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Thread: New Cars

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Jedi Warrior
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    New Cars

    I went to a new car show last night, with a swack of different dealers and models (YES! I want to meet the woman advertising the Ford "Bullit" Mustang's ability to grab the last parking spot!). I haven't done this for dang near half a century, and was really impressed: 3 hp/cubic inch in a grocery getter with a factory warranty! Heck, with a 1275 modern equivalent in the BE, I should have well over 200 hp!
    I was really impressed with the designs and the modern vehicle choices and the improvements in technology on all fronts that have occurred. But...
    There's been a few threads over the years asking how many of the current (2018) vehicles will still be on the road in the future (the first BE came out 60 years back). And I really liked the 0-60 mph in 4.4 second Mercedes grocery getter (and the price wasn't half bad), but I think I'd rather own a used mini-van and something that would appear on the Forum.
    The last major change Morgan has made was to add a 4th wheel back around Winston Churchill's time, but I also saw a recent ad for a pretty immaculate 300 hp 1990 Morgan 1990 Plus 8....
    If I want to go fast/quick/everything, then no holds barred go-kart racing is the way to go. If I want comfort and adequate performance, then there a lot of choices in air-conditioned minivans etc. etc. But if I want something special: welcome to what we find on the British Car Forum.

    Doug
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: New Cars

    I find the rawness of the LBCs liberating. Yes, my wife's Nissan Altima can out accelerate, out turn and out brake the Sprite (In fact, according to the numbers, the Altima is the fastest car I've ever owned). But for pure driving joy, you can't beat a British sports car. Every input is direct from you without any power boosters, what you put in is what you get, and there are few things more fun than rowing the gearbox.

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    Re: New Cars

    Seat of the pants feel, grin worthiness and you can maintain / rebuild a Spridget put them ahead for me.

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    Yoda
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    Re: New Cars

    Ditto the above. There is no new car I would want to own right now. Cars that discharge the battery's if you leave them sit for a couple of weeks. Cars that are heavy with no road feel transmitted to the driver. Cars that are IMHO UGLY! I liked the looks of the Fiat 500 till I discovered that the only connection between the steering wheel and the front wheels is a electric wire and many others are being built the same way! I'll keep driving what I've got till they won't go anymore and I can't fix them!
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Yoda glemon's Avatar
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    Re: New Cars

    Speed/Acceleration is a bit overrated in my opinion. I had three daily driver's in succession, each a bit faster than the last. Each "felt" fast at first, then after a short time of ownership just kind of felt normal. Maybe Cobra/Ferrari fast is a thrill that doesn't wear off, I don't know, never owned one. I do have a friend with a Jag F type with 500 some hp, it is certainly a hoot to press on the loud pedal, but after a brief squirt you are breaking laws and probably endangering your safety and that of others. I too like the raw, direct, and light feel you get scooting around in an old LBC. I also frequent the modern general interest car site, Jalopnik. The saying there is driving a slow car fast us greater than or more fun than driving a fast car slow. I wholeheartedly agree.
    Last edited by glemon; 03-29-2018 at 05:51 PM.

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    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: New Cars

    It seems I must agree. My 3 "toy" cars are a Prefect (36 hp flathead 4), a Super Beetle (about 60 hp opposed 4) and a Sprite (whatever hp the 1275 produces). I do have to admit that it can be fun on those occasions when it is necessary to get my foot just a little bit into the Saab's turbo to pass a truck on a mountain road.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

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    Yoda
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    Re: New Cars

    A friend and I were interested in a RX7 that was available locally. This was the last really good looking 2 seater....also very fast! He test drove it and realized that he was over all legal speed limits before he was out of 3rd gear. It was at least a five speed and may have been a six. Don't remember but he decided that in the interest of keeping his license he passed on it. I decided he was right and did the same.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

  8. #8
    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: New Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by nomad View Post
    A friend and I were interested in a RX7 that was available locally. This was the last really good looking 2 seater....also very fast! He test drove it and realized that he was over all legal speed limits before he was out of 3rd gear. It was at least a five speed and may have been a six. Don't remember but he decided that in the interest of keeping his license he passed on it. I decided he was right and did the same.

    Kurt
    I did the same with a Firebird a few years ago - ended up with a Suzuki Samurai - much less power much much more fun. Twice in the last two weeks I have seen Lambos struggling to keep to the speed limit. James Hunt used to drive an Austin A35 van - said he could drive it flat out and never exceed the speed limit. Similarly the Midget - I can flog it all day long and never go too fast.

    OTOH if I have to go anywhere, give me a modern car with cruise and AC and fuel injection - I don't need any more adventure than deciding what radio channel to listen to.
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Obi Wan Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: New Cars

    My Prefect is like that Austin. According to the owners manual, its top speed is 55 mph. Since it won't go 60, its acceleration is rated for 0 to 50 at 27 seconds.
    Never express yourself more clearly than you can think.
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    '73 MB 450SE
    '04 Saab Arc
    http://enfoprefect.org

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