Yes, Shitfires there were apparently, but I have fond memories of mine. I never worked on it, so don't remember the things you do. My hardtop never came off either, but it sure made the less-than-ideal heater seem to work better.
The MG Midget headlights made it look like a bug (not VW either) and at the time, people here all thought they were essentially the same car as the tiniest Triumph we both had. Austin-Healy Sprites were really
the same car, but with less trim and a little less expensive.
A lot of folks I knew (myself included) wanted an Alfa-Romero Spyder after Dustin Hoffman drove one in "The Graduate". An italian friend told me that the engines were likely to blow up, and this discouraged me from buying one. BTW, all of that italian family drove Fiats here, because they couldn't get whatever the italian cars were that they liked when they were in Italy - something small, not any of the exotics.
ROTF about the warm beer and Lucas refrigerators
I agree 100% about the asians buying the Jaguar "brand" and all that comes with it. They'll be able to make them in Asia, and might just improve their quality at the same time. I hope they will return to the pre-Ford Jaguar styling as well.