The D-Type Midget was produced from late 1931 to mid-1932 and was a further development of the first MG Midget, the M-Type, which went into production in late 1928.
In 1923 the Austin Seven had already been launched, and in 1928 the Morris Minor appeared. Austin could achieve good success with his car, and the Minor was considered a worthy competitor.
The Morris models had a rather staid reputation, this gave Cecil Kimber, the father of MG sports cars as we know them today, the idea to build an MG sports car based on the Morris Minor.
The M-Type was unveiled at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1928, and it was clear that it would be a success, as there was a full order book at the show, and indeed the car became a best seller over the next three years. Weighing just over 500 kg and producing 20 bhp, the M-Type was a real runabout, reaching 60 km/h in no time. With better road holding and performance than the competition, the car cost just £185, and sold like hot cakes.
Building on the success of the M-Type, Cecil Kimber saw the potential to promote the marque through competition, and with the move to Abingdon in January 1930 and the improved production facilities and increased space there, he was able to convince Sir William Morris that the time was right for MG to enter serious competition. Soon the first real racing MGs began to be built at Abingdon.
A number of modified M-Type Midgets took part in various races, and enjoyed very good success. Morris liked this – which probably led to the development of various prototypes and the C-Type racing car.
Thanks to the good publicity for MG from its successes in a wide variety of races, the D-Type got off to a good start and attracted a lot of interest. It had a slightly longer wheelbase than the C-Type, but essentially the same chassis design.
The 847cc engine and three-speed gearbox with compact remote control were taken directly from the M-Type. A rear-mounted but enclosed 8-gallon fuel tank fed the single SU-HV2 carburettor via an electric SU pump. The car looked a little short and squat and lacked proportion in the length of the bonnet, although many found the looks quite appealing. It was a heavy car and with only 27 bhp available to power it, performance was not outstanding. Body styles available were either closed or open 4-seaters, unfortunately no 2-seater sports cars were produced, possibly because the M-Type continued to be produced at the same time, albeit at a lower price. The M-Type was reduced from £185 to £165 for the cloth trimmed version, while a new metal trimmed option was available for £185.