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

 

Your Comments

Below are some of the reactions, comments and queries received via the Feedback Form. I should be very pleased to receive your own comments, queries and any information and photos you can provide relating to the Jacobs and other special MG Midgets. Just go to Feedback and send your message.
Thank you.

Name Date Subject Comment
Pat Harris 25 May 2015 MILL GARAGE Hi MartiMill Garagen,
I've just seen the mention of the Mill Garage in Woodford which brought back a lot of memories, as I only lived about 2 miles away. This was my local BMC dealer and although I didn't own a sports car myself at the time my Morris Minor 1000 had all the 'Sprite bits', so regular visits ensued.
Anyway I thought this page from a book titled  'Woodford then and now' might be of interest. The photo at the bottom is as it is now, taken from roughly the same spot.

Regards Pat Harris.
Dennis Wharf 22 May 2015 MILL GARAGE Hi Martin, What a lovely picture,(see 'news' page) I've never seen it before, looks like Dick at the wheel. Having bought my first MG in 1971, a Mineral Blue Midget registration XYK 824G and being an Essex resident, the Mill Garage became my first stop for spares etc.  Seeing this picture was a real memory jerker, for the forecourt and buildings remained unaltered until being demolished in 1975 to make way for the M11. By that time I'd met Dick a couple of times, and had been shown all around the place, and all the racing stuff he'd collected over years and kept in the office.  Great times, thanks Martin. Cheers Den
Mike Wylie 3 Aug 2013 Craigantlet & alloy-bodied Midgets

Hi Martin,
The Start Line of Craigantlet Hill climb is about 100 yards from my house, and readily accessible if I take a shortcut through the garden of a neighbour’s house.   Today was the Centenary of this event and I wandered up rather late in the day to watch the final runs including the ‘run-off’ for those competing in the  RAC Hillclimb Championship.   The first person who greeted me was Dr. George McCrea, who was leaving as I arrived, and it gave me the opportunity to ask him about the alloy Midget, which he seemed happy to do.   He told me that (it) had been first registered PMO 200, and was re-registered GGY 161J.   Straight from the man who still owns it and confirmed that it is alloy, but please respect that enquiries from others would be insensitive. 

Trevor McIlroy was competing with his Sebring Replica, and there were a couple of local Midgets with largish K-series engines (one was 1800), and Michael Adams, the son of Ronnie Adams who won the 1956 Monté Carlo Rally in a Jaguar Mk.VII, in the Spitfire-engined Midget he has used for similar events for many years.   I imagine Trevor will be contributing a suitable report, and I wasn’t in a position to take photographs, but at least this adds to your alloy-bodied knowledge. 

Cheers for now, Michael.

Shaun Taylor 7 Dec 2011 138 DJB

Hi, My father, John Taylor (Jock) worked at Caledonian Motors,  Leven, Fife as foreman for Bill Shepherd and Peter Stewart. He and Tom Westwood looked after John Milne's cars. He regailed us with stories of Croft ,Ingliston, the Rest-and-be-Thankful, etc He even went with the car to the Nurburgring for a relay race. He rated Milne as a very good driver...clever.  He loved that car.

My father lost touch with the car but we used to sprint at Ingliston in the 80's and my Dad got excited about a trailer .... saying it was the one he built for Milne's Midget... turned out he was right and it was  carrying James Willis's Morgan... eagled-eyed my Dad. Then  one Saturday afternoon in the 90's we were in the workshops of SMT in Perth looking at a road car for me when I found him taking a tarpaulin off a car in the corner and getting excited, it was Milne's car...in a bit of a state mind but being restored.

Finally we were at Knockhill Speed Fair in 2006 when we spotted the restored car and met James, they had fun looking at all my Dad's still-existing handywork. He died a year later.

Some of the stories about putting the spare engine in his road Morris Minor are legendary, if possibly illegal!!!!!!! You may use this on 'your comments' page if you wish...there were loads more stories ~ like the one before (he had) the trailer, when they used to tow the car on the road on the end of a rigid tow-pole all over the country. When the A35 pick-up ran out of grunt on the hills, or for overtaking when going to the Rest-and-be-Thankful or down to Croft, the engine on the Midget would be started (up) to push !!!!!!!  ~ frightening.

Enjoyed sharing, Shaun Taylor

David Bruzas 18 Nov 2011 Brabham Midget

Hello Martin, Thank you for the e-mails re the Brabham brakes.I think that during its life (approx 8 owners) it must have been upgraded. It was fitted with later type uprights for caliper mounting. I assume that the early Lockheed thin disc set-up would have used a calliper mounting casting ?
My dilemma is should I, for originality, re-install the early brakes or keep the current type. I am not sure about the efficiency of the early type,compared with the later type.
With your agreement I would like to copy this e-mail to Jonathan. 
Thank you for your help and interest with my project,kind regards  David
P.S. It may well be that during the long hibernation (12 years ) some parts were taken for another car or random parts were added to the pile? It is now not possible to check.

David Bruzas 17 Nov 2011 Damaged Jacobs Midget

I just read the article (p.4, btm RH corner) re: the comment about the damaged car. I was at the same meeting The Jacobs transporter was double deck and most other transporters were single, we arranged a transporter race after the meeting was over and made one lap of the circuit. It all came to a sudden end when the top car became wedged under the old arched bridge, all the officials had left before we had the escapade.

I think that enough time has elapsed so it seems OK to tell the tail. I was running the Marcos for Tommy Weber.

Kind regards  David.

Jonathan Whitehouse-Bird 17 Nov 2011 Brabham Midget

Hi Martin,
Great to see the progress on David Bruzas' Brabham Midget Climax - 751 VPF.  I couldn't help but notice that in the 2nd photo in the series, depicting Jack Brabham looking into the engine compartment during 1961, that interestingly it shows that the Lockheed tandem master cylinder has an extended cover - similar to that fitted to the production MGA.   The 7th photo in the series features a disc brake set up that was probably included in the pile of 'bits' that came with VPF - a pair of standard, production, Lockheed calipers and disc(s).  Sadly (and it maybe that David is already aware of this), the standard, production, Lockheed caliper/disc brake set up wasn't fitted to the Sprite and Midget until October 1962.  Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the calipers and discs shown in 'Photo 7' were fitted to VPF during 1961 - the year of its Climax conversion.  Prior to October 1962, the only Lockheed disc brake arrangement available for the 'Spridget' (using the tandem master cylinder) was the Lockheed 'Thin Disc' set up marketed and sold by the Donald Healey Motor Co., during 1961.  This was produced as a more cost effective disc brake conversion, requiring less work to fit, when compared with the previous Girling disc brake/wire wheel arrangement that Healeys had used to define its Sebring Sprites.  The 'Thin Disc' set up featured smaller calipers than those used later on the production Spridget, and the conversion allowed for both the fitting of wire or standard steel wheels.
It is reasonable to conclude that VPF - given its pre-Oct. '62 conversion date, combined with the 'evidence' in photo 2 showing the extended master cylinder cover - originally had a Lockheed 'Thin Disc' set up fitted at the same time as its Climax conversion.  This would have been a necessary and wise decision, providing additional stopping power over the drum brakes all-round arrangement fitted as standard on the production model.  I'll send a separate email with an attachment showing a press release announcing the 'Thin Disc' set up, which makes for an interesting read.  If David requires additional information about the 'Thin Disc' arrangement - including photos - I can offer further help if necessary. 
Cheers, Jonathan 

Peter J D Smith 19 Sept 2011 "An MG Experience" by Dick Jacobs

Recently Paddy Willmer sent me a photograph of Dick Jacobs following my request for any photographs he may wish to share for inclusion in my FaceBook Album - Goodwood Revisited. I captioned the photograph thus: This An MG Experiencephotograph is a second-in-time at the start of a Handicap Race at Goodwood sometime in the 50s . . . . the Scratch car, No 1, is Dick Jacobs's M.G. . . . . the photo was taken by Guy Griffiths and contributed by Paddy Willmer . . . . The contents of your excellent website has raised my interest in Dick Jacobs. Jacobs wrote a book entitled "An MG Experience". I wonder whether you would be able to source a copy for me so that I may have the opportunity of learning more of this interesting man and his Team. Kind regards Peter
[I have since sourced and despatched a copy of the book to Peter]