Lot 40

2013   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2014

1954 MG Arnolt Cabriolet

Coachwork by Bertone

SOLD $110,000


$130,000 - $150,000| Without Reserve


TD 26721 Arnolt Car No. 286


217321 Body No. 4423

Car Highlights

One of Only 36 MG Arnolt Cabriolets Built
One of 13 Known Surviving Examples Today
43 Years of Single-Family Ownership
Wonderfully Attractive 1980s Restoration
Current MGB Engine and Front Disc Brakes
Original Engine Freshly Rebuilt and Crated
Includes Documented History and Restoration Images

Technical Specs

1,798 CC OHV Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin SU Sidedraft Carburetors
95 BHP at 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox with Overdrive
Front Disc and Rear Drum Hydraulic Brakes
Independent Coil-Spring Front Suspension
Semi-Floating Rear Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle is titled by its engine number. Please note that this car is titled by XPAGTD227321, which reflects the number of the original engine that accompanies the sale of this car.

Register to Bid

Formerly the Property of Paula and George Tipton

This early MG Arnolt is one of the 36 cabriolets built, of which just 13 are known to exist today. Original features included all-alloy coachwork and wire-spoke wheels. Once completed, the cabriolet was finished in Peacock Blue over red. It was subsequently shipped to the US on the SS Morosini, arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 11, 1953, and delivered to British Motors on December 19th, where it was sold to one D. Reed. The next documented owner is J. Silva, followed in 1968 by Paula and George Tipton of Carmel-by-the-Sea, in California. A graduate of Loyola University Law School in 1966–67, Paula Tipton was a pioneering female member of the California Bar Association and a civil litigation specialist. Her husband, George Tipton, was a prolific and successful composer, arranger, and conductor with a multitude of credits, including themes and musical scores for hit TV shows and his 1960s work with singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, which resulted in the Grammy Award-winning song “Everybody’s Talkin’” from the soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning movie Midnight Cowboy.

The MG Arnolt was completely restored under the Tiptons, with the work initiated during the early 1980s and completed in 1987. According to the car’s known history, the MG Arnolt was refinished in black lacquer in 1982 and the upholstery was completed in 1986, in tan MB Tex upholstery, Wilton wool carpeting, and a top-quality Haartz cloth top. Many black-and-white restoration photographs confirmed the fact that the car was a sound original example when it was restored. Following the passing of Mr. Tipton around 2000, the vehicle was retained and stored by the Tipton family and then in 2011, the consignor acquired it. Only 6,000 miles have been travelled in the 26 years since the restoration was finished.

As now offered, the MG Arnolt is equipped with upgraded front disc and rear drum brakes, and power is delivered by a higher-output 1,750 cc engine from an MGB. The original XPAG engine is freshly rebuilt, sealed, crated, and accompanies the sale of the car. While the lacquer paint finish does exhibit some age-appropriate crazing and patina, particularly on the rear-deck surfaces, the car remains very attractive throughout nonetheless and the restoration has clearly aged well. A major service was recently performed by the consignor. All awards, articles, and historical documents accompany the car’s sale, plus receipts from new.

Exceedingly attractive, fascinating, and rare, this wonderful Bertone-bodied MG Arnolt Cabriolet is without question one of the most desirable and unique postwar MGs available.