1978 MG Midget

Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. We've seen four Alameda MGBs, but never a Midget… until today!

1978 MG Midget

I found this Spridget in roughly the same spot where the surfer-grade '59 VW Transporter once parked, so it's possible that the two are owned by the same lover of funky ol' cars.

1978 MG Midget

Of course, this car is one of the "black bumper" MGs, notorious among British Leyland aficionados for its 50-horsepower engine and jacked-up suspension (necessary to meet United States headlight-height standards). The owner of this car doesn't have any easy routes to a power upgrade, since 1976 and later vehicles must pass an emissions test in California. Oh, sure, you can do an engine swap and then get the Smog Referee to certify the car for the year of the engine (supposedly this isn't as bad as the Kafka-esque situation I've always imagined), but you might as well get a smog-exempt chrome-bumper car and start with that if you need a fast Midget. In any case, the owner of this car has a simple commuter that's well-suited to the hunt for the elusive San Francisco parking space.

View gallery »

First 500 DOTS VehiclesDOTS FAQ