The first version, announced at the end of June 1961,was essentially a slightly more expensive badge-engineered version of the MkII Austin-Healey Sprite deluxe version. The new Midget differed from the Sprite only in grille design, badging, improved interior trim, better instruments and added external polished trim to justify its higher price. Mechanically the car was identical to its Austin-Healey counterpart, retaining the rear suspension using quarter-elliptic leaf springs and trailing arms from the ‘frogeye’. The engine was a 948 cc A-Series with twin SU carburettors producing 46 hp (34 kW) at 5500 rpm and 53 lb⋅ft (72 N⋅m) at 3000 rpm. Brakes were 7-inch (178 mm) drums all round. A hard top, heater, radio and luggage rack were available as factory-fitted extras.
In October 1962, the engine was increased to 1098 cc, raising the output to 56 hp (42 kW) at 5500 rpm and 62 lb⋅ft (84 N⋅m) at 3250 rpm, and disc brakes replaced the drums at the front. 13×4″ Wire spoked wheels became available. The doors had no external handles or locks and the windows were sliding Perspex side-screens. A heater was an optional extra.
This example was first registered new In Auckland, New Zealand on the 12th of February 1965 to Mr John A Simons of Mt Eden. The car spent its early years in the North Island before coming to Wroxton Terrace, Fendalton, Christchurch in September 1974. The car is accompanied by a file of invoices dating back to 1984, documenting mechanical work carried out on the car over the years. The car runs very nicely and it is believed has a hotted up cam, to accompany the roll bar and fantastic sounding exhaust note.
This vehicle is being sold as a barn find restoration project. The car runs but cannot be driven. The registration is DEAD. This would make a fantastic race/track car or trials car. For the mechanically inclined enthusiast it would be a good restoration project. Please contact BAINS CLASSIC MOTOR HOUSE for further details and photos.