Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)

Extensively restored Anglo-Italian beauty in concours condition. One of only 130 examples ever made by Bertone.

Year:1954 Drive:LHD
Colour:Blue Metallic (BAT7 colour) Mileage:
Interior:Blue Transmission:Manual
Price:Price on request. Enquire about this car

 

When the American MG and Bristol importer Stanley "Wacky" Arnolt saw two prototypes of a sportscar on the Bertone stand during the 1952 Turin motorshow, he was so impressed that he ordered 100 examples of each. He arranged that MG shipped the chassis to Turin, where the cars were bodied by Bertone, and so the Arnolt-MG was born. Beside MG, the company S.H. Arnolt was also the American distributor of Bristol Cars, and following on the success of the MG derived Arnolt, he commissioned Bertone to make a bespoke body for the Bristol 404. Inspired by his famous BAT Alfa Romeo, Bertone-designer Franco Scaglione created a fantastic looking roadster : the 1953 Arnolt Bristol. The car was built by Bertone on a chassis with 2,0 Litre straight six engine from Bristol Cars. In total 142 chassis were shipped to Turin, but twelve were destroyed in a fire. This means that only 130 examples of this gorgeous sportscar were build, and it is believed that only 40 registered cars remain.

This example with chassis no. 3132 was used as a factory demonstrator. Some say it could be the car with No. 40 in the 1958 Sebring 12 hrs race, but this is not confirmed. It is however sure that this Arnolt Bristol was in the main Chicago showroom adjacent to the warehouse where the aforementioned fire destroyed 12 cars on the 12th of December 1956. Fortunately, #3132 being in the adjacent showroom was damaged but not beyond repair. After the fire, the body and remaining parts were salvaged from the showroom (but minus the engine as this was removed - probably to be fitted in another Arnolt as a warranty replacement). The car was sold as a project to David Dubrul, who intended to repair it but never did. Later the Arnolt was passed on to Tom Trotman, Ed Howell and Daniel Rapley, and finally arrived in Belgium in 2013 where it underwent a complete nut-and-bolt restoration. This took a few years and now the car is in 100% concours condition and ready to enter any prestigious event in the world. The colour of the Arnolt Bristol is a gorgeous mid-blue metallic, inspired by Franco Scaglione's favourite shade and also used for the famous Alfa Romeo BAT7. The shape of the Arnolt Bristol is beaufully accentuated in this metallic colour, and the blue interior suits this car perfectly. Technically, the car is also completely overhauled : engine, gearbox, suspension, steering and brakes are all in new condition. Driving this beauty is a real pleasure. The view over the sculpted bonnet is like nothing else on wheels, there is plenty of space inside the sporty interior and the magnificent Bristol straight six produces a sound reminiscent of a WW2 fighter plane. This must be one of the most spectacular sportscars from the fifties, and still looks futuristic today.

Besides its sensual design, exclusivity and superb engineering, this Arnolt Bristol offers another advantage : the car is eligible for the Mille Miglia, among others, and a welcome guest at world-class concours such as Villa d'Este, Amelia Island or Pebble Beach. This example is also extensively documented, and completely correctly restored down to the smallest details. If you are looking for a blue-chip sports car of the 1950s, this is the candidate.

Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)
Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)
Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)
Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)
Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)
Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954) Arnolt Bristol Bolide (1954)