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Reflecting on three rather special racing MG Midgets of the 1960's

 

Transporter
The cars on the BMC transporter
(photo: reproduced by kind permission of the BMIHT)
Transporter 2 Note the additional lamps recessed into the front of the bodywork for the long-distance events.
Sebring
Waiting to be loaded at Abingdon for Florida
Targa
In the pits on the Targa
(Photo: Bill Price)
Nurburgring
1965 Nurburgring 1000 kms
(Photo: Bill Price)
Enever Brands
On one occasion Roger Enever borrowed one of the cars for a long-circuit race at Brands Hatch. He reports that the Panhard rod came adrift in practice and the bracket had to be welded back on. [photo (?) Motoring News]

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As Bill Price explains in his book "The BL/BMC Competition Department":

"One project undertaken by the MG Development Department under Syd Enever which was eventually to be of benefit to the Competitions Department was the construction in 1962 of three MG Midget Coup├ęs. The shape of the aluminium bodies was developed from wind tunnel tests with the structure based on the steel production Midget floorpan. The aluminium panels were assembled using a combination of epoxy resin and rivets, the final weight being over 300lbs lighter than a production Midget. Two of the cars wewre loaned to Dick Jacobs who raced them successfully mainly in club events but at the end of 1964 they were returned to the factory where we took them over and prepared them for the 12 Hour Race at Sebring".

Body modifications:
The cars were now fitted with jacking points at front and rear, for quick-lift jacks, and a pair of small additional rear lights. At the front, the MGB style side-flasher lamps were changed to small flashing indicators, the side-lights then being incorporated within the headlights. This gave enough space for recesses to be formed in the front bodywork to house a pair of spotlights. The spots were later removed and the apertures fitted with covers. The air outlets in the sides of the front wings had been added sometime between the '62 and '63 seasons' racing. Another minor mod' was the aluminium gutter fitted above the rear window.

Sebring 12 Hours - 27th March 1965
One of the cars (No.68) was entered for Andrew Hedges and Roger Mac, while sharing the other (No.82) were Chuck (Charles) Tannlund and John Wagstaff. The 68 car came home 26th while the Tannlund/Wagstaff car retired after only 7 laps with a con-rod failure. Bill Price describes how after 10 hours "the sky then darkened and the heavens opened with a storm the like of which the locals had not seen before. Within minutes the track and pits were under water, but to everyone's amazement the race was not stopped".

The 1965 Targa FlorioTarga 65
Drivers: Paddy Hopkirk/Andrew Hedges (No.44) Team Principal: Dick Jacobs They finished 11th overall and 2nd in class to an Abarth-Simca. At the finish they were still on the same lap as the winning Ferrari 275 P2 of Vaccerella and Bandini.(Side exhaust fitted, right)

The 1965 Nurburgring 1000kms (770 BJB) - 23rd May
Drivers: Andrew Hedges/Keith Greene (No.98) finished 27th and 4th in class.

771After this final season of competition the cars were finally laid up in 1966 before being offered to Syd Beer in whose family they remain to this day. For the full story see Dennis Wharf's excellent article published in Safety Fast in 2011.

 

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