Thursday, July 17, 2008

King Midget: Pint-Sized Royalty

Looking through old magazines can be very addictive. After searching for the Almquist article, I stumbled across a piece on King Midgets from the December 1953 issue of Sports Cars and Hot Rods (by the editors of Mechanix Illustrated).

"The King Midget is described by its makers, Midget Motors Supply, of Athens, Ohio as "a car that a schoolboy can afford to own and drive." An all-steel two-passenger roadster weighing all of 550 lbs., it is powered by a single-cylinder four-cycle marine-type engine that develops 8 1/2 hp at 3,600 rpm. The two-speed transmission is, believe it or not, fully automatic -- no clutch pedal is provided -- and the car will run easily and comfortably at speeds up to 40 or 50 mph. Now this may not seem like breathtaking performance, but when you consider that this is intended as a second car, mainly for fun, and that it costs less than $600 and gets 65 miles on a gallon of gas, you begin to realize that the Midget is a might handy little buggy to have around.

"With independent suspension on all four wheels, good brakes, and light, quick steering, the King Midget will handle and corner like a baby sports car. And it is comfortable enough to be used on long trips. One owner, who lives in Ohio, plans a trip to South America in his Midget. This in itself constitutes a wonderful compliment to a car with a 72" wheelbase and an overall length of just eight feet. Long live the King!"

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