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James Paul MG Midget Restoration Main Image


Blog profile Image

By Beth Judd
December 07, 2017

MG Midget MKII Restoration Blog


In 2012 James Paul finally began working on his classic restoration, something that he had wanted to do since he was just five years old. James would sit atop the bodiless chassis of his father’s 1945 MG TC, clutching a steering wheel pretending to be racing around a track. From there the seed was planted and when his father had finally finished the TC, James decided that one day he would carry out his very own restoration after being inspired by his father’s hard work and dedication.

James decided to create a blog to document his progress and to help keep him motivated throughout the restoration. James recently contacted us to tell all about his unique restoration that only uses parts bought from Moss Bristol.

We caught up with James to ask a few questions about his blog and tell us how his restoration has been getting along.


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 1

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. When did you start and where did you find the Midget?


A. I only had three requirements when looking for the car; it needed to be British, sporty and something that I could easily get spare parts for. I began by scrolling through lists of classic sports cars for sale and thought about what suited my selected criteria and decided on an MG based of my previous experience. After some considerable time and a lot of frustration, I just couldn't find one that suited my budget and that was close by enough to pop over to check it out. Then one day I found a little ad on the MG Cars website that seemed like a potential candidate, so I sent an email and to my joy the car was still available and only an hour's drive away. It was the perfect match for what I wanted and the Midget finally arrived at my garage in November 2012, where the work could finally begin.


Q. When do you expect to complete the restoration?


A. I'd' like to think in another three years I’ll be driving it, but you never know what life will throw at you. So far, I've had to move the location of the car three times and moved house once. I'm also working on the the new house, re-landscaping the garden, bringing up two children and have bought a dog. Not to mention managing a full time job and a marriage to an amazingly supportive wife!


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 2

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. What condition was the Midget in before the restoration?


A. Very, very, rusty! A complete mess both inside and out. Most of the rust was hidden behind patch welding, so it didn’t look too bad when I bought it. But I soon realised how bad it was when I stripped the car back to its chassis. What good metal there was the paint job was dreadful so that had to be stripped off. The engine was seized, there were no working electrics, no bonnet and no wings attached. The seats were shot and the interior trim and carpets were either filthy or rotten so will need to be replaced. So, not great but then again it was only £750!


Q. How much of the restored car is original?


A. To the best of my knowledge the majority of the car is original. Wherever possible I am using all the original parts that came with the car. The only parts that the car didn’t have was the bonnet and the right front wing. The chassis needs a lot of work which has resulted in replacing a lot of the metal with new panels. When it comes to the mechanics and electrics I'm sure I’ll find plenty of parts that are beyond restoration and will need to be replaced.


Q. How have you found the service from Moss Bristol?


A. The guys at Moss Bristol have been absolutely great, both with their service and advice. Helping out with the occasional discount for being a regular customer has also been very welcoming with my budget.


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 3

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. What’s been the most challenging parts of the restoration so far?


A. So far, I would have to say the rust on the chassis. It has been so much hard work cutting it all out and welding in new panels without a manual, measurements or someone to help. I had never welded before so have had to learn as I go. I occasionally chat on forums and search for blogs and photos on the internet which has helped a great deal. But so far I am pleased with the results, especially when the outer sill and door aligned properly.


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 4

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. How much of the restoration have you done yourself, did you need any help?


A. I am trying to complete the project by myself which is how I wanted to do it. I will get professional help with the paint job, I don’t think there is much point trying to get such an important part done with no experience at all.


Q. What inspired you to write your blog?


A. I wanted to make sure that I visually recorded how I disassembled the car so I took a lot of photos. I have always had an interest in website design and have produced websites for friends and local businesses. So it made sense to use the blog as a reference for me and I figured that sharing this resource might help others who are also looking to restore a car.

The other reason was to keep myself motivated. Every so often, when I don’t spend much time working on the car or I get fed up struggling with the rust, I find going back to the blog and reading up on my progress a great inspiration. Reminding myself how far I have come is a big help to getting me back into that garage. Also having the readers send me their messages of support is a big help.


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 5

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. What are your plans for the car once you have finished the restoration?


A. Drive it! I don’t think my car will be showroom quality as it is my first attempt, but I am hopeful that it will look half decent and drive well.


James Paul MG Midget restoration image 6

Credit: Image from James Paul 2017


Q. Would you do another restoration?


A. I don’t think so. It has taken too long and my family is very important to me so I plan to enjoy the boys growing up and spend some quality family time. If I did decide to do another restoration I would choose a car that is in a much better condition and possibly more valuable.


Q. What do you think the future holds for the classic car scene in the UK and around the world?


A. I think this is a booming business. I have never seen so many programs on TV dedicated to classic cars which gives an indication of the growing demand. People now realise that it is worth investing in classic cars which, unlike modern cars, are seeing their value increase over time.


"Read James' blog from the start."



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