- Written by webmin
The Owls Head Transportation Museum’s annual auction generally focuses on the affordable end of the collector car market – it’s “Gravel Beach, not Pebble Beach,” as the executive director, Charles Chiarchiaro once put it – but there are exceptions. This year, one of those exceptions will be a 1953 Arnolt-MG coupe, one of just 65 constructed during the brief collaboration between the Abingdon factory and Stanley Harold “Wacky” Arnolt.
The story of how the Arnolt-MG came to be goes like this: Arnolt, the Midwest distributor for MG, Riley and Morris, was at the 1952 Turin auto show, where he saw a roadster and a coupe designed by Bertone and constructed on the chassis of an MG TD. Arnolt ordered 100 of each on the spot, and began marketing them as “the Continental sports car for the entire family.” The coupe listed for $2,995 and the roadster for $3,145, with wire wheels a $195 option.
The TD’s 1,250cc inline-four was standard equipment, though the 1,466cc four from the TF was listed as an option in at least one brochure. The Arnolts shared their underpinnings with the TD, and their bodies, made of aluminum and steel, were commendably light – in fact, the coupe outweighed the stock TD roadster by a mere 40 pounds.
Arnolt’s arrangement with MG came to an abrupt end, apparently because the factory could not spare the chassis and engine units – and, too, was preparing to put the TF into production. An even 100 Arnolt-MGs were built in all, including 35 roadsters and 65 coupes. “Wacky” Arnolt then moved on to build the better-known Arnolt-Bristol.
The Owls Head car is being offered with an undisclosed reserve. According to the Hagerty’s Cars That Matter price guide, an Arnolt-MG coupe in excellent condition is worth somewhere around $40,000. One sold at a 2007 Bonhams auction in London for $48,000.
The 33rd Annual New England Auto Auction takes place on August 21, with a preview the day before. The museum itself conducts the auction, and proceeds go to help fund its operations. More than 200 domestic and foreign vehicles are expected to be offered for sale.