1966 MG Midget MkII
First registered 22nd June 1966 LYL 411D
68,000 miles approx. (New speedo fitted 1993 when reading 46,000 miles)
Having owned four 1275cc MG Midgets continually since 1972, when visiting Peter Woods, (the MGA Twin Cam expert), for MG spares and advice I would see his MkII Midget LYL 411D, Peter being it’s third owner from new. Always preferring the simpler lines of the MkII following some lengthy negotiations I finally purchased the car from Peter in July 1993. Original in all aspects it does however enjoy much improved performance, the engine being modified during my ownership and enlarged to 1330cc’s, producing over 80% more power than when in original 1098cc spec. A few suspension modifications by Malcolm Beer, competition valves in the shock absorbers and a 5/8” antiroll bar with poly bushes has resulted in the car having plenty of power with handling to match.
Never used for anything more strenuous than a few club auto-tests, LYL 411D has taken us several times across Europe, on more than one occasion climbing a number of Alpine passes in a single day, and generated enjoyment over the past 29 years way beyond anything its modest specification might suggest. All in all it is a very well sorted motor car, crucially retaining all of the it’s originality, the modified engine appearing as it would in period.
Regarding the engine I had the crank reground, nitro-carburised, and balanced along with the new rods and Omega pistons. The block had new cam bearings and a centre main bearing strap, and was drilled and tapped for two extra head studs. Among many other things fitted was a new oil pump and water pump, Vernier cam drive and an MG Metro 252/268 cam which after measuring and double checking showed good consistency over all eight lobes. Timed in on the Vernier slightly advanced with .040” lift on the inlet and .035” exhaust at TDC, at 104 degrees ATDC it helps smooth the power delivery and ensure good torque. I’ve retained the standard 1.1/4“ SU’s using H6 needles and a standard polished inlet manifold, with a new old stock original Cooper S head, just polished and fitted with original Mini Cooper S 29/35mm valves. This gives approximately 4% more power over a 1275cc MG Metro, which combined with forged 1.3 rockers a 10.5 to 1 C/R gives a conservative output in the region of 80 to 85bhp at around 5000rpm. But above all offer both smooth torque and power, plus good fuel economy. A heavy duty clutch with the standard flywheel both balanced offers easy starting and good tractability from a low tick over for driving down narrow country lanes and in traffic. In top gear it pulls cleanly and smoothly from 1,500rpm all the way to 5000rpm, and is an absolute joy behind the wheel – and with that cam sounds pretty good too!
The car has been constantly maintained to the highest mechanical standards. In recent years has had a new starter motor, (genuine original item), the prop shaft has been re-balanced, and the diff completely re-built along with the gearbox which has a new 1st gear, reverse idler and three baulk rings . A new set of wheels were purchased recently which were striped of paint, trued, powder coated and finally lacquered. A new, (original old stock), fuel sender unit was fitted last month.