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1954 Arnolt-MG Cabriolet : Classic Cars

Stanley Howard ‘Wacky’ Arnolt from Chicago was an American Mid-West distributor of British automobiles whose first offerings under his own Arnolt marque were a 2-Door Coupe and Convertible, styled by Franco Scaglione of Batmobile fame and bodied by Italian Bertone in Turin on the Abingdon-built MG TD rolling chassis. The Illinois-based entrepreneur sold 65 Arnolt-MG Coupes and 35 Convertibles in two years before switching his attentions to Bristol-engined cars.

This is reckoned to be one of only three Fixed Heads currently resident in Europe. Identified by MG TD chassis number and Arnolt 244 body number, this 1954 car with TD engine was formerly owned by Betty Krause of Florida in the US where bodywork and interior were last restored during the 1990s. The paintwork is in Haze Blue, the original colour, and the leather in dark blue-grey. After a spell in Antwerp, Holland, the Coupe passed into vendor ownership in 2000, since when, according to Retro Motors receipts for £7489.68p on file, much mechanical refurbishment has been carried out. The capacity of the TD engine has been increased from 1250 to 1380cc and a Shorrocks supercharger fed by up-rated fuel pump fitted and boost gauge added under the dash. The crankshaft has been balanced, the flywheel lightened and the Laystall aluminium cylinder head fitted results in a 8.5:1 compression ratio.

A new all-synchromesh Ford transmission with 5 forward ratios has replaced the original gearbox, although the 4-speed unit and propshaft are available from the vendor if required, while a reconditioned axle with 3.9:1 final drive results in 85mph cruising potential at only 3500rpm. Up-rated shock absorbers have been fitted and an anti-roll bar added, while the car sits on wire wheels with MG knock-off spinners. The push-button radio is likely to be a period item, the inertia-reel belts new.

Among paperwork included are Arnolt literature and press cuttings together with list of all Arnolt-MGs built, a run of old MOTs, original front covers of ‘Enjoying MG’ of April 1999 and the April 2001 ‘MG Enthusiasts’ magazine in which the car featured. When catalogued, total mileage of 87,047 was displayed, whilst the vendor tells us that the MOT, which expired on the 31st of August, together with the tax-free Road Fund Licence tax, are likely to have been renewed by sale day. Interested parties are advised therefore to check out the latest MOT and tax disc position during viewing.


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Sources : 1954 Arnolt-MG Cabriolet Photo | 1954 Arnolt-MG Cabriolet Article

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