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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Center Console Suggestions...


I am now looking for a few ideas on "maximizing" the use of the center console area. The original radio was missing when I bought it, plus now the surface is discolored (perhaps some surface oxidation...) – and the original cigar lighter is missing. Nothing is properly wired behind the console but the hazard warning switch works fine. The cockpit / trunk interior separator piece has NOT been tampered with by cutting holes into it for radio speakers that a lot of previous owners always like to do... Yet another reason to NOT add a functioning radio...

My question is: Is there any value to additional instrumentation, if so – what might you suggest? I really don’t want to look at any more gauges than necessary – especially if they provide non-critical information. Can you say vacuum gauge? Yikes!

Since I don’t smoke cigars [and neither does the wife...] there may be some value to adding 12V power for a cell phone charger or Ipod connection, etc.

Also, I have seen various "blanking plates" for the radio opening that feature the MG logo – but don’t know how cheesy they look. Anyone out there have one – is the metal and finishing decent?

This would be the last part of my interior project for the summer.

Thanks for any input on this topic...

Mike “radio-less in Buffalo”

Mike Pelone

What I'm doing is cannibalising a 1970's radio to output stereo and take a mini jack input for iPod. The speaker cover will fold down to reveal the docking station for said iPod powered from the cigarette lighter. Modern sound. Classic look. You can always recover the console with upholstering vinyl which I will be using on the dash and console. Just a suggestion...
James Ballard

I did my console and dash at the same time. I wanted to add oil temperature and pressure gauges, replace the other gauges, and centralize all the switches. I stripped the console, a little bondo on the seams, patched holes no longer used, and sprayed with hammer-finish paint. The gauge and switch panels are held on with screws for easy removal. I installed a 12V outlet, foot lights in the side, LED lights and a switch for the lights. Of course I ended up rewiring the entire dash which was a pain in the a**. Ended up install a voltage gauge too.

Radio? maybe thru the dash - still undecided.


Bud K


Thanks for the picture...You probably have more rockers [switches that is...] than the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland!

Those nice looking new gauges do NOT appear to be Smiths (?)...where did you source them from?

Also - I am thinking about removing the old (and peeling) vinyl covering and may get some estimates on powder coating the console. I think a more durable flat black finish would not be too distracting although a crinkle finish might be interesting...

In your picture, I can't see where those side lights are located. When I replaced my lower door hinges, I did not replace those small door plunger switches that activate any interior courtesy lights so mounting smaller lights on the side of the console to illuminate the foot wells might be a better use of the center console than more gauges. I will have to think about that one...The power supply lead to the old cigarette lighter is probably dangling there.

Do you remember what power supply wire (by color) you used to power those interior lights? Did you add any in-line fuses?

Thanks for any further tips & tricks...

Mike P.
Buffalo, NY
Mike Pelone

Definitely value to extra instrumentation, what to choose depends on what one considers important. After deciding not to install the Smiths dual gauge I chose oil pressure, voltage and air/fuel ratio, as I am enjoying the heck out of fine-tuning the jetting on my Weber DGV and am still playing with it and want to see the effects of small changes.

You wouldn't really be "adding" a 12v power source as it appears your car already has one on the radio console (cig lighter), and perhaps the wires are still there for it.

Can't help with the blanking plates but it appears Bud K. did a gorgeous job making his own in his pic above. Very pretty job.

The pic below shows a box I fabricated from 22 gauge sheet metal to replace the radio console: across the top: Replacement flasher switch, fog lamps (mounted to the bottom of the rubber bumpers), footwell lamp switch, one lamp visible on the right side of the box (the lamp is the standard license plate lamp available at any auto parts supplier), "cigarette lighter" aka cell phone charger, and manual choke pull. 3 gauges on bottom row as mentioned above.

Note the missing glove box, I intend to fabricate a open shelf there, and probably use the left side of said shelf to mount a radio unit (easily reachable from the driver's position), I'm just having too much fun driving this year to do any actual work on the car.


Richard Reeves


The lights are in the side of the console, here's a link to what I installed;

I wired in a 3 way switch and kept the door plungers, and put 2 small three light LED's up where they are hidden by the dash overhang.

I get some better pictures if needed.

The gauges are aftermarket Autometer Z-series.
The wiring for the lights was the original for the console light, I can check the color when I get home. Hope this helps.

Bud K

voltmeterd several wires that have been "dead ended" that probably connected to the door plunge switches. However, I like the idea of adding two smaller lights to illuminate the foot wells. These lights can be operated by a toggle (flip) switch on the console
Mike Pelone

the existing courtesy light wiring should be purple. there will be a purple with white tracer, a solid purple, and a black(ground) wire that originally went to the console light. the purple/white wire would have been connected to the door switches (which have never worked on my car since i've owned it). I just switch the light on and off from the console.

Chris Edwards

This thread was discussed between 27/09/2010 and 28/09/2010

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