Launched in 1961, the compact MG roadster was based entirely on the underpinnings of the Austin-Healey Sprite — one of the first fruits of the merger between Austin and Nuffield Motors, which owned the Morris and MG brands.

The fact that Austin-Healey and MG had been such deadly rivals in the past meant it was quite odd to see their cars sharing components, and while it was the cute Austin-Healey `Frogeye' that was first on the market, it was the MG that would go on to be the true sales success story.

By late 1961, the Frogeye was dead, and while badge-engineered Austin-Healeys continued, they were identical to the Midget in everything but name.

Using the same square-cut body shell as the Healey, the new Midget had the appropriate MG badge mounted on a thick central radiator grille slat, and used the same underpowered 948-cc A-series engine of the Sprite, producing 46.4 bhp net at 5,500 rpm, though with remarkable economy.

In March 1963 the G/AN2 Mark I Midget was discontinued, replaced by the Mark II version.

Again mirroring the Sprite’s   development, the new Midget had a curved windscreen, lockable doors with externally operated press-button handles, and fully winding side windows with hinged quarter lights.

The Midget's tachometer and speedo were binnacle-mounted directly ahead of the driver, with supplementary instruments sited on the fascia centre.

A Mk III version appeared in 1966 this time offering performance levels that the Midget had always aspired to thanks to its 48kW (65bhp) 1275cc (78 cu in) A-Series engine under the bonnet giving the compact sports the ability to almost reach 160km/h (100mph).

Practicality was improved too, with a proper folding hood instead of a removable hardtop — no longer did Midget owners need to check the weather forecast before going out for a drive.

When British Leyland took control of MG in 1968, the brand was seen as essential for BMC as, under the skin, the Midget was mostly the same as the iconic Austin-Healey Sprite.

The diminutive MG Midget went on to enjoy an impressive 18-year production run, and thanks to the company's image and the plan was not to interfere too much with the Midget,

Consequently, the model remained in production, mostly unchanged, until 1974, remaining to this day among the world's most well loved compact sports tourer.

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