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Hi there. I'm a new list member, and a new Midget owner.
After spending most of my life (from '86 to '98) driving Toyotas (from a
'77 Celica to an '87 Celica GT-S to a '90 Celica GT convertible to a '93
MR2 MkII), I decided it was time to get a real car... so I bought a '76
Midget. Last week.
The idea wasn't totally out of the blue--when I was growing up, my father
went through a wide range of little British and Italian cars (MGB, Fiat
850, Midget, Fiat 124, Fiat X-1/9), and for some reason the Midget always
appealed to me more than the others (maybe because the 850 caught fire and
the X-1/9 had a problem with the roof falling off?).
It's black with gold trim and wheels, black leather seats and top. It's in
pretty good shape, especially for $2000--the body is beautiful, and the
engine runs smoothly--but there are a few minor issues.
It needs a speedometer cable, the top has a minor tear and needs to be
replaced, and it's pretty rattly over rough terrain (like Sunset Blvd.
during all the cable installation that's been going on recently).
The first day I had the car, driving to the DMV to do the whole ownership
transfer thing, I was approached at a stoplight twice, once by a little
boy, and once by four little kids--one of whom asked "Is that a toy car?"
When I said "Yes," he asked if he could drive it... I suppose I should have
Why is it that I see a lot more little cars driving around my neighborhood
(Hollywood near the West Hollywood border) than in the suburbs, but a lot
more for sale in the suburbs?
Anyway, a few questions for the list:
Is there a FAQ somewhere that I should read?
Are there a bunch of links that can get me started searching for Spridget
info on the net?
Where can I get a repair manual and an owner's manual?
Where's the best place near me for parts?
Is there a good mail-order source for parts (or more than one)?
Who's the best professional mechanic near me?
Why doesn't anyone make a car this great anymore?
Any hints on the ricketiness going over bumps?
Is it worth converting the suspension to something more modern? Are there
kits for that? Are they a good deal? How hard is it?
Is there a reasonably easy way to improve the brakes?
I'm thinking about getting another little car (so at least one will always
be driveable...). I have a feeling I'm going to get a biased answer on this
list, but I'll ask anyway. Here's some of the cars I've been looking for;
compare and contrast (or just flame me for even thinking about ___): Bugeye
Sprite, another 1500cc Midget, MGB, Lotus Elan, Triumph (not sure which
model), or maybe leaving England for a Fiat Spider 2000, Fiat X-1/9, Alfa
Spider, Datsun 1600, 240Z, or maybe a MkI MR2.
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