British Invasion

Savoy Automobile Museum, Cartersville (Georgia), USA

Until July 9, 2023

While serving in the Second World War, millions of American soldiers fell in love with British automobiles and especially those small sports roadsters that British manufacturers had made a specialty. After the war, it became necessary for Britain to restore its economy, and one way to do this was through exports.

In 1946, the British government published an animated video via the British newspaper Pathé entitled “Export Or Die”, proclaiming: “… We have to sell the things we love, buy the things we need.”  The message was well received and by 1950 more than half a million British cars were produced each year, of which nearly 400,000 were shipped directly to America.

British Invasion exhibition showcases some of the finest examples of post-war British sports cars that “invaded” the American car market.  Among the cars presented, we find of course the classic MG TD, MGA Roadster and Austin Healey 100M, the more confidential Allard J2 or Alvis TB14, the sporty Lotus Elite (1962) or an AC ACE-Bristol from 1964 … Jaguar is obviously represented, with an XK120 Roadster (1949) and the unforgettable E-Type (1963).

“British Invasion” also presents 2 Arnolt, original and rare cars, one Arnolt MG Coupe and one Arnolt Bristol Bolide. American businessman Stanley Harold Arnolt, based in Chicago, specializes in the sale of European sports cars.  He discovered the models designed by Bertone on an MG basis at the 1952 Turin Motor Show and ordered a hundred for the US market. In 1954, he repeated the operation, this time on a Bristol base, more efficient and more modern. English chassis and engine, Italian bodywork, American sponsor, reasonable price, it was a recipe for success!

The photos on this page belong to the Savoy Automobile Museum, no right of reproduction without the express permission of the museum.