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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Engine number confusion

This is a thread for very sad people! The Heritage Certificate for my 1970 midget states the engine number was 12CD-DA-H/12154 when produced. This was one letter different from the actual number on the engine and on the registration document i.e. 12CEDAH/12154. For several years I assumed the Heritage Certificate was correct and the registration document had an error (perhaps dating back to the many changes of ownership in the pre-computer record age). However, I was reading Horler's fantastic book and he states that engines with numbers starting 12CD were made for the US market and 12CE for 'not North America'. The 12CE engines would embrace Jan 68 to Aug 71 so are consistent with a car produced in 1970 (while CD engines ended in Aug 69). Moreover, the car was delivered new to a Birmingham dealer with a UK registration so was definately a UK and not North American job.

I had thought to correct the DVLA record based on the Heritage Certificate but I now think that the HC is incorrect. The easiest thing for me is to leave well alone and stick with the number in the reg document but I'm just curious - has my engine number actually got one letter (the D) too many? How could the Heritage record be wrong? Does anyone understand these numbers?

Chris H (1970 Midget 1275)

Heritage cert is wrong; you say engine has original plate on it? then what's the question again, plate cannot be wrong. Format and decoding of full engine number is not rocket science, a few seconds with google will tell you all you want to know and more.
David Smith

Austin Healey Sprite Mk1 948cc 9CG or 9CC
Sprite Mk2/ MG Midget Mk1 1098cc 10CG
Sprite Mk3/ MG Midget Mk2 1098cc 10CC ( 2" main bearings.)
Sprite Mk4/ MG Midget Mk3 1275cc 12CC or 12CE home market
.. .. .. 12CD or 12CJ N. America
.. .. .. after Oct '72, 12V/586F/H home market
.. .. .. .. 12V/671Z/L N. America

Copied from Neil Cairns notes MGCC member and world authority on BMC engines :) How lucky we are to have enthusiasts that document this info and gives us all access.

From Neil's info I think you have to assume your heritage cert is wrong (not unusual human error and all) and your engine number is as on the engine and the reg doc and is a 12CE

Here is a link to Neils engine info
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

Thanks for the link to Neil's engine info. I think that settles it - the Heritage Certificate is wrong.

Chris H (1970 Midget 1275)

My 1275 midget, first registered 28-3-1972 has an engine number 12v586fh271....Does this mean it is not the original engine ?

Alan cotterill

Alan, not at all, it's original; unfortunately Neil Cairns (so-called world authority) is also wrong. I have pesonal records of at least 6 RWA Midgets from Jan 72 build onwards, all of which had 12V/586F prefixes. I reckon your VIN number is close to GAN5/ 116000 ?
David Smith

Thanks for the reply, my vin is gan5 116283g, so hopefully the engine is the original.

Alan cotterill

My last road Midget - registered June '72 - had its original 12V586FH engine.
Dave O'Neill 2

You ought to tell Neil then David? :)
Robert (Bob) Midget Turbo

This thread was discussed between 05/10/2010 and 08/10/2010

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