© Text and images on this website are copyright Paul Orton unless otherwise indicated   Off the road 1978 - 1997   After three years of reliable and sporty motoring, with something sounding suspiciously like piston slap starting to develop but more importantly, a worn clutch making progress impossible, the Midget came off the road for repairs. "Because the gearbox has to come out we may as well fix the engine while we are at it", I said to the long-suffering mate helping with the engine hoist. So in early 1978 with a little over 83,000 miles on the clock, out came the engine and gearbox and the car was put on blocks. The engine came back from the machine shop but I thought ‘we can't put  the refurbished engine and gearbox back into a tatty engine bay - it will have to be re- sprayed.’  And this lead to the need for the brakes and suspension to be revitalised and of course, the re-spray the car had been given during its previous ownership was not the best, so maybe attention was needed there too. This was becoming a ‘big’ project. I could not afford to do all the work and my level of interest began to wane. The bottom of the engine was assembled, the sump was filled with oil, the top of the block was covered and taped up, and the head was wrapped in an oily cloth.  That is how they stayed from late 1978 until April 1997 when the project became a case of doing a proper job and getting the Midget back on the road, not to mention clearing it out of the borrowed garage it still lived in. It didn't look like this when we started!