1952 Porsche 356 Coupe/1953 Arnolt MG Convertible/1953 Jaguar XK120 Drophead

In the late 1980's I met an ex-race car driver who had a repair shop in Garden Grove. He was semi-retired, and mostly used the shop to store his old projects. There weren't any race vehicles, but what was there was still interesting and it was all for sale. A friend of mine and I ended up buying 3 cars (all very rough) from him, and here is what they looked like when I found them:

The first was a rare 1953 Arnolt MG TD Convertible bodied by Bertone. Built on a MG TD chassis, it was actually heavier than a stock TD. Only 36 of these were ever made. Click here for additional information on this MG variant. If you look closely at the photo, you will see the other 2 cars we dragged out of there-a 1953 Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe (upper left) and a 1952 Porsche 356 Coupe (far right).

Back then in 1989, the rarity of this car was the only thing that made it worth saving. It was so rough, that had it been a regular MG, no one would have given it a second look. The car had been stripped to the shell, primered and left outside for many years. About half the trim was accounted for and came with the car. The body is steel with aluminum doors and lids.

Note the inverted MG TD center dash cluster.

Obviously this is NOT the way to store a classic car. Barely visible in the boxes in the trunk are the original Marchal fluted glass headlights-the same as those fitted to the Ferraris of the period, and were worth almost as much as the car...

Here is the Porsche 356 Coupe. I believe it was an early bent window from 1952, but I didn't record the vin #. It was also very rough and incomplete, having been left sitting outside.

You can see the holes for the early rectangular tail lights.

This is the Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe, an early car with aluminum doors. Extremely rough, it did have one redeeming quality......

...it was stored on a trailer, which made hauling it out really easy!

The other Barn Finds:

Fast Cars of California
Costa Mesa, CA, USA, 92627
TEL (949) 631-4328, FAX (949) 646-6056