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1965 MG MIDGET ‘6 GRX’ – EX-WORKS 1965 BRIDGEHAMPTON DOUBLE 500 ENTRANT

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  • 1965 MG Midget ‘6 GRX’ for sale
  • Ex-works racing car built by the Competitions Department
  • Raced at Bridgehampton in 1965 by Rauno Aaltonen
  • Offered for sale from the Dave Saunders Collection
YEAR1965
MAKEMG
PRICE£75,000

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION

From 1962 until 1965, the World Sports Car Championship was contested by GT cars rather than sports-racers, and throughout that period the Division I category for the smallest-engined cars was dominated by Abarth. Among those taking the fight to the Italian squad was the BMC Competitions Department, which entered the 1965 championship with its MG Midget.

Andrew Hedges and Roger Mac won their class at Sebring, then Hedges and Paddy Hopkirk finished second in class at the Targa Florio. Beating Abarth had become a distinct possibility so, in May 1965, two more Midgets were built to racing specification by the Competitions Department. One of them was the car you see here – chassis number G-AN3/37732, which was registered 6 GRX.

The bonnet, boot lid, doors and wings were aluminium rather than steel in order to save weight, and a 1293cc A-Series engine was mated to a close-ratio gearbox and a limited-slip differential.

BMC shipped both Midgets to the USA for the season-closing Bridgehampton Double 500, with one car set to be driven by Rauno Aaltonen and the other entrusted to his fellow ‘Flying Finn’ Timo Mäkinen. Aaltonen was set to be joined by Gil Page but ended up doing the race single-handed in 6 GRX, while Mäkinen shared the second Midget with Leo Picard. 

Aaltonen clearly revelled in the undulating and challenging circuit on Long Island, and finished a superb sixth overall – winning his class in the process. It wasn’t enough to snatch the title from Abarth, but it was an impressive confirmation of the Midget’s ability, even against larger-engined competition and sports-racers. 

The Mäkinen/Picard car crossed the line in 11th position, and both Midgets stayed in the US so that they could be used for promotional events. 6 GRX was then sold to Ray Cuomo, an experienced driver who had spent most of 1965 racing a Shelby Cobra. He took the Midget to the annual ‘end of season party’ that was the Bahamas Speed Week in Nassau, and raced it in the Governor’s Trophy and the Nassau Trophy. 

It’s thought that Cuomo kept hold of 6 GRX until the early 1970s before it passed to a new owner. It was registered for the road in California as late as 1979 but was then put into storage until being offered for sale with a West Coast dealer in 2000. 

The Midget was then bought back to the UK, where it was acquired in June 2003 by Dave Saunders – a renowned marque collector who already owned a significant ex-works MGB. It was in need of a complete restoration and was authenticated as being Aaltonen’s Bridgehampton car by former Competitions Department personnel such as Peter Browning, Bill Price and Den Green. 

The extensive rebuild involved returning the Midget to its original colour of British Racing Green, and it was rewired by Stan Charmers – the same person who had done the wiring when the car had been built in 1965. Stan apparently recognised his original handmade loom when carrying out the work. 

The engine, meanwhile, was entrusted to respected A-Series specialist Nick Swift of Swiftune, and when the comprehensive rebuild was complete, this famous car made a successful competition return in historic motorsport. 

Now being offered for sale for the first time in 20 years, 6 GRX represents a very rare opportunity to acquire an MG Midget that was built and raced by the works BMC Competitions Department during that halcyon period in the 1960s.


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