Cobra Killer? Swift 1972 MG Midget Racer

If you’ve been around the classic car hobby for any length of time, you’ve probably heard the names Holman and Moody. They are two of the more popular names in the performance industry and have had their hands in countless race cars over the years beginning in the mid-1950s. When it comes to power-to-weight ratios, it’s hard to beat a very small car with a V8. This was Carroll Shelby’s idea with the Cobra and seems to be the same principle that was applied to this 1972 MG Midget. It can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $25,000, which seems like a reasonable price. Wearing license plates from Great Britain, the car is currently located in Lenoir, North Carolina. Check out the details for yourself and thanks to Pat L. for the tip on this cool racer!

In case you think this car is posing as a race car or it has a few racy bolt-on items to look the part, you’d be wrong. It features a full tube chassis with a custom coil-over suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and a racing drive train. You can also see it has custom low-profile tires and wheels which look like stock steel wheels. It also has a front splitter, driving lights, cowl hood and tons of louvers.

As mentioned before, like some of the AC Cobras, this MG features a 289 cubic inch V8 which fits amazingly well between the fenders. You can see there is a ton of stuff located in a tight spot, but it seems to be done really well. There isn’t a ton of information in the ad, but it does say the engine has ported heads and Chevy valves. The transmission is a T5 which sends power back to the 8.8 Ford rear end.

Aside from the carpet, the interior is pretty much all business. Unfortunately, there’s only one photo of the cockpit in the ad, but it looks like it was purpose-built for the most part. You can see a bank of switches on the dash along with a custom instrument cluster and steering wheel.

Here you can see the car wears license plates from Great Britain. The dual exhaust (and fuel cell?) look pretty menacing outback. I bet a lot of cars got the same view of this car on the track. Hopefully, the seller will provide some more details about this car and any racing provenance it may have. Overall, it looks like a nice racer that would be a blast to drive. How about you?

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  1. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Ok , wait a second here….
    IF the “custom coil-over suspension” was done properly….

    This thing would be a BLAST to drive!

    The photos are insufficient (not enough, and some specific ones needed). Yea…. What a nutty thing to do to a MG Midget.

    Of course, that means I LIKE it!

  2. Claudio

    looking at the rear end view and seeing that gas tank reminds me of the blow up pintos
    It wouldn’t take a big impact to send it up in flames !

    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations


      that’s not a gas TANK…..
      it is a fuel cell, and is in the appropriate location.

      • Claudio

        Sorry buddy, i ve seen a few fuel cell misshaps and its still a pinto waiting to happen …

  3. Shaun Dymond

    Those plates are British in style, but clearly are there to advertise the car as a Holman Moody 289ci MG Midget. Post 2001 UK registered vehicles have two numerals after the first two digits. The numbers indicate when the vehicle was registered first. Superb car though!

    • John

      Plus it is Left Hand drive!

  4. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Those plates are strange. Not correct in any way for UK. (Or GB)
    I don’t just mean the material or spacing the actual number/letters are not right either.

    Really weird.

  5. Tim Read

    The plate may have been made in Britain but that is a German registration number. I wonder why?

    • BR

      Curious why people don’t read previous posts before posting.
      The license plate says –

      HM (Holman-Moody) 289 (cubic inch disp.) MGM (MG Midget – not Metro-Goldwin-Mayer).

  6. Steve R

    There is nothing in this ad which suggests it has spent any time in a race track.

    It may not run. The lack of instrument cluster, position of the switch panel (it doesn’t appear to be fastened to the dash) and lack of gas pedal suggests it a project in need of completion.

    If the engine was done by Holman-Moody I’d expect to see a set of their valve covers rather than a pair of $5 sticker on OE looking valve covers.

    Steve R

    • JimM

      I had a 72 Ski Nautique with a HM engine and it had those same valve cover stickers. HM hasn’t built engines in long time that I know of. Might just be old. Of course if they rebuilt the engine it is no longer a HM IMO.

  7. Weasel

    Check out the shifter.

  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Digital instruments. You can see the reflection of the steering wheel in the plastic.
    This thing is probably a ton of fun.

    • Steve R

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      Steve R

  9. Vegaman Dan

    Tons of power, no weight, how do you keep the tires from spinning enough to get any traction?

    Crazy fun I bet.

  10. Dutch 1960

    The car may be titled as a 1972, but the body shell is 1975 and later. Note the flats where the rear bumperettes are mounted, those came on the rubber bumpered cars. Also, the twin black rubber plugs on the rocker panels. The rear plugs only came on 1975 and later cars…

  11. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Sweet find, Montana! Seems odd to build something so specific like this, then sell it. Other than doing something (anything) different with the hood I like it! Award the builder serious points for avoiding some ridiculous DIY fender flares too. That’s a lot of hardware in the engine compartment. Using a Midget, not an MGB, takes it to another level, and 90% of anything like this packs a SBC so the Ford powertrain is interesting too. Nice one!

    • Skid

      You will find SBF’s in most of these small car swaps because the SBC is quite a bit wider and doesn’t fit without some serious modifications. Although Chevys are used, you will see a lot more Fords in these. Check out and scroll through the pics. Some incredible cars in there.

  12. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I fancy starting a similar project. It does look fun.

  13. F Again

    Like a ‘roided-out Chihuahua, issuing challenges incommensurate to its shrimpy physique, it’s just this side of hilarious.

  14. Kelly

    Back in the day, I swapped a “improved” 1600 Cortina engine into a Sprite. Ended up too nose heavy to keep the rear wheels on the ground. It would need a lot of weight in the rear and much more rubber to do the job.

  15. bobhess bobhess Member

    The more I look at the paint color it looks like the factory grey that came on the ’62 Midget I bought new. It seemed odd then and seems odd now but it makes for a good looking car.

  16. PAW

    The sleeperness (is that English?) has been unfortunately spoiled with bulbous hood. I would immediately convert this to injection with super low plenum & OG hood or as close to that as possible. Perhaps also an aluminum block to keep weight at bay

    And most likely would need add mufflers as many as I could fit

    Then – only time to hit the streets

  17. Eric B

    This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time, but I think it’d be easy to get yourself in a lot of trouble. I think I’d want a roll cage and hardtop, even if they are fiberglass. The same build done on an MGB GT would be pretty choice.

  18. Eric B

    By the way, how come we can’t edit comments anymore? I forgot to add that the hood everyone is mentioning I would guess may be for functionality. Maybe to clear the engine and also in some photos there’s an assembly around the air cleaner.

  19. Eric B

    Again…..the editing : ) I didn’t realize, it does have a roll cage. My bad.

  20. Kenn

    You have 4 minutes to edit before it’s posted, don’t you?

  21. Kenn

    Just discovered, you don’t! What happened to that privilege?

  22. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    BF iz tryn too teech yu too rite guud eng lish the furst tym .

  23. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    It is strange, a software glitch?

  24. FastEddie/OldEddie: pick one

    Not to be picky, but it’s a roll bar.

  25. Beignet at the Beach

    I had a 62 Healey with a worked 289 and Jag XK140 gearbox….stock appearing except for the exhaust exiting BOTH sides…Wire wheels had to be scrapped and turned into solid steel knock offs to handle the torque. Glorious in a straight line, but the “Healey-Hop” on the rough road curves always gave PAUSE.. I still miss that car, glad to see that FoMoCo V8 fits in newer things, and is SURE to provide the new owner with a mile-wide-smile!

  26. Troy s

    Holman/Moody put the trophies in the case for Ford, no doubt about it. Galaxies, Fairlanes, Mustangs, anything Ford raced had their stamp on it. This Midget of mayhem looks like a fun toy, even smaller were the monster Miata’s powered by 5.0 Mustang engines,,,,stupid fast.

  27. stewart

    On thing I can tell you.. this is not a 1972 midget, it was originally a rubber bumpered ’75 MY car or later, it has the mountings front and rear for the rubber bumpers which would not be there on a ’72. It also has not got british plates on it. Pity about the tube chassis.. would have been stiffer with the original monocoque

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      Sure, that’s why modern racing cars still use original chassis tubs instead of going with engineered tube frame setups.

      Oh, wait…..

  28. Kelly Breen

    I love my Midget and draw some inspiration from those rear bumpers he made. I might well steal that idea.

  29. DayDreamBeliever Member

    This Wild Mouse ride has found it’s way to Bring a Trailer.

    Will be interesting to watch.
    I’d love to bid and win, but y’all would be offering condolences to my friends, as the wife would kill me!

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