The best MG Midget... In the world(?)
Chuck Bridgman is the owner of a cool little MG that has an extra touch of uniqueness. Find out what makes it so good.
Have you ever come across one of the many stories about a crazy engine swap and wondered why people do that to these poor cars? Well, there’s a new one to judge. However, this one is a bit more unique.
Out in Dayton, Ohio is a man named Chuck Bridgman. He is the proud owner of a beautiful, red 1975 MG Midget. He found the car with a broken engine but that didn’t stop him buying it as he had big plans for the little British roadster. In fact, when he bought the car, the idea was to fit it with the flat-four engine from a Honda Gold Wing GL1200. However, physics got in the way as that particular engine wouldn’t have fit in the engine bay. How rude of MG to not think of that! Instead, Chuck decided to use the slightly smaller 1,098cc V-4 sourced from a 1984 Honda V65 Magna motorcycle. At this point, you may be thinking that that is a silly idea. The car has gone from a 1,493cc Spitfire engine to a motorbike engine. In reality though, the original engine was not very powerful for its size as regulations had a large impact on performance. Therefore, the little MG has doubled its power going from 50hp to 116hp. Furthermore, the torque has also increased from around 60 to about 75 pound-foot. These figures are really not too bad especially if you consider the weight. Before the swap, the car would have weighed around 1,850lbs (or 839kg). With the new, lighter engine however, we can assume that the car weighs around 1,500lbs. This is just an assumption based on the weight of the engine as no figures have been revealed. As well as the obvious performance benefits, the Honda engine is most certainly going to be more reliable than the somewhat moody British component.
The car has many other modifications. Some are more visible than others such as the cut windscreen and removed bumpers. Some on the other hand, are more mechanical like the differential and gear linkages which both needed to be changed to get the motorbike engine to work. These more intricate mods are all very well explained in Chucks journal. Make sure to check that out to see all the hard work that went in to creating this amazing bit of kit.