January 27, 2024


S. H. Arnolt Inc. (1953-1958)
Chicago, Illinois

This is an Arnolt emblem (1953-1954)     mjs
Size: 58mm wide 48mm high   MM: None

Chicago industrialist, Stanley H. Arnolt, who imported foreign cars into the US in the 1950's, developed a line of Arnolt hybrid cars, including streamlined high performance sports cars, using British chassis and engines from MG, Aston Martin, Bentley and Bristol, and Italian bodies designed and built by Carrozzeria Bertone, who assembled the vehicles and shipped them to the US, where detailed changes were made and optional extras fitted to suit customer requirements.  

The first Arnolt was the Arnolt-MG based on an MG TD chassis, 103 of which were built between 1953 and 1954, when MG stopped supplying the chassis. The Arnolt-MG was followed by seven or eight Arnolt-Astons based on the Aston-Martin DB2/4. The best known Arnolt car was the Arnolt-Bristol, which had a 130 hp six-cylinder Bristol engine and chassis, and a highly aerodynamic Bertone body. A total of 142 Arnolt-Bristol cars were built between 1953 and 1958, including competition, roadster and coupe models. The Arnolt-Bristol achieved a number of sporting successes. 

Stanley Arnolt also had a Bentley custom built by Bertone for his personal use. 

All Arnolt car production stopped in 1958.


The original Arnolt emblems for all Arnolt models, except for the hub caps, were made in Italy by Franco Ragni using male and female dies but did not show a maker's mark. 

The Arnolt-MG 1953 sales brochure included an illustration of the emblem, see below:

Aston-MG brochure (1953)  duckduckgo

This is the red, black and pale blue enamel Arnolt emblem shown above at the top of this post. This Arnolt emblem is rare.

The Arnolt-MG carried the usual MG emblems on the top of the radiator and on the hub caps but had the Arnolt emblem mounted on the radiator grille with a similar emblem on the trunk, shaped to fit the curvature of the trunk lid, see original examples shown below from the first production Arnolt-MG built in 1953:

Arnolt-MG radiator grille emblem (1953)   jpec
Size: 59mm wide 46mm high   MM: None

Arnolt-MG trunk lid emblem (1953)   jpec
Size: 59mm wide 46mm high   MM: None

The following photo of a later model shows the emblem arrangement on the Arnolt-MG radiator grille:

Arnolt-MG radiator grille showing emblems (1954) 

The Arnolt-Aston Martin carried an Arnolt-Aston Martin emblem mounted on an aluminum backing plate on the hood, see a surviving Arnolt-Aston Martin shown below:

Arnolt-Aston Martin with hood emblem (1954)    gtplanet

This is the red, pale blue and black enamel Arnolt-Aston Martin hood emblem shown below. This Arnolt-Aston Martin hood emblem is very rare.

This is an Arnolt-Aston Martin emblem (1954)   ms
Size: 58mm wide 48 mm high    MM: None

The following photo shows the Arnolt-Aston Martin hood emblem mounted on a backing plate:

Arnolt-Aston Martin hood emblem on backing plate astonmartin

Some surviving Arnolt-Aston Martin cars also display a small S.H.Arnolt nameplate mounted on the trunk, see example shown below, but this is believed to be a much later addition.

Arnolt trunk nameplate   astonmartin

The Arnolt-Bristol had an Arnolt-Bristol hood emblem mounted on an aluminum backing plate, see a surviving Aston-Bristol shown below, and a similar emblem on the trunk without a backing plate but shaped to fit the curvature of the trunk lid.

Arnolt-Bristol sports car showing hood emblem (c1954)  indystar

This is the red, pale blue and black enamel Arnolt-Bristol emblem shown below. This Arnolt-Bristol hood emblem is very rare.

This is an Arnolt-Bristol hood emblem (1954-c1960)   mjs
Size: 59mm wide 47mm high    MM: None

The pale blue enamel on original Arnolt emblems varied greatly in color from silver white, as observed on some of the Arnolt emblem photos shown above, to clear pale blue, as seen in the following example. 

Arnolt-Bristol emblem showing clear pale blue enamel  kac

Emblem collectors should beware as there are reproduction Arnolt emblems, which have plain flat backs whereas all original Arnolt emblems show the die marks on the backs of the emblem.

The Arnolt-Bristol also displayed painted plastic Arnolt-Bristol hub emblems made in the UK, see original example shown below. Original plastic Arnolt-Bristol hub emblems are very rare.

This is an Arnolt-Bristol hub emblem (1954-c1960)  kac
Size: 65mm diameter

Emblem collectors should beware as there are reproduction Arnolt-Bristol hub emblems, which are made from steel and finished in enamel, see example shown below:

This is a reproduction Arnolt-Bristol hub emblem  kac
Size: 60mm diameter

The Arnolt-Bentley made for Stanley Arnolt's personal use displayed the usual Bentley emblems and a plain Arnolt emblem, as used on the Arnolt-MG, mounted on the trunk lid. 

All Arnolt cars also carried a Bertone shield emblem mounted on the body, see example shown below:

Bertone shield emblem    ms

There is also a very large version of the Arnolt emblem, see example shown below. This Arnolt emblem is original and shows the die marks on the back. This Arnolt emblem is extremely rare.

This is an Arnolt emblem (poss 1960's)    mjs
Size: 140mm wide 107mm high   MM: None

Comparison of Arnolt emblem sizes     mjs

The use of this very large Arnolt emblem is a mystery. It may have been produced for an Arnolt project that did not go forward but this has not been confirmed. 

There have been reports from emblem collectors that this very large Arnolt emblem was seen at automobile shows in America mounted on a bubble car owned by Stanley Arnolt. It is true that Stanley Arnolt did own a Brazilian built "Carioca" Isetta bubble car, re-badged as an Arnolt, which he used for his personal transportation at race track meetings but the emblem was a standard sized Arnolt emblem, at least initially, see original photo below:

Stanley Arnolt in his Iso Isetta    pmcgc

Close up showing the emblem

However, those who saw the very large Arnolt emblem on the bubble car could not have been mistaken, so I guess Stephen Arnolt later mounted one of the very large Arnolt emblems on the bubble car as clearer identification or for amusement. 

I would like to thank Michael Arnolt, Kenneth Andren, Peter McGough and John Patrick Elwood for their most helpful advice and photos regarding Arnolt emblems. Any errors in my interpretation of this advice is entirely down to me.

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