On this Midge, as you can see, the bulk of the bodywork has been done by somebody else, and to quite a high standard. Note the curve to the front bulkhead, I'm glad I didn't have to work that one out. There's a lot to do, but it's easier than starting from scratch. I started to think about what I wanted to change and what I'd keep,
  The first thing I did was to lift the body off, to find out what had been done so far. (It would be a pity to build it up and find the body wasn't attached to the chassis properly). For a while it took up much more room, as the body hung from the garage's roof, I'm glad I over-engineered the joists.
  The wheels were Escort 13",  I've changed them to the 15" from a Hillman Minx. The front and back cycle type mudguards will need replacing with larger and wider for clearance, but the ones I bought first are rather too big.
  So far the plan is not to have windscreen, doors or roof, to change the radiator grille from 30's style to something more angular and make up a Tonneau. But all that may change, racing screens, though undoubtedly cool, can also be plain cold in Scotland.
  The two photos above are at a later stage, wheels changed to 15 inch, frame for headlights, radiator grille and badge bar mocked up. New radiator, electric cooling fan, lights.  80% of the wiring is done, though some of the weird bits in the Ford loom make my head hurt. 99% of the braking system is complete. I'll see if there are any leaks soon, as the next stage is to put in brake fluid, coolant and oil, I've finished most of the fuel system, having finally found and sealed off the air leak. Bonnet and engine bay side panels to be made up. Interior trim and paint undecided. Probably black and yellow. I think that might be the colour sceme on the actual Scottish midge though locally that's called a midgie. Anyway, you can only see the little monster when she is biting the back of your hand, so I'll need a magnifying glass.

  As I was working on it, I discovered another one that had been finished, so I bought that to give me some thing to play with in the mean-time. It has made the garage a bit more crowded, but I can roll it out when I need the space
So now I'm working on the idea of taller wheels and older looking rear lights for the green one, finishing the wiring and the exhaust on the silver one and maybe even try improving the insulation in the garage. Then I'll find out how to do louvering (or however you spell those slotty bits in the side panels).
If it doesn't work try this.
It's December '12 now and a few changes have been made to both cars. I've rebuilt the mudguard framework on the green midge. A necessary move that enabled the fitting of 15 inch wire wheels, which had been prescribed by the worn front tyres and an impending MOT. I think the effect was worth the work, the positioning of the new front mudguards was the hardest part, the car tapers both fore and aft of the doors, so they aren't parallel to the sides, the wheels are only vertical when the driver is in the seat and the fuel tank is full, and there's no guarantee that the car is symmetrical about it's longitudinal axis anyway. Fortunately those irregularities hide geometric mistakes as well, so I hope observers won't notice any. The rear mudguards have been raised, but might get replaced when I have a little spare cash. The oddity is that they were so large, there is no sign that the car had bigger wheels before I got it. Fortunate that the mudguards I bought for the silver Midge were exactly the right size, and I think the original mudguards will fit the Minx wheels on that. Another puzzle is how did I end up with one Silver and one green Midge as well as one silver and one green Zafira.  Probably a Zen thing.
    I hope you'll agree the wheels look much nicer like that, as an odd side effect the speedometer is now reading accurate to 1 mph at 30, I'll check 60 and 70 later, and it handles better than ever. I put it through an MOT and it passed with the proverbial colours. The mechanic did fall about laughing when he saw what the wheels do when you jack up the chassis, but then the poor lad was born after the Heralds and Spitfires had dropped out of sight. Judging by the performance so far I think I might be able to get 65 on the flat, possibly even 70. I'll not be going above that for a while.
    I've taken off the spare wheel rack and the spotlights, both were a bit rickety, (nice to see a version of that word is still in spellcheck). The mirrors need to be taken back about 25 years, and the rear parcel shelf warrants a complete rebuild, but that can wait until I do the roof. A paint job after that. The Silver midge is coming on, you may get treated to a picture soon. Meantime I'm hoping for some clean crisp, but not too icy, sunny winter days for a bit of open touring.
   So I now have two Midges. The green one is based on a Triumph Herald 13/60, is immune to tax-disks. and sounds really good, although it's not terribly fast. 
   With great optimism I drove it up from Somerset, 400 miles in mid-November, without a roof, or a heater. 
   Actually there were no significant problems. several passers-by took photographs, a few ladies fainted, and strong men shook, although that might have been the vibration. 
   I would admit to being a bit chilled by the end of it, as it got dark around Carlisle. Did I mention there is no roof yet, or any heating?  But it didn't rain. A leather flying helmet makes you, (well me anyway,) look a bit if a berk, but it's worth it. I'll remember being overtaken by artics for a while, they are much bigger with really loud tyres when you are in a Midge. 
    I'll have to make it go faster for motorways, so that I can keep up with them.
   Somewhere in the Midlands near dusk and having no roof, I was able to see huge numbers of birds, possibly Starlings, massing overhead. Somewhat overexcited, they strafed me. When I got into the garage I noted eight large direct hits, amazingly none on the important bit of windscreen, or me. 
The Midge.  The design was first created by John Cowperthwaite to use a Triumph Herald or Spitfire as a 'donor'. The fact that they had a chassis is what makes them fairly easy conversions, you "just lift the body off the chassis and put on a new one". It can be a bit trickier than that in practice.
  When the supply of Triumphs dried up, rather than throw away a good design, it was modified to take Ford Escort bits and a chassis was designed to go under it. This is one of the Ford versions, but if you look further down.........
    This is how it all started, built on the farm between 1974 and 1980 I think. It never got as far as the main road, which was just as well as it would have been lethal. It did work though and I wish I had put some of the bits into storage, especially the wheels and mudguards. Still, I learned quite a bit doing it, and it's great exercise for the brain, working out how to get around engineering problems without the correct tools or materials. 
Never quite made it, but a good learning curve.
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