1955 Arnolt Bristol Bolide

Coachwork by Bertone

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1955
  • Mileage 
    4 000 km / 2 486 mi
  • Car type 
    Coupé
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Interior colour 
    Black
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Red
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Performance 
    96 kW / 131 PS / 129 BHP
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

* Fahrzeugstandort: im Zulauf / in transit,

1955 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide

Coachwork by Bertone

Chassis no. X404-3005

Engine no. BS1 MKII 291

1,971cc OHV Bristol 6-Cylinder Engine

Triple Weber Carburetors

130bhp at 4,200rpm.

4-Speed Manual Transmission

4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

One of 130 Arnolt-Bristol made

Passionately owned for more than 30 years

One of Franco Scaglione design masterpiece

Eligible for some of the most prominent Tours and Concours events worldwide

THE ARNOLT-BRISTOL

Having made his fortune during WW2, Chicago-based industrialist Stanley Harold 'Wacky' Arnolt II was able to indulge his lifelong love of automobiles, and by 1952 was a regional BMC distributor and US distributor for Bristol cars. In 1952, a visit to Carrozzeria Bertone led Arnolt to buy a stake in the Italian company and arrange manufacture of Bertone-bodied Arnolt MGs.

Arnolt's next venture made use of the Bristol connection, the UK manufacturer's 404 chassis getting the Bertone treatment in 1953 courtesy of newly arrived stylist, Franco Scaglione. Despite being based on a pre-war BMW design, the Bristol possessed one of the finest chassis of its day, and its 2.0-litre six-cylinder engine was one of the most efficient around. The 1,971cc Bristol six was based on that pre-war BMW 328, which featured an ingenious cylinder head, designed by Rudolf Schleicher, incorporating hemispherical combustion chambers and inclined valves without recourse to overhead, or twin, camshafts. Externally, Bristol's clone of the BMW motor differed little from the German original, most significant changes being essentially metallurgical, using the highest quality materials contributing to greatly increased engine life.

Three open models were offered ranging from the basic competition version via the better-appointed Bolide to the fully equipped Bolide Deluxe. There was also an enclosed coupé. Arnolt charged $3,995 for the competition model, $4,245 for the Bolide, $4,995 for the Bolide Deluxe, and $5,995 for the coupé.

The Bristol engine could be tuned to produce more than 150bhp, and before long the pretty Arnolts were making their mark in production sports car races in the USA. After class wins at Sebring and Le Mans in 1955, the works team was disbanded following the fatal accident that claimed the life of driver Bob Goldich. Arnolt-Bristol production ceased in 1963 after a total of 130 cars had been sold. Twelve cars were destroyed in a Chicago warehouse fire, and it is believed that just 90 survive.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This Arnolt-Bristol Bolide serial number 3005 was the 6th example built, 5th production one if putting aside the serial number 3000 that represents the prototype of the model. Little is known from the history of the car between 1955 and the early-1980s; logical guess would be that the car was raced like most of the Bolide at the time.

Racing is exactly what the car did in the 1980s after being purchased by a gentleman called Chuck Weber in 1981. Thanks to Mr. Bill Watkins blog-writing about his personal experiences with various Arnolt-Bristol cars, it seems like 3005 was spotted in 1982 at the Monterey Historic Automobile Race with Chuck Weber at the wheel.

Mr. Weber then sold the car in 1986 to Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, CA, where it quickly found its new buyer - Mr. Marvin Johnson. During its ownership, Mr. Johnson regularly raced the car in SVRA and had the car entirely restored. The restoration that was led by Bristol specialist Steve Krinsky from St Paul, MN, especially included a full engine rebuilt as well as a chassis and body acid-dipping. Mr. Krinsky was then appointed to find a new owner to the car, which officially happened in March 1992 when the current seller acquired the car.

The previous owner purchased the car in 1992 and took care of it over the past 30 years in the dry and shiny Copper State. During his ownership, the car has remained unchanged from its restored condition. No racing-miles have been put, only road miles - about 4,000 exactly. The car notably took part to the 1992 edition of the Copperstate.

From a visual standpoint, some differences are to be noted compared to the original look of the car. First, just like the trim plate shows it, the car originally came in a light green, but was repainted in red during the restoration. Same for the upholstery that was remade from brown to black, while keeping the original Italian seats, specifically known for their great comfort. Additionally, the car was fitted with additional front lights instead of the usual smaller lights located around the grill.

From a ...

ZUBEHÖRANGABEN OHNE GEWÄHR, Änderungen, Zwischenverkauf und Irrtümer vorbehalten!

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