Arnolt Makes MG a Family Sportscar

A lot of boys have broken their picks in an effort to build a sports car out of the family sedan. After endless planning and alteration they usually wind up with a hybrid that outwardly resembles a sports car but lacks many of the characteristics that are inherent in true members of the breed.

In the same way. other groups have attempted to modify the engines, suspensions, brakes, running gear, etc. of the family sedan to give it sports car performance factors. They, too, have wound up with rough jobs that idle badly, steer erratically, stop indifferently and have the bulbous lines of a Grecian urn which the poet Keats described as a thing of beauty—but Keats never saw a motor car.

When S.H. Arnolt of Arnolt Corporation, Warsaw, Indiana, decided to build and market a family sports car he started at the bottom and worked up. First he chose as the basis for his car the MG TD chassis. None could question the inclusion of this chassis in the sports car category. This sturdy little performer from England has been the backbone of the road racing revival in America. Its smooth little 1 1/4 litre 4 cylinder engine with its exciting bark has stirred the imagination of speed enthusiasts everywhere.

Arnolt’s next move was to develop a body with true sports car lines which would comfortably accommodate a family of four. For this he turned to the famous Bertone of Italy with amazingly good results. Two models by Bertone made their first public appearance during the Elkhart Lake Road Race at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, last September. One is a convertible model, the other a saloon coupe.

Both bodies arc of steel and aluminum construction of such light weight that the saloon coupe weighs only 40 pounds more than the standard MG TD roadster, while the convertible adds only 20 pounds to the TD weight. This slight margin makes little or no difference in the high performance which owners have come to expect from the MG TD engine. In all other respects than the new body, the TD chassis, clutch, trans mission, rear end and brakes are strictly stock.

The Bertone bodies have been styled to incorporate the latest engineering developments in aero-dynamics and therefore probably offer less drag than the standard roadster models. Great attention has been given to the interior appointments. Upholstery is of genuine leather and will be available in a wide choice of color combinations.

A feature of the Convertible model is the extreme ease with which the top can be raised or lowered providing a real “one-hand-top” rather than the hard to raise and stow “one-man-tops” of the past. Door windows when raised fit snugly against the top assuring a tight weather and water proof seal.

Since the first public showing of the new cars last September. Mr. Arnolt has made several changes aimed at passenger comfort. A new ventilating system has been added which draws fresh air from outside the car and forces it around the interior. Specially designed heaters and radios also are available. Rudge type wire wheels, with knock-off type hubs are optional.

Bodies are distinctive in style and while definitely European in flavor, cannot be said to be similar to some previous design. For those who like sports and performance and individuality in design, coupled with closed car comfort and the ability to share their fun with members of their family and friends Mr. Arnolt has the answer.

Price of the new models l.o.b. New York has been set at $3,585. Distribution will be centered through S. H. Arnolt, 416 East Erie Street, Chicago, Il., which also distributes. M.G.. Morris Minor, Rolls-Royce. Bentley, Daimler, Aston-Martin and other foreign cars. Deliveries are already being made.

Reprinted from Motorsport, April 1953

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