The Midget model names goes back a long way, nearly as far back as the introduction of the MG marque. In 1928 Cecil Kimber, who ran the Operation at Abingdon, introduced the M Type Midget, this was the start of a formula that was to effectively continue through to 1979. Kimber took the chassis of the newly introduced Morris 8 (Morris Minor) and added a sporty 2 seater body.
The formula was a success and Midget model name was applied to successive cars, nearly all 2 seaters.
The M Type Midget was produced from 1929 to 1932, the bodies on the early cars were contracted from a wooden frame covered in fabric, the fabric was replaced with metal in 1931.
Coincident with the M Type was the C Type amd D Type from 1931 to 1932, the C Type was a competition version of the M Type and the D Type was a 4 seater.
A significant upgrade in 1932 led to the J Type, the J2 being the 2 seater sports car for the man in the street, with the J1 a 4 seater and the J 3 and J4 competition version.
The MG T Type Midget was introduced in 1936 and remained in production, through its versions from TA to TF, until 1955. The TF was the last of the wooden framed, separate chassis MG Midgets and the pre-war style cars were replaced with steel bodied MGA.
The Midget name remained dormant until 1961 when BMC decided to upgrade the Austin Healey Sprite and release it as both a Sprite and a Midget. In the 60s BMC had separate dealer networks for Austin and Morris and so it was important to offer the Austin Healey and MG marques.
The forerunner of the 1961 MG Midget was the Austin Healey Sprite introduced in 1958, It was never officially known as the MK I Sprite. Like Cecil Kimber’s innovation of producing a 2 seater sports car based on a production saloon, the Sprite used the mechanical bits of the Austin A35. Unlike Kimber’s Midgets, the Sprite used a monocoque construction and very few changes were required to the underpinnings to support the new exterior panels of the MG Midget and MK II Sprite.