading Standards - shocking to see a garage advertising that.
Philip Dodd

I agree that some of the best buying deals can come from far away or more remote places

but they can also turn out to be not as described and a total waste of time and expense getting to see them

however, if someone like Rob vets the details and gives an honest opinion based on those details that they are worth considering then that's better than just seeing the advert

and as you know I believe a lot of the car's ills can be made better by regularly using the car and giving it a few good blow out runs when required - as well as regular and proper servicing, maintenance and repaisr of course
Nigel Atkins

I emailed the suspect ebay car, here's the reply.

We have taken this car in part exchange and dont know that much about it.

It is listed as described in the V5 and MOT history is taken from the VOSA website.

Regards Sally"

Lawrence Slater

They don't know much about it?

I'm afraid that is no defence!
Dave O'Neill2

Since they now do know - 'cos Lawrence has told them - it is now illegal for them not to voluntarily disclose this fact to any potential buyers
Guy W

Here's what I sent them. I didn't cover it all, just the obvious - to me.

"Dear seller,

Can you confirm the age of the car as being an original 1969 registered Austin healy sprite?

To my knowledge, no Austin healey Sprites had 2 jacking points per side, did not have 1500cc engines, didn't have the later type of rear light plastic lenses, or that type of interior, all shown in your pictures."

Lawrence Slater

or the bumper reinforcements in the boot!

Tony G

But if the registration documents say 1969 that has them covered surely? Because there are differences between the car as it stands and original specs that could be described as "previous owner improvements". I wonder if the chassis and engine numbers correspond?

Supposing someone buys two cars of differing age (but obviously the same model!) with the idea of pooling all the best bits. The resulting vehicle would be a bit of a mish mash but you would have in hand two registration documents. Which do you choose - the older one ("that year didn't have a 1500 engine!") or the newer one (" that should'nt have that style bumpers fitted")?

This must happen a lot. My own Sprite is registered as 1971 and had a Heritage shell and recon engine. Some bits are obviously from an earlier vehicle (SU's don't have the suction take-offs on the body, it has a 4.2 diff and the seat trim isn't correct.) So should this have been registered as the obviously earlier donor? Unless you are after concours perfection it probably doesn't matter.

It's all a bit like Trigger's broom - 40 yeears old, having had five new heads and six new handles!
Graeme W

no, this one clearly goes way beyond that. It has wrong body, wrong engine and presumably wrong gearbox and back axle. At the very least, if it were a genuine "upgraded restoration", which it obviously isn't, then it should have been re-registered on a Q plate.
And in law, whilst a private seller might just about have an excuse,a garage would be expected to know what it is that they are selling, and to verify the V5 documents are the correct ones for the car.
Guy W

As Guy says, it is clearly a ringer in that it is basicly a 1500 Midget with the ID of a Mk4 (tax-exempt) Sprite.

It used to be the case that stolen cars were given the ID of written-off cars, but these days it seems to be common to give later cars the ID of a tax-exempt earlier model.

If you re-shell a car using the secondhand shell from a donor vehicle, the ID of the donor vehicle should stay with the shell. Technically, you should also use most of the major mechanical components as well, to avoid having to reregister it with DVLA.

This does not apply to a Heritage shell, as it is classed as a new replacement part.
Dave O'Neill2

I can see where you are coming from Guy, but I bet there are a few contributors here with a five speed box and an engine swap and then with the diff replaced to use the extra hp. Bet they are still on the original registration doc. An "upgraded restoration" is a bit of an emotive term - someone could argue that the 1500 engine was an "upgrade".

Just playing Devil's advocate here!
Graeme W

Hi Graeme, not in this case.

This is clearly at the very least a car based on a '74 or later Midget.

So not an AH Sprite, and not possibly first registered in 1969 as claimed.

They may well have been suckered themselves, but now they know, they should change the description.

Just for the hell of it, I sent them this, and I'm waiting for a repy.

"Hi Sally,

Thanks for that.

May I respectfully suggest, that now you know it's not an original 1969 AH Sprite as described in the V5, that you change the description to reflect this.

I'm sure you wouldn't want to mislead anyone now you know that it is wrongly registered.


Lawrence Slater

I'm not sure that changing the description would suffice.

It is illegal to sell a car with false ID.
Dave O'Neill2

Hi All

I had a spin today with Lawrence which has made me more determined to have a A Series car.

The one linked above looks rather good, any opinions?

The seller of the misrepresented one on ebay, needs to remove that and seek advice, its a real minefield with that one!

Thanks again to Lawrence.
R Williams

That does look like a nice last ;o)
Dave O'Neill2

Hi Rylan,

Here's a follow up on the 2 car photograph ad you posted earlier.

I emailed him.

"Dear seller,
This car appears from the photographs, to be two different cars. One is an early model and one is a later model. Can you please confirm the details?"

He replied.


Avoid I reckon.

Lawrence Slater

Lawrence:... to which you respond:

".... and how long have you had the other one?"
Graeme W

THat one you found looks a good example. I think I would revert back to standard seats in case you wanted to use a tonneau at some point. Shame it's a bit far for a "let's have a look".

Glad Lawrence gave you a run in his car. If there was a rattle in the back it would have been the scaffold pole and spare diff from when we has a practical session on pinion seals!
Graeme W

I am heading up to the NEC Birmingham on thursday if you could RV with the seller there and want a lift that is if you want the car and wanted to bring it back home.
Alan Anstead

Hi Graeme.
"If there was a rattle in the back it would have been the scaffold pole and spare diff -- "

As we were driving along, we were talking about the relative lack of rattles in my Sprite. I said to Rylan, that as it happened, I could hear something rattling, and thought it was coming from the boot. So I stopped and opened it.

Yup, there was the scaffold pole and diff that I'd forgotten to take out. I showed the pole to Rylan. He must have thought I gone mad, as I waved it at him at the side of the passenger window. LOL.

Lawrence Slater

I am still intrigued by this issue of "when is a 1969 car not a 1969 car?".
Supposing I buy a 1962 Sprite and decide to build a Sebring replica. Major body replacements, engine and so on. Is it still ok to continue with the 62 registration or as Guy mentioned is it a Q plate? I am sure everyone would argue that this is indeed a sympathetic restoration and should continue as a 62 reg. But if I decided instead to fit rubber bumpers and a 1500 engine, would that be viewed as "sympathetic"? Now I can guess what the opinion would be to that last question, but the answer is very subjective.
Graeme W

I thought it was fairly simple.

Take a 1977 Midget 1500, fit chrome bumper front wings, attach the chassis plate and reg plates from a '69 Sprite and what have you got? A 1500 Midget.

If you have a '62 Sprite and fit Sebring body panels to the original shell, then you still have a '62 Sprite.
Dave O'Neill2

I see the eBay ringer's seller claims its only done 16600 miles as well. That would be since someone fitted the 1500 speedo in that so original 1969 car then?
This annoys me just as much as tax dodgers and benefits cheats. Someone not int the know will get duped into buying this and when he finds out it will be too late to do anything about it.

"Someone not int the know will get duped into buying this and when he finds out it will be too late to do anything about it. "

Hopefully not, if enough people tell ebay about it.

Follow this link and complain to ebay.

Login to ebay, and you should be in a reporting form. Tell ebay all about it.

Lawrence Slater

that car you put up last looks OK, personally I don't like the OAP bits on it and for using you want the reflective number plates

it says the car has been used for a number of French trips and that it's been on a few displays so this could mean that the majority of it's annual mileage is done on one or two trips so not regular use (might be wrong) so you'll probably still need to use it it iron out, hopefully minor, lack of use issues

you also need to see if the car fits you physically and mentally, sometimes a car feels just right for you yet others don't - otherwise you'd be happy with any Eurobox
Nigel Atkins

thanks for the link Lawrence, I tried but the eBay system wore me down before

I've just used the link to report

I hope others use this link to report this car especially those that have commented on it in this thread
Nigel Atkins

Although e-bay should take action, it takes a lot for them to do so.
A message to the seller saying it is wrong and suggesting he takes it off before trading standards are alerted is likely to be more effective.!
Guy W

Well I did message them Guy, but I didn't mention trading standards. They haven't replied, or changed the ad.
Lawrence Slater

Thanks to Mark and Lawrence for the rides they have given me in their cars. I have a better understanding of how one of them should be.

Now all I need to do is to find one! :)
R Williams

well done chaps

next stage is more research and then for you to actually test drive some, bearing in mind how you now know they should/could go, at least you shouldn't be caught out with "they all do that" or "you must expect that from an old car" when it's not so

and of course if you buy and read the Driver's Handbook you'll probably know more about the car than many (even long term) owners
Nigel Atkins

That does look like a nice last ;o)
oh really? then how come the colour changes from red to orange and the number plates from silver on black to black on white and the AA badge from the old style to the new yellow background?
This is getting like "spot the difference" !
M J Chapman

photos taken at different stages of ownership perhaps
Nigel Atkins

Its a car I would look at - looks well loved.

136,000 is high but if its been maintained / rebuilt still worth a look.

The red/ orange thing with that colour - I think is the photographs - we had one and often they went orangey.

I thought the RAC badge was swapped for a new AA (or vice versa) the old style AA is worth more to collectors.


richard boobier

<< then how come the colour changes from red to orange and the number plates from silver on black to black on white >>

I didn't notice any colour change. If there is a difference, it is probably down to the camera or photographer.

Reds are notoriously difficult to photograph.

Below is a photo of my last Midget, when I bought it on Ebay. It is Flame red, but looks more like Blaze.

As for the number plates, maybe they heeded Nigel's advice.

Dave O'Neill2

This is how it looked when I photographed it.

Dave O'Neill2

I'll get my coat ............
M J Chapman

"136,000 is high"

It's an old car, I wouldn't worry about the mileage at all, other than from interest in it's history.

A so called high mileage on a car this age is irrelevant. What matters is the condition of the car, and you find that out by looking at it and driving it.

Dave, what m/bike is that hiding behind the Midget? Anything noteworth?
Lawrence Slater

i notice the auction has ended on that ringer.dont know if its been sold or taken off after the complaints. will have to look to see if it comes back on with right description.


I wish I'd have seen your posting before I rang eBay

but I can at least confirm that it was pulled by the seller not eBay

I followed Lawrence's link to eBay complaint (well done Lawrence not sure how you got there I couldn't) and sent in a report yesterday just before I went out, on my return hors later I found an email from eBay with a special passcode that only lasts for 15 mins !

so I tried again today and got the passcode so rang them

(0845 355 3229 but you need to key in a passcode)

perhaps the seller saw it being discussed here as if you Google the item number this thread comes up
Nigel Atkins


It was my Honda 750-4.

I think you've seen it before...

Dave O'Neill2

Nice Dave. I can't remember if I've seen it before, but it is nice.

I should hate it really, I used to hate all Jap bikes, because in my tender teenage years in the '60s, I blamed the import of "jap crap" for the demise of the brit bike industry. Really of course, it was the failure of the brit bike industry to keep up, along with the daft unions forever going on strike, that cuased the brit bike industry to die.

I used to hang around Elite Motors in Garrat lane, Tooting, and Pride and Clarks in Stockwell, and drool at and over the Triumphs Bzers and Nortons. My dream was either a Pre-unit Bonny, a Rocket Gold Star (although I'd have been just as happy with a single 500 Gold star), or a 750 Commando. I ended up on a Bantam to begin with. lol.

Then came the Honda 750 four. You could lose it on the corners with ease, but it pissed all over you on the straight, -- until the engine fell apart heh heh :). But, it didn't leak oil, and started first time. Naff little indicators, a horn that worked, and shiny chrome and pretty colours. Even die hard hells angels and road rats began buying (aka stealing) them. Disgusting (not the stealing, just the coveting). But there's no doubt about it, Jap bikes were fast, and got way better with every model - esp' with decent tyres, whilst brit bikes stayed pretty much the same -- and died.

Yup, I'd love a chance to thrash that around. I hope you do. :)

I got a passcode too, but couldn't find out how to get through the menu to speak to someone at Ebay. Good to see that the ads been pulled though.

Lawrence Slater

Gratuitous picture of my tuned 750 T140D when I first got it.

My soon to be sold, Honda FT500 in the background.

Lawrence Slater

Dave's photo reminds me of when I first realised I was getting old when I saw wire wheeled motorbikes that I recognized and they were in the classic bike section of a show - and that was many, many, years ago

it took me two attempts to get to find the code and the phone number was with it but I had to manipulate my answers to get there

it's a bit hit and miss rather like doing an internet search sometimes I get to what I want in a fraction of a second yet the next time I try the same search I can't find what I found in a fraction of a second before
Nigel Atkins

Lawrence there may have been some demise of the british bike industry but it's still alive. Here's my daily commuter.

Greg H

Yup Greg, I failed to mention that it's come roaring back in the shape of the new Triumph company.

Very nice to see that pic of your daily commuter, and that it's from the "old country" and not an oriental. lol.

I'm seriously thinking of buying one myself, but I'll probably go for the nostalgia of an updated classic. Either another bonnie, or maybe this thruxton.

There're Triumph dealers very near me, I've been meaning to go and have a test ride. I must get around to it.
Lawrence Slater

oh Lawrence, I thought my mate said it was cheaper to buy a Triumph from India
Nigel Atkins

The Thruxton is a fantastic looking bike and certainly my pick. My bike was bought s/h and although I wasn't looking for one I was quite pleased when it turn up. A newer bike would be nice but you can't have everything and the money pit miudget takes everything it can.
Greg H

How old is that then greg? It looks pretty new to me. Certainly from the new breed of Triumphs.

I hope those dents in the tank, don't represent anything too painful. And if they're necessary to accommodate your anatomy, --- well, 'nuff said, nudge nudge, wink wink.

I knew a bloke once, that swore blind he'd dented his tank in just that fashion. Lol. He did have quite a high voice come to think of it. heh heh.
Lawrence Slater

How old is that then greg? It looks pretty new to me. Certainly from the new breed of Triumphs.

I hope those dents in the tank, don't represent anything too painful. And if the're necessary to accommodate your anatomy, --- well, 'nuff said, nudge nudge, wink wink.

I knew a bloke once, that swore blind he'd dented his tank in just that fashion. Lol. He did have quite a high voice come to think of it. heh heh.
Lawrence Slater

2000 model. 4 cyl, so this one has a real engine in it and EFI. No non factory dents in this bike but I can't say the same for some of my previous ones.

Best you get some new glasses ;)

Greg H

Very nice for a 12 year old.

Hope I don't need new glasses, they might not let me test ride if I do, lol.

Lawrence Slater

this sold on ebay recently for over 4.5k:

now up for 2.7k

I smell a rat here possibly?
R Williams

Cosmetically it doesn't look too bad for the money. I don't think it would have been worth the £4.5k+ price tag.

Do you think it's the same seller?
Dave O'Neill2

it does seem very odd as the ad only went up yesterday

unless it's a typo and they meant £4.7K but the bit about not overheating suggest a good period of ownership yet the rest of the description is very dealer just got it in

by the appearance in those photos it looks nearer £4.7 than £2.7

as the car is - is it me or could it be on 14" wheels, seat covers are wrong for year (minor thing) and the fact that setting the tappets is noteworthy suggest it's not regularly used, dynamo so good battery need if to be regularly used in future

ETA: Dave posted as I was typing, he knows more about present values than me but on those photos it looks worth a lot more than £2.7k to me but as with any car advert the photo could be great but the car very poor
Nigel Atkins

it has been re listed here by the previous seller:
R Williams

To quote the ebay ad...

"The car is being sold with a 99p starting price and so represents an opportunity to grab a very honest and genuine car at a bargain price."

Except that there is a reserve.

The ebay photos do look better than the ones on Gumtree.

Anyone notice the unusal method of hood fitment?
Dave O'Neill2

The gumtree link no longer works, maybe the price was wrong.
R Williams

Gumtree one could have been a scam.
Fairly common: advertise an attractive opportunity at a believable, but bargain price. Reel in some punters, the more the merrier, and con them into parting with cash for which none of them ever get the (fictitious) car. Commonly the advert is simply copied off the internet, using someone else's genuine sale and adjusting the price to make it more of a hook.

There was one going on Pistonheads not long ago. The "seller's" con was to claim they were going to be away on a business trip, but the sale would be concluded and the vehicle delivered by Pistonheads Customer Sales (which doesn't exist). There was a link and phone number given to contact them to arrange payment and delivery and the use of the apparently independent Customer Sales making it all seem safe and secure. But that was of course to a false contact. Pretty lucrative to "sell" the same vehicle from one advert to maybe 20 or 30 people at £6K or £7K a time!
Guy W

You'd have to be very slow in the head to fall for that.

How stupid are people?

Or should I say.

How stupid people are!
Lawrence Slater

Maybe for you Lawrence, But the idea that Pistonheads (or any other recognised body such as the AA, RAC, HPI, Autotrader etc ) would have a department handling the sale of their customers' cars is very plausible. Especially of it links to an authentic looking web page which claims that buying via this process provides a secure method underwritten by the organisation! "Pay the money and we will hold it safely on your behalf until you have 5taken delivery and thoroughly inspected the car"
Guy W

Have you ever been caught this way then Guy? I bet not.
Lawrence Slater

A couple of strange things.

I remembered that the Gumtree ad said 'Lancashire' - I don't know how 'cause my memory is lousy! - whereas the ebay ad says 'Derbyshire'.

I've just found the Gumtree ad, as it was still open in a window on my PC. One thing that struck me as strange when I first saw it was the last statement - "Wait your mobile number"

It sort of stuck out like a sore thumb!

See image below...

Dave O'Neill2

Hmm, looks like we're on to something.

I've just done a search on 'wait your mobile number' on Gumtree and it has thrown up a number of car ads which have been cloned from ebay.

Here's an example...


Sold on ebay for £7350

Now on Gumtree for £3000
Dave O'Neill2

Another item.

Caravan that made £16800 on ebay but didn't make reserve

Gumtree for £7700
Dave O'Neill2

Nop, I've not been scammed over a car purchase. But there are some quite smart scams out there nowadays. Some very believable. Rather different class to the Nigerian "I've got XMillion$ and I want to share it with you!"

Pretty sure this one for the Midget was a Scam of some sort. Couldn't tell exactly what but the clue is always in a good looking deal at a price well below what the market price should be. Tempted? - then step this way and we will see what we can do you for.
Guy W

Maybe I'm just a cynic Guy.

I haven't trusted anyone since I was a kid, and the headmaster told me, when he was about to cane me, --

"Now bend over laddy, this is going to hurt me, more than it does you". Bloody liar. LOL. Mind, I did deserve it. heh heh.
Lawrence Slater

How about this '68, RWA? Retro fit or dodgy?
Lawrence Slater

saw that one the other day, looks like a rebuild with RWA wings as everything else looks correct for '68.
David Smith

It would seem that Gumtree are slightly more efficient than fleabay at removing scam adverts.

I reported four and they've removed three so far.
Dave O'Neill2

>>One thing that struck me as strange when I first saw it was the last statement - "Wait your mobile number"<< I saw that and wondered if it was a scam too but then forgot as I'm used to weeing my own poor typing and Prop's

just imagine Prop's advert and the details about head and dash work :

>>Anyone notice the unusal method of hood fitment?<< this is what happens when the Handbook isn't refered to :)

Nigel Atkins

I did think it was probably dodgy due to the 'wait your number' and the fact the price seemed too good. classic adage of if it seems to good to be true then it probably is!

Really want to get my hands on one before the summer
R Williams

Nigel, by hood fitment, I meant the fact that it wasn't attached by screws across the back of the cockpit.

The retainer strip has been deleted and durable dot fasteners (press-studs) used to secure the hood.

I would hate to think what would happen if you opened the side window while travelling at speed.
Dave O'Neill2

I first pointed out that the Gumtree one was almost certainly a scam at £2700. But that doesn't mean that the original version (at £4700) was. He was just the unfortunate individual who had had his advert and photos "lifted" by the scammer. The original was almost certainly a bona fide seller, although perhaps a bit hopeful at that price!
Guy W

I know, it was a joke :)

>>I would hate to think what would happen if you opened the side window while travelling at speed.<< I'd guess the air could just go through the gaps that normally would have been sealed by the retaining strip

I must admit I can't remember scrolling down to the photos at the bottom of the page to see things more clearly, perhaps they weren't on the previous advert or more likely I missed them

ETA: for Guy's post - yeap that seems likely, cut and paste, only adding the poor wording highlights the possibility of a scam
Nigel Atkins


This car is reasonably close to me and at a good price:

Round Wheel Arch too! I am concerned though by the state of the metal underneath the rear hood window.

Thoughts, as ever are gratefully welcomed!

R Williams

"I am concerned though by the state of the metal underneath the rear hood window."

That's no deal breaker Rylan. The cost of the new soft top it needs, judging by the duct tape, will be more than the cost of that surface rust and paint bubbling.

If that's all that's wrong, then it looks like a winner.

The operative word there is "if", so you need to go look see and drive it.

When are you going down there?

PS, shame it just misses tax exempt. You could wait for one of them to come along.
Lawrence Slater

Even I would be tempted at that price ;o)

Looks quite original.
Dave O'Neill2

the hood looks like it was fitted by poorly, the extra fittings were added near the windows whereas the velcro alone would have been better on this installation

the thing that concerns me is the paint - lovely colour and look good (in the photos) on the exterior but not so good in the engine bay, I wonder what the boot is like

I also wonder how the paint would last if the car isn't garaged

I get the feeling the car isn't used much at all and no mention of servicing or repairs so that may be reflected in its initial road performance - for this reason it might be worth Rylan experiencing a run or drive in it to compare with the rides he got before

quick notes I made looking at photos one at a time:

* rust before cill upsweep (both sides)

hood ripped at added fixing points (might be able to repair hood and rely on velcro?)

* hood looks a very tight fit

both front tyres flat (could suggest lack of use and care - and worst crime of all not having/following DH!)

'L's on numberplate(s)

* rust along rear hood retainer

passenger window goes too high (stop bolt missing?)

some very nitpicking points there that might mean nothing but might also be adding up to point towards other things - obviously the rust that can be seen and not seen is the main concern, I'd asked when it was resprayed or last painted in areas and based on answers or lack of I'd take a magnet with me (as I couldn't rely on my eyes)

if it's close it's worth a look and drive/ride if only for experience/knowledge/research or potential
Nigel Atkins

Look interesting.
Certainly worth a good look.

Check every and I do mean every panel gap!
They don't have to be perfect but if one is not you need to know why.
Drive it and see how it feels
Look for (quality of) previous welding
Age and state of tyres

Remember If you buy it to budget for a full proper service (cue Nigel).
Also keep in mind it might be wise to change safety critical items as
-tyres (could look great but be old and less grippy)
-brake pads, fluid and hoses
And some preventive dabs of paint, underseal or grease might do the body good

Don't do any mods until you have driven it a lot and made sure it is reliable and fun to drive.

Go for it!!
Onno K

heh heh. You guys kill me. :)

What do you want for a 34 year old 2 and half grand car, perfection?

Well maybe you do, but given how long Rylan intends to keep the car he buys, 2.5G is really not much at all.

If he pays 500 quid too much, has to do a bit of painting, finds a little rust, a bent panel, and a bit of filler, it aint gonna kill him.

Nigel, come on, who gives a stuff about the odd shape Ls on the number plates. What? 20 quid for a new set? If it really matters?

"the paint - lovely colour and look good (in the photos) on the exterior but not so good in the engine bay, --"

Bloody right too. I'm always wary of a car that has spotless paint in the engine bay. What that engine bay says to me is, --- this is a car that has been used, it's been kept clean, but nobody has tried to tart it up in the engine bay to fool you into thinking it's better than it is.

At 34 years old, I be surprised, if it's been driven for 168,000, ( that's the 68,000 on the clock, plus the other 99999 or more that it did ), if it 'hasn't' had a respray or been touched up.

"Most of the service History is present."

I don't think this ad/car is hiding anything.

It's more than worth a look, even if all the panel gaps aren't as per factory, and even if the owner can't tell you why.
Lawrence Slater

I don't want to get into a long correspondence here about our two most recent posts but to help Rylan I will reply to you

"calm down dear" do what you tell others to do - read what I've put

and just to, well I best say inform you, you wont get those plates for £20 or at all legally to use on the road

I saw the two altered at the front to fit the screw locations ??? but then same to rear what's that about ??? was this done by present or previous owner ??? is it a sign of other 'changes' ??? - I don't know but it is odd

the paint is perhaps falling/rubbing/lifting off in the engine bay as at the rear of hood so where else will this happen on the car if at all ???

one person's idea of most history being present is probably different to mine and your idea of that

as for 68,000 miles you know that means next to nothing, is that from new, if so so what, from last engine recon, last change of speedo??? - it's only use is to verify recent history (if available)

as for panel gaps if they were all good then that certainly not how it left the factory

I suggested that Rylan looks at the car - it could be a good car as you suggest and not the fur coat job I might be suggesting neither of us can tell from the limited information of the eBay ad

some very good points there you made :D
Nigel Atkins

One word nigel, not meant in anger or insult. :)


Of the people who post on here, you seem to have had an awful lot of things wrong with the cars you've bought. That kind of suggests to me that you really aren't best placed to suggest if that's a good car or not.

I've heard of some really silly reasons for not buying a car, but the shape of the L's on the number plates, is a lulu. So maybe he cobbled them together himself coz he's a cheap wad like me. And if it's a ringer, his neck is a long way out, with the car on his drive and his telephone number in the ad.

Wise up Nige.

PS £19.95

Lawrence Slater

Or 17 quid here.
Lawrence Slater

I've not said don't buy the car, I have put that things like I've put might mean nothing

and you are quite right I'm not ANYWHERE near being placed to advise if the car is good or not and I've done neither here

however because I have bought cars with problems and continued to have problems with these and other cars I've owned I do know it's best and less expensive to avoid as much as possible when buying or at the start of ownership

Rylan's already had one not so good experience of Midget ownership so he's partly trodden the path you prefer and I doubt he can afford the mistakes I made so best that he avoids as many of them as he can

numberplates - I didn't even think of the car being a ringer or even the guy being a tight wad like you

but I am surprised you forgot about the availability of those types of plates after discussions here on the subject - you forgot, made a mistake and was wrong about it, don't worry I do that all the time
Nigel Atkins

"but I am surprised you forgot about the availability of those types of plates after discussions here on the subject - you forgot, made a mistake and was wrong about it, don't worry I do that all the time"

Why did you even mention them at all then? I have no idea what you're talking about Nigel. I don't recall ever discussing number plates to that extent.

As for legal, my front one is a stick on, made with cheap black plastic backing, and white letters from an art shop. They are irrelevent to the car being good or not.
Lawrence Slater

A couple of points...

The engine bay looks very original and unpainted IMHO, apart from a bit of overspray on the loom, which could be from when the OSF wing was replaced - which it has been.

The 'L's on the numberplates look fine to me and are probably the original plates. I don't think they've been altered, just the style of the letters.

I'm impressed by the fact that it even has the correct slotted screws holding the front wing on.

It's not perfect, but it's not expensive. It could be used and improved.

As I said earlier, I could be tempted...if I was in the market for a Midget!
Dave O'Neill2

I only mentioned them as a bodge in one area could mean a bodge in other areas - or it might not

I've not said it makes a car good or not

we have slightly (not as much as you think) different ideas about buying and running these cars, no doubt the optimum of our views for Rylan are somewhere between

to get the same style of plates and numbers you'd have to say they were for not for road use - note your first hyperlink had A1 show plates :)

you can put new styles plates on

anyway I wasn't going to get into debate - you have proved me weak

ETA: there you go whilst I was typing someone with great knowledge than me (that's almost everyone) has posted, I've never seen that style of L and just thought they'd been altered when I saw the first photo - I am younger (than L) remember :)
Nigel Atkins

in my defense (to myself of course) I've only got a small monitor (and poor eyes)

is there any way of making the photos larger - I used the magnifier bit

I did not the over spray but forgot about and the squashed up temp gauge tube and clean looking spark plugs

a more original car make suit a more experienced owner more (or it may not), it doesn't look like it gets too much use but that's only how it looks (to me) and I could be wrong so perhaps a longer ironing out period
Nigel Atkins

I like it too Dave, and I'm closer than you lol. So if Rylan isn't keen ---- maybe ?

That car hasn't been played around with, it might just be a real gem.
Lawrence Slater

I wouldn't mind at all if my car looked as good as that one! If I was in the market to buy, I would certainly take a look at it. Unless specifically looking for a show car then that would be a good daily driver candidate; so long as the spring hangers and rear bulkhead are sound underneath!

Looks to me like a good sound car. If it needs a few things tidying up then that shouldn't put you off. In a way having to fettle a few things when you first get a new car is added interest!

If bought, then it would be worth getting a Heritage certificate - with a first registered date of 1 June the build date could just possibly have been pre 1 January 1973. Its build date, not registration date that gives the tax exempt qualification.
Guy W

Yup agreed about having a few things to do to it creating interest. Kind of a bond, a real sense of ownership because you have to put some of your own effort into it. That's probably the major reason I like old cars, the fact that you can personalise them, by fixing and adjusting the small things.

So there are at least 2 that Rylan should look at imo. The kingston 1275 and this one. I'd be happy with either.

Looking at the lists on the various classic car sales sites, -- not just ebay -- I'm amazed at how many there are out there, and very reasonably priced for good ones too. Of course many are the later 1500's but there's a fair smattering of 1275s and a few 1098's too.

Very few sprites though compared to Midgets, and the Sprites are more expensive, esp obviously the frogs.

PS, can the build date be garnered from the chassis or body numbers?
Lawrence Slater


Another way of enlarging images is to hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while using the scroll button on the mouse to resize the image.

Ray Rowsell


Someone has, in the past, listed the last chassis number of 1972.

It should be in the archives somewhere, if only it was easy to search ;o)

It may be in Horler's OSM
Dave O'Neill2

Terry Horler noted in a 'Mascot' that below GAN5129951 being the tax free cut off.

I think its worth a look - seems quite original - front wings have sdditional bolt holes and some 'padding strip' around the bonnet surround.

I would give it a look if I was in the Market and the colour is slowly growing on me - did not like it 'in the day'

If Lawrence can also give it a look over that would be very useful as often minor things can appear worrying if your not in the know.

richard boobier

Thanks dave I'll search the archives.

One I have in my mind is GAN5138557G, so I guess that's too late.

I don't mind a trip to folkstone. Either as a free-loading passenger, or if Ryan wants to sort my petrol costs, we can blast down in my Sprite?
Lawrence Slater

thanks a lot that's one I'll be using again

am I total wrong about this - if the car is original as it seems and the paint is as good as it seems (but what about the crinkely bits) then even allowing for the poor roof wouldn't the sales price usually be higher?

as I put at the start it's worth a look (and it was Rylan that wanted close remember) it could be a good buy or it might not, we're all going on the advert only until the car has been seen

and L is right I'd not be one of the best people to know either way
Nigel Atkins

Hi Nigel,

I agree, it looks cheap(ish), but consider --

It's winter, there are quite a few for sale. Add to that, that whilst all of us may be Spridget mad, we are a fairly small target market, and there are more Spridgets for sale than people who want them. Spring, summer, it might well fetch more, but maybe the seller needs the dosh sooner than that.

Sad fact is, Spridgets ain't worth that much. People spend a lot on them, but you can't get the money back as a whole car.

I just bought a '73 rwa in need of some work. The engine and box alone, which are in great condition, on their own are worth almost as much as I paid for the whole car. But the car's way too good to scrap. On the road with a MOT it still won't be worth more than the sum of it's parts. 1 new front wing these days is circa 400 quid, but a whole car just doesn't go for much these days, even if it should.

That's just how it is. People who already have them need/want the spares, but not a whole car, however good, as they have nowhere to keep it for spares, and little desire to buy one for spares anyway.

Yup of course we're going on the ad, and it could all be lies. Somehow though I doubt it is lies, and that's a pucker little Midget in my book, -- until a visual and a physical tells me otherwise.
Lawrence Slater

PS, and there's a warning. If the prices stay cheap, the cheap and good ones might just get bought up for spares and scrapped, by those who see the investment potential, and have the space to do something about it.
Lawrence Slater

I don't think it's lies, and it doesn't say that much anyway

I wasn't trying to be skeptical or cynical just logical and perhaps wary

I do understand the principles of buying and selling and business but am not up on the ever moving values of these or any cars

in one way Spridget like many 'classics' are just over priced/valued old cars

I'm not classic car insular and have generally spent more on my cars than they are worth sometimes in 12 months and buy dear, sell cheap, I'm a buyer's and seller's dream

I hope Rylan takes up your offer (or goes with someone else) as you certainly wont be going with rose-tinted specs
Nigel Atkins

" dear, sell cheap, I'm a buyer's and seller's dream"

How much for yours, Nigel?
Dave O'Neill2

We are all going by what can be seen on the advert. What else is there at this stage? !

Personally I just think it wrong to speculate and try to read too much into what can or cannot be very clearly seen in the photos on e-bay adverts. If it looks promising - and I would say this one does, - and is reasonably accessible, then the only way of judging is to go and look.

My point was rather different. There are some who seek to buy a near-perfect car that needs no attention because they don't like having to "fix" things. And I suspect you are one of those. Other (like me, maybe Lawrence?) actually enjoy doing some repairs and for those some minor fettling is part of the interest or challenge. Where Rylan is on that spectrum, I am not sure!
Guy W

(you heartless person taking advantage of the weak) many could afford to buy it, few could afford to maintain it (well if they do what I do and have my experiences)

my previous Spridget went to a dealer and I later found out there were dodgy doings with the 2 thick files of history and receipts and few spare bits and bobs as that dealer immediately passed it on to any (dodgy) dealer

also you missed my question on the other thread Ė what carbs were on your car when it was registered then as presumably they were considered the best for the regs at the time, unless the car didnít have to meet those regs but earlier ones so would be a more ideal carb for the car
Nigel Atkins

there is only the advert to go on why is why Iíve repeatedly put to go and view, test drive/ride the car

you have to judge every advert or youíd have to view every car, I put they were just notes, thoughts which as they have can be questioned, Rylan asked for views, if he doesnít want mine that fine I wonít be offended (that may surprise some)

the only near perfect cars Iíve ever bought have been Japanese, you know I expect a fair bit of work to need to be done on even the very good cars, want a list :

as for near perfect, I wish

Iíll repeat again Rylanís already had one less-than-great experience of Spridget ownership so trying to get the best possible is even more important

If youíd sooner I shut up just email me if you donít want to say so here, I wonít be offended or hold it against you, we donít all have to always agree

Nigel Atkins

Nigel, you are being paranoid. I wasn't criticising or arguing with you. Just saying that different people have different requirements or standards. I suspect even my "near perfect" is a different evaluation to yours!

But I knew you would bite!
Guy W

At the risk of deviating form the thread again, Nigel...

My B was/is fitted with a single HIF6. It did have a low compression N. American spec engine too, as it was used to develop the US emissions equipment. The last Bs ended up with a single ZS CD175.

I had considered reverting to twin HS/HIF4s, but I might give the HIF6 another go with a UK-spec high compression engine and one of Peter Burgess's Econotune heads.

[trying desperately to drag it back nearer the topic] father had a Limeflower Morris 1300 back in 1971, so I quite like the colour of the Folkestone Midget! ;o)
Dave O'Neill2

cheers Dave, I just wondered

back on topic I like the colour too

and Guy it shows a character flaw in you that you take advantage of such a fragile mind as mine

am I paranoid though or are people really out to get me, no I think some are out to get everyone not just me

my problem is, you may be surprised to learn, I'm too trusting
Nigel Atkins

Guy, you nailed me. I like fixing things too, and that's why -- I think, see below-- I've just ended up with a 2nd Midget. A '73RWA that needs more work than I suspect Rylan would be happy with. However, Rylan, if you're still reading this saga, and would like to see it, you're welcome to come over and take a butchers.

It's a VERY odd thing.
It was Rylan who made me buy it in a way. He posted a link to a gumtree car, and it turned out not to be there. -- way back down the thread. Anyway, out of curiosity, I scrolled down the lists of the cars that were there, and there was this '73 RWA in a colour that wasn't to my liking, but I thought maybe Rylan might like it. Then reading the details and looking at all the pics, I figured Rylan wouldn't want so much work, but I smelled a profit from breaking it. So I went to see it, and it's too good to break. So on a whim, I decided to buy it, and I did.

Without me realising it, until I was handing over the money, I bought this RWA Midget, on the same day in November(19th), as I bought my Sprite way back on the 19th November 1977. Exactly 35 years to the day. Could have been in my subconscious to do this I suppose, but for the life of me, I promise you, I didn't really want another one, and yet I have one now. lol.

As for Lime green, it's funny how time changes one. A bloke i worked with had an Austin 11 or 1300 in that colour with a navy blue interior. In the mornings, when I had a hangover, it used to make me feel sick. But I think that Midget wears it well. :)
Lawrence Slater

Just to let you all know I am still reading this saga!
R Williams


Can we see your new purchase?
Dave O'Neill2

Just for you Dave. :)

Lawrence Slater

hi lawrence.
nice colour,? is that what they call vinyl wrap, that all the footballers have done to their cars :) if it is i think you better complain.

OK, here it is. Be kind. You wouldn't want to hurt its feelings. Would you? LOL.

Lawrence Slater

looks a nice little project.keep your eyes open as im looking for another one as well.

Do you want a 1500 project bob? I know one coming up (probably). BRG, by all accounts needs very little doing, and won't be that expensive.
Lawrence Slater

hi lawrence.
i prefer chrome bumper models although i have done 2 1500s in the past. would have to be very cheap though. the 2 i had were very nice and didnt need a lot doing to them 1 was 1k and other 1175. used them for a while till i found the 1 i wanted which i have now. made nice profit as well which was a bonus. paid for the one i have now.

I'll ask.
Lawrence Slater


This could be up your street then:

MK1 midget one owner stored for 40 years apparently. I would love it but it would need more work than I have money :(
R Williams

although I am seriously tempted as it looks pretty good!
R Williams

Looks like it needs a lot of work and the seller is's been off the road for 29 years, according to DVLA.
Dave O'Neill2

My parents have agreed to me at least viewing it, so things are looking up!
R Williams

Odd that it's so cheap. Either it's in a very poor way, or the seller doesn't know what he has.

If it's been dry stored, then it could be very good indeed. On the other hand, if it's only been off the road for 29 years, that gave it a lot of time on the road to accumulate all the rust in the world.

As always, only one way to find out, and esp' as it's so local.
Lawrence Slater

If you notice the yellow chalk inside the OSF wheelarch, it looks like it failed an MoT due to fibreglassed repairs. I doubt it is just in one place.
Dave O'Neill2

looks to long a project that one but this looks a little gem if you dont mind travelling. would defo had this if closer to home.

and this.

Yup those are nice.

The frogs been declined, I bet that will eventually go for pretty good money.

The 65 midget looks a cracker, and I bet that will go for good money too. Although at the moment it's still looking cheap for my money, with 18 hours left to go, and no reserve it seems. Shame it's oooop north, I'd be interested too.
Lawrence Slater

the frog has sold..
what does the rwa car that you just purchased look like now you had chance to look it over. does it look like any major jobs.
being nosey. bob.

Hi bob,

Actually it gets better and better. The more I look, the less it needs doing. Minor welding/mechanicals. I got lucky here. I'll draft a list and maybe start a thread for it.

I'm still undecided about either:

a)Doing nothing, other than cleaning and tidying, waiting till spring, and upping the price I paid for an effort free profit.

b)Doing essentials for an mot, and selling it for a bigger profit.

c)Doing essentials for an mot, and keeping it for the gf.

d)Very unlikely as I think it deserves better (I must be going soft), breaking it for a decent profit. Has a cracking engine, box, diff and no really serious rust. where there is rust is only minor welding and doesn't need any new sections.

My gut says, put it back on the road with an mot, for a small profit, just for the pleasure of seeing it driven away to be improved and kept by someone.

PS. Looks way better without the ugly rollover bar in it.
Lawrence Slater


I would personally go for option B or C!

It would be nice if your gf had it, you would both own a spridget!
R Williams

Yup, I think your right Rylan.

Guess what. Reason the engine stopped today, was the fuel pump stopped. The reason the fuel pump stopped, was a broken earth wire at the pump. Amazing, I drove it all the way from London, and that wire could have broken on the way. Nice of it to wait till I got home. :)

Running nicely again now though. :)

Lawrence Slater

That was rather lucky Lawrence, at least you found out what it was!

the MK1 Midget near me has been sold :(
R Williams

Bad luck. There's others out there though, so I wouldn't worry.
Lawrence Slater

This thread was discussed between 04/11/2012 and 25/11/2012

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