BugeyeRivergate

Reprint from "Grassroots Motorsports" Magazine Sept/Oct 1998 page 68

 

I recently sold my two green MG Midgets–but I loved them enough that I sold them both to family members.

The 1971 Midget street car was sold to my cousin, Ken Hurt. It is a beautiful example of a streetable Midget, and Ken continues to improve it. It has both the soft and hard tops and is equipped with a roll bar and competition five-point harness for safety. The engine is stock except for the Weber 32/36 carb (I like the original SUs better) and an exhaust header. The little green beauty has the Rivergate five-speed overdrive transmission conversion. (Of course–we own the company!) Ken uses it regularly for both local and long-distance trips. He even uses it to drive to the race tracks when he crews for Rivergate Racing. This car was purchased for $1400, but has been repainted and had the five-speed installed, along with lots of detail work. Now it is a fine looking, usable, reliable $5000 midget.

Two MidgetsMy other Midget is a 1972 dual-purpose car. (See GRM May/June 1998.) It is regularly raced in SCCA in the Southeast as an ITD class car and in the Midwest as an ITC car.

Also, this car is used regularly on the street. We think driving the car frequently on the street (okay, Tennessee mountain backroads) has made it more reliable for our endurance racing. Although SCCA’s IT (Improved Touring) classes were meant to allow dual-purpose cars, this has grown to be the exception.

This Midget has been developed into a very successful race car in addition to its street use. It has 30 first-place finishes in 37 races with only one DNF–2 1/2 hours into a four-hour race. It was SARRC champion in both 1996 and 1997, driven by my son Will Perry. He and I shared driving to win the Endurance Championship Racing series in 1996 and 1997. He won the American Road Race of Champions with it in 1996 and 1997.

This car was purchased for $1500. It was a solid, rust-free car with only 23,000 miles but with dented fenders. We wanted a ‘72 to ‘74 car to get the full cutout rear fenders needed to fit performance tires.

I recently sold this Midget to my 17-year-old nephew, Brian Stubblefield, with the agreement that I still get to race it. I am co-driving with him now in the Endurance Championship Racing series. We make up an unusual driving pair, he born in the 1980s and I in the 1930s!

Brian’s first race after driving school was a Regional at Gateway International. He finished first in the ITC class. He still drives the car on the street often (it looks good in the high school parking lot, sponsor stickers, number balls, and all!).

The only Spridget we have left is a Bugeye, and it is presently mostly in boxes and coffee cans.

Bill Perry*Soddy-Daisy, TN

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