'71 Midget Donates Lever Shocks To 20R Sprite Hell Project

Illustration for article titled 71 Midget Donates Lever Shocks To 20R Sprite Hell Project

Thanks to a tip from Patinaproof, I've finally found a cheap source for the many small parts I need for my personal Project Car hell. The big score: front Armstrong lever shocks in great shape.

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Illustration for article titled 71 Midget Donates Lever Shocks To 20R Sprite Hell Project
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Because British Leyland was committed to obsolescence tradition, lever-style shock absorbers remained on the Midget all the way to the end of its production run in 1980. There's really nothing wrong with the concept of lever shocks- they work just fine- but they're way more complicated and expensive than the modern tube-type variety. No doubt replacement Armstrongs are still made in the traditional English manner: an old guy in a shed illuminated by a coal-oil lamp, hammering away at pig-iron ingots between refreshing draughts of sludgy porter. You can convert a Spridget to tube shocks, but it ain't cheap. Naturally, the front shocks on my car were completely shot, beyond the capability of the good ol' Harley fork-oil trick to fix, so I was overjoyed to find that this Midget's shocks felt good as new.

Illustration for article titled 71 Midget Donates Lever Shocks To 20R Sprite Hell Project

Success! I grabbed a few other bits and pieces, including a new fuel filler pipe and hose. Unfortunately, the brake calipers were shot, but I'll just rebuild the ones I've got.

Illustration for article titled 71 Midget Donates Lever Shocks To 20R Sprite Hell Project
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Meanwhile, the Sprite waits in the Evil Genius Racing on-deck circle, prior to being fitted with an RX-7 rear end with 5-link suspension.

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DISCUSSION

Slave2anMG

Good grief. The one-year-only 1971 Rostyle wheels, a nearly complete emissions rig, and a car that's one of the most rust free Midgets I've ever seen. WTF. And there was a guy in Portland who made a tube shock kit that was about 1/4 the price of the Frontline rig...it kept the lever shocks as the upper kingpin location and mounted the tubes behind the wheels to a bracket that fits the A-arm. I have this on my Midget and it works well.

I'd kill for those wheels and the crappy factory air cleaners too.