Yellow Fire Cracker: MG Midget Project


Listed here on eBay in Tucson, Arizona with a BIN of only $3,500. Here you have a rust free 1979 MG Midget with a Nissan SR20DET redtop engine and transmission. The Nissan all aluminum 2 liter turbocharged engine is making 205 horsepower in factory configuration, as compared the 50 BHP that the Midget had leaving the factory. You better hold onto your hat!

You may, if you can want to, change out the 4 speed automatic that is installed now for a more robust manual gearbox. The list of modifications is quite extensive and include: Mazda RX7 disc brakes, with a limited slip rear end that has been narrowed, 4 link suspension, coil springs and a sway bar.  The front end was converted to tube shocks with adjustable control arms.

All the body modifications have the 1st coat of filler applied. The owner states that all the welding was done with a TIG welder. This “fire cracker” rolls on new 185/55/15 Yokohama S-drive tires and new Eagle alloys. Many new parts are also included: turbo, adjustable wastegate, radiator with cooling fans, intercooler, transmission cooler, brake calipers, rotors, sway bars, springs, shocks, seats and more. It is still in need of a gas tank, fuel pump, wiring and some plumbing. The engine and transmission computers with the harnesses are included. This owner has too many projects and not enough room, so it needs to go. What are you waiting for? Do you want to go way too fast in this Midget?



  1. Howard A Member

    Wow, someone stuck a lot of work into this. Why not finish it? Man, IDK, I tend to agree with Robert. Would you want to go this fast in a car that was designed for 50 hp?. I mean, things are going by pretty fast, even at 60 in a small car like this, I can’t imagine triple digits (which, when finished, I’m sure it would do). I think Jay Leno should look into this. It is pretty cool, for the “WOW” factor, if nothing else. ( all Mr. Leno’s cars seem to have that “WOW” factor)

    Like 1
  2. jim s

    i would buy this and part it out. it would have been better to have kept the rust free body stock. in a midget/sprite top speed is not what they are about. the Skyline Drive at the 35 MPH speed limit in a stock one would be much more fun. interesting find.

  3. Jeff Staff

    This looks like a HOOT. There are a variety of ways to dance with death – this just looks way more fun.

  4. Toast54

    Cojone’s gigantico!

  5. Bob D

    A neat and tidy picture showing how not to use concrete blocks !
    It’s a light weight car, but concrete block loaded this way can collapse,
    and the car’s heavy enough to kill!
    Open cells should be vertical not horizontal.
    The concrete pavers on top also will crack and fail.

    • jim s

      yes very unsafe.

  6. Dolphin Member

    Years ago I saw a Midget with a Rover aluminum V8 / transmission in place of the original 4 cylinder perform at an around-the-pylons competition on a large empty parking lot. That used to be called a gymkhana but you don’t hear that word or see those kinds of events any more. Maybe liability issues have something to do with that.

    Anyway, that Midget sounded really good and handled even better. Now I don’t know whether the build on the Midget in this BF entry is as good as that of the Midget I saw performing years ago, but a small car like a Midget with a more powerful engine can be made to perform really well.

    That said, and as much as that turbo Nissan engine can make power, I’d still rather have the Midget I saw years ago with the Rover V8. There’s something good about torque with no turbo lag and a V8 burble that puts that kind of build high on my list of desirables.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dolphin, I do indeed remember those events. Had to be in the 70’s, in Milwaukee, there was a sports car club, that held events at shopping centers on Sunday ( remember when shopping centers were closed on Sunday?) and would set up a course with orange pylons, and it was a timed thing. ( couple laps?) I remember a guy had an A-H 3000 with a 289 Ford engine that cleaned up on everyone. At the time, I had a ’68 Opel Rallye, but was too chicken to run it. I agree on the Rover V-8 Midget.( sounds awesome) An Asian motor in a British car, that just ain’t right.

      • John Schiessl

        Ah but that Nissan engine has a British heart. The rights to build the “A” engine were sold to Nissan after the war. Have you ever opened the bonnet (hood) on a early 60s Datsun to find a very English view?

    • Robert Member


      I use to run, at first, my Spirit, and then my 100/6 with the Healey Club. That’s me in my profile image driving the gymkhana at a annual “Healey Roundup”. That was in San Marcos, TX. The Police Department let the Club use their “training pad” and club members laid out the course.



    • Dolphin Member

      Howard & Robert,

      It’s good to hear about people going to and running in those events back then. They were local, a lot of safe fun, and a great way for car fans to get together.

      My avatar photo shows me in my ’59 MGA at a parking lot gymkhana in Boston around 1963. The course happened to be the perfect size for my car and I had FTD. I think the MG’s rack & pinion steering had a lot to do with that. After that it was all downhill and I never did as well again, but I still have the little stick-on dash plaque that I won, and the memories.

      • Robert Member


        I also had an “A”. I know that my Spirit was 2 1/4 turns lock to lock, bring on the slalom.



  7. JeffH48

    I do like the mods, and with the brake, suspension and rear-end upgrades I don’t see any problems with regards to coping with the added power and it’s effects on the handling, or braking, the only exception, for me, is the unfortunate choice of an automatic transmission.
    Does anyone have a suggestion for a reasonably priced manual transmission that would both fit, and be able to take the power.
    Body-wise this would be an excellent candidate for either an Ashley or a Lenham GT body kit transformation and if it were mine that is probably the route that I would take.


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