Monday, May 3, 2010

1953 Arnolt-MG

I wrote a post about an Arnolt Bristol last Thursday. I got an e-mail from my friend, Meg, that night. I call Meg a "grammar queen". She reads this blog just to point out and make fun of my typos. She has no love or use for cars. (Ask her what her favorite car is and she replies "One with a driver".) The e-mails I get from her that are titled "Your Blog" are usually pointing out some sort glaring error. I didn't see any need to open the e-mail right away. I finally got around to reading it Sunday night.

It was not the usual lecture on the importance of proofreading. It was a link to this car. I was stunned. All she wrote was "Isn't this like the one you wrote about today?".

Close enough.

I've quoted this in the past, but it's worth repeating. According to a site called The Original TD Midget, the Arnolt MG came about this way:

"It is rumored that Arnolt was touring the Turin Auto Show of 1952 when he spotted two sleek sports cars. These were custom open and closed body coupes built by Bertone of Italy. Because Fiat had recently changed to a unibody construction technique, there were no chassis available to create custom bodied sports cars by the small designers such as Bertone. Bertone's son, Nuccio had located two used MGTD chassis which proved to be just right for a small, agile sports car.

The Bertone's commissioned Franco Scaglioni to assist them in designing a new line of custom bodied cars. The two prototypes were displayed by Rome MG Dealers, Fattori and Mantani. When Arnolt spotted the cars he immediately asked to purchase them. Bertone was reported as asking "Both of Them?" from which Arnolt replied "No, one hundred of each.". Arnolt thought that the cars would appeal to a more 'refined' class of driver than the original MGTD with the closed coupe and Italian styling."

After 102 cars were built, MG stopped supplying the chassis. There are two stories as to why this happened. One says that MG was selling so many TDs that they didn't have any chassis to spare. The other story is that MG and Arnolt had a falling out and MG refused to send more chassis to Bertone for the Arnolt car. Who knows? Whatever the story, only 67 coupes and 35 convertibles were built.

This was a well built car. The doors and the hood are aluminum. The body is welded to the frame. The interior featured carpeting and leather seats. The instruments were MG, but arranged differently than they were in the TD. The Arnolt MG was available with wire wheels, something that wasn't available from MG for the TD. The price for the coupe was $2995.00, which was about a third more than the price of a TD.

Only 27 Arnolt MGs are known to have survived. I've never seen one in person.

I don't know that there is a Bertone design that I don't like. Of his 1950s designs, this is one of my favorites. With is upright MG grille and long nose, short deck, design, it is an almost perfect combination of elegance and sportiness. It's just gorgeous.

This car is an "unrestored" car. It had a paint job awhile ago and the carpet is new, but the rest is as it was when it left the factory. It's an amazing car. The "Buy It Now" price is $99,999.00.

Located in Oxford, MD, click here to see the eBay listing. It contains a ton of great pictures and text.

PS - My friend Meg is one of the coolest people I know. I have no problem with her criticizing my writing. I'm psyched that she reads the blog.

The amusing thing is that she really doesn't like cars. (And she lives in L.A. What's up with that?) Why she picked up on this car is a mystery to me. (Maybe not... The seller writes; "After carefully proofreading the original eBay listing for my 1953 Arnolt-MG posted April, 22, 2010, I’ve found not only several typos but two photos that won't load ... with that in mind, I’m re-posting my eBay listing". He re-posted the entire add because of typos? That makes him a hero in Meg's eyes.)

The reason I don't proofread is simple... If I did, nothing would ever get posted. I'd keep changing what I wrote. I'd add more details, take out sentences, etc., etc. In no time I'd be spending hours on each post and accomplishing nothing else in life! I just write and hit the "Publish Post" button... Like I'm going to do now... Sorry about any typos, Meg.

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