Author Topic: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London  (Read 6909 times)

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Offline galrot

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Hey.

I'm not sure if you here are aware of this mystery car. I believe it should have been posted on this site before by another user, although I have not been able to find it.

In short a scan from the 1967 Busses, Trolleys & Trams, featuring a 1962 picture of Oxford Street in London, was posted on Flickr in February last year. A small sports coupé with gullwing doors was seen at the edge of the picture:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rw3-497alh/16588379722/

But no one seemed to know the identity of that car, so it was after a while posted on various forums in an attempt find it out what it was. It was even the mystery car in the Classic & Sports Car magazine but no one have so far been able to properly identify what it is.

I figured out that had to be some well-built unknown homebuilt special after no one seemed to be able to say what it was, but then I come across 1957 Le Mans car that was campaigned by a small London-based brand called Arnott:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78BPk8_yvIo

The way the gullwing doors and the roof on both cars are designed look basically identical. I've looked through many hundreds of pictures I have of different cars of the period and I've asked elsehwere if anyone knew about cars with similar designs (i.e. high-roofed gullwings with striaght shutlines, concealed hinges that cover such a larger portion of the roof) , but so far it seems like these two cars are the only ones with that particular design. And both were located in London in the period ... I've therefore come to the conclusion that they were likely both made by the same hand. Trouble is though that I do not know much about Arnott and have not been able to find much information about their '57 Le Mans effort.

What I can say is that the 1957 Le Mans car looks signicantly more sophisticated than the other cars that have been attributed to Arnott. It have faired-in headlights, concealed hinges on the doors, a flip-up front, a proper fuel door and of course a roof, none of which their other cars I've seen had. I therefore considering it to be likely that a outside coachbuilder/person did the body on that car.

So the reason I'm writing this is to ask whether anyone here are familiar with Arnott or do have any information about who could possible have made the body on their 1957 Le Mans car? Or perhaps if someone knows anything about the mystery car?

 I've tried to ask this elsehwere too, but I've had no luck so far. :/

Attached is a picture of the mystery car, a render of how it may look without the women in front and a picture of the Arnott.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 01:54:52 PM by galrot »

Offline Carnut

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Re: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 06:44:29 PM »
This picture has certainly been doing the rounds and has appeared on just about every Car Quiz site there is!
It came to my attention when somebody suggested my name as someone who would know what it is (on Pistonheads) but sorry to say I don't.  Most suggestions are wide of the mark and are really a bit ridiculous if you really know your cars..
As you say it appeared in Classic & Sports Car too but there have still been no valid suggestions.

It has been discussed at some length here:

http://www.autopuzzles.com/forum/news-information-and-feedback/information-requests-what-is-this-car-thread/1025/

Arnott is a marque which has featured many times here on AutoPuzzles and you can find all the threads just be Searching for "Arnott".
It is only of the very few (in fact the only one I know of) car makes which was founded and operated by a woman, Daphne Arnott.
But whilst the windscreen of the Arnott you have posted and the mystery car may well be sourced from the same place I don't see other similairties, though it is an interesting suggestion and could be an attempt to branch out into road cars (essentially Arnotts were competition cars).

No-one here has been able to identify it, and if barrett and Quiller don't know it then it's going to be a bit of a lost cause I'm afraid..
But we'll keep looking!
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Offline galrot

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Re: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 07:16:09 PM »
The similarities that I see between the car is not so much about the windshield (which do looks similar, but that it could easily have been changed between each individual designs anyway) but rather how the roof/gullwings are designed.  There are a number of unusal features that are the same with both designs:

1. Is how high the roof is relative to the windshield. On both cars the roof raises to about the point marked red. This gives the cars a unusually bubling roof-line and makes a large parts of the gullwing shutlines on the roof of the Arnott visible when seen from the front (see the youtube video for that).


2. Is how straight the edges are. All gullwing designs I've seen have rounded edges, but here they both have a almost 90 degree bend to them.

3. Is how large parts of the roof is actually covered by the gullwing doors. On both cars there is only a small pillar of continuous width (like on a t-top) in the midle and thin strip around the windshield that is part of the roof, while the rest is part of the doors. You are effectively lifiting up the whole roof when you open the door.

4. The concealed hinges on both cars. This is admittedly probably the most common features of them, but it still not that usual on a one-off in the period. And especially not on cars that weren't built by professional coachbuilders.

Do you know any other cars with these features?

I have managed to find quite a lot of information about Arnott itself through my searches now, but I found little about the desig of their 1957 Le Mans coupé. As mentioned I think it is likely that Arnott recieved some outside help on it given how different it is from their other cars. I'm therefore looking to see if anyone could confirm that or give any other background information about the car. I was thinking that perhaps the 1957 Arnott Le Mans had been featured in a motorsport magazine article back in the day that someone here knew about or something.

And just for the record: I'm interested in finding information about who designed and made the Arnott coupé even if it turns out it never leades to a trace of the mystery car.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 08:23:01 PM by galrot »

Offline Carnut

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Re: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2016, 10:14:43 AM »
It's a valid theory and is definitely worth further investigation.
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Offline galrot

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Re: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2016, 10:46:04 AM »
The issue is that there does not appear to be much information about the Arnott coupé available either, at least not online. Something which I have found quite surprising given how prolific the car is by obscure cars standards (i.e. it competed in Le Mans, it survived, have been shown at a concours, there is a youtube video on it etc.). No one on any forum I have asked have been able to tell me who designed and built the body. Duncan Rabagliat, who others have claimed to have some knowledge about the cars, have been asked by another user on Pistonhead and he did not know who was behind the body on the Arnott either. So basically I have now gone from having one unidentified well-built gullwing coupé in '60s London to having that unidentified car + another largely unidentified well-built gullwing coupe from late '50s London too.

It's one thing that the creator of the small sport coupé in Oxford Street is not known, but I find it really hard to accept that no one have any idea about who was behind the Le Mans car either. Hence I thought perhaps someone here knew, as otherwise I'm not really sure where I could find that information.  ???
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 11:35:25 AM by galrot »

Offline rickjames8

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Unidentified car
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2018, 03:24:15 PM »
Hey-

I haven't posted here in a long time, but I recall this group to be one of the most amazing sets of people to be able to identify cars. I have a photo of a vehicle that seems to be stumping people, but I can't post it as a puzzle as I don't know the correct answer. Would this room be the right place to ask for assistance?

Attached is the photo. One in it's original form, one with the foreground people photoshopped out.

Any ideas?

Here is the thread that started it: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156617886753180&set=pcb.261555687817974&type=3

Offline nicanary

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 08:35:51 AM »
The car has actually been posted on here (by me!) in our section for " News, Information and Feedback" under the "What is this car?" thread. It's a real enigma, no doubt. It's been the subject of many questions on car-related websites all over the place, even being printed in Classic & Sportscar magazine as their monthly puzzle car. It's so striking that you'd think someone, somewhere would know the answer.

General consensus seems to be a better-than-average kitcar body that never achieved production. Could it have been an exhibit at the Racing Car Show? Anyone out there have the show programme for 1962 or 63? A member of Pistonheads website has actually made a replica on a 3-D printer! Whoever manages to solve this is going to be an internet hero.
I must be right - that's what it says on Wikipedia

Offline Weatherballoon

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 05:21:51 PM »
As has been stated elsewhere on the internet, the vehicle in question does appear to possess gull wing doors. Perhaps that will be the key to finding it's identity?
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Offline Weatherballoon

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 05:18:52 PM »
Some quick looking led me to discover that there are multiple pages for this car on this website, perhaps they should be consolidated?
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Offline Carnut

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2019, 11:47:03 AM »
Could do -  if I could find the other/s...
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Offline nicanary

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 04:00:04 PM »
Could do -  if I could find the other/s...

I posted it on 21.8.2017 in the Information Requested thread. I don't think there are any replies.
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Offline Weatherballoon

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2019, 05:37:30 PM »
I know there is one from years earlier but I neglected to write it down.
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Offline Weatherballoon

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 05:43:02 PM »
While searching for it I found that Galrot posted about it in 2016.
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Offline Weatherballoon

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Re: Unidentified car
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2019, 05:47:49 PM »
I am unable to find the other post, I believe Galrot's post to be the one I had seen.
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Offline gte4289

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Offline Wendax

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Re: Seeking information about two gullwing sport cars from London
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2020, 12:09:51 PM »
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