1954 Arnolt Bristol de Luxe

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1954
  • Mileage 
    29 500 mi / 47 476 km
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Original condition
  • Interior colour 
    Red
  • Number of doors 
    2
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Red
  • Gearbox 
    Manual
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

- Unusually original condition with low mileage
- Known history from new
- One of 142 built

At the Turin Motor Show in 1952 Bertone, on the brink of bankruptcy, displayed two MG TDs that he had bodied - when in comes an American donning a large hat. Bowled over by these cars resembling miniature Ferraris, he puts in an order for 200 examples! The man who came to Bertone's rescue was the irrepressible Stanley Arnolt, known as " Wacky ".

Inspired by his success with the Arnolt-MG in 1953, Wacky approached the Bristol Aeroplane Works, he struck a deal to use their 404 chassis for the Bertone treatment fitted with Bristols legendary engine. Bristol possessed one of the finest chassis of its day and its 2.0-litre six-cylinder engine was one of the most powerful and efficient engines around.

A tuned version of the 2-litre hemi-head Bristol BS1 Mark II engine producing 130 horsepower was ultimately fitted to the cars. Weighing only 1,800 pounds, performance was excellent, and the near-perfect weight distribution made the car impeccable for the track and spirited driving.

The Arnolt-Bristol quickly proved its mettle—Winning the E Modified Championship in 1954, 1955 and again in 1956. Arnolt-Bristol finished 1,2, 4 at 1955 Sebring winning team trophy; won team trophy again in 1956; finished 1,2,3 in class and won team trophy at 12 Hours of Sebring in 1960.

Pendine are delighted to offer chassis X3082, an Arnolt Bristol with an exceptional provenance having had just 4 owners, most notably the first, Edgar Parser. Parser was a Dutch businessman who during the 1950s lived in Westport, US, where his neighbour was none other than Briggs Cunningham.

It was during this period that he purchased 3082 directly from Stanley Arnolt via the ROOTES dealership in New York. He was determined to have the car finished in its current red and white livery, and so Arnolt obliged, respraying a car already in stock. The original Grey colour can be found under the chassis plate.

Edgar Parser competed in several rallies in the car including the Monte Carlo Rally USA, a three-day trial which took place in Connecticut which he entered in 1957 and 1958. In 1957 he also took part in the Appalachian National Rally.

Edgar Parser eventually returned to Belgium at the start of the 1970s, bringing his much-loved car with him. At this time the odometer read 20,000 miles. Having been given some cosmetic attention, the sports racer then spent the majority of its time inside a museum that housed the collection belonging to Charly de Pauw. On Mr de Pauw's death, the museum closed, and the car returned Edgar.

It was at this point that he chose to part with it, selling the car in 2001 to a collector from Monaco with the odometer showing just 22,000 miles. He had owned it 44 years.

X3082 was subject to a mechanical overhaul and the new owner participated twice in the Historic Monaco Grand Prix as well as other touring and sporting events. The Arnolt Bristol later found a new home in France in 2012 before taking residence in the UK with its current owner.

Now showing just 29,440 genuine miles, X3082 is in rare and wonderfully original condition, finished in its unusual period livery and with a delightfully preserved interior. The red leatherette seats and door linings are intact, and the car has all its wet-weather equipment including hood and side-screens which can be stored in the boot with the spare wheel.

Suitable for some of the finest events in the motoring world the car is eligible not only for the Monaco Historic Grand Prix but also for the Mille Miglia. It is thought that only about 150 examples of this model were built, making the Arnolt-Bristol a rare car. Given that many of the Arnolt’s built had hard lives as race cars finding a preserved example with continuous history such as X3082 is really quite special.