by Mike –
In the early 1950s Stanley Harold Arnolt, also known as “Wacky” Arnolt, was an American importer of MG, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Bristol cars.
He started making his own cars with a Bertone design based on the MG TD chassis. He made about 100 of these cars and he also had Bertone rebody six Aston Martin DB2s which were badged as the Arnolt-Aston Martin.
In 1953 Arnolt created a new model based on a shortened Bristol 403 sedan and engine with a beautiful body designed and made by Bertone. The chassis and the engine were based on the BMW 327 which Bristol had acquired the rights to after WW II.
The design of this new Arnolt-Bristol was modeled after the Bertone Alfa Romeo BAT designs which can be seen from the rear view. The bodies were steel with aluminum hoods and trunk lids.
There were three versions of the Arnolt-Bristol: the Bolide was the race model, the DeLuxe had a convertible top and side curtains, and there was a luxury coupe.
The Arnolt-Bristol had some success in racing with the highlight being at Sebring in 1955 where an Arnolt-Bristol finished first, second and fourth in class. Arnolt-Bristol quit racing for two years after one of their drivers, Bob Goldich, was killed in a race in 1957.
They did well again at Sebring in 1960 where an aluminum bodied Arnolt-Bristol won its class and came in 14th overall, another Arnolt-Bristol came in fourth and the third car came in tenth in class. Arnolt-Bristol won the Team Prize that day. They had success in SCCA racing but soon shut down and the company was closed after the death of Arnolt in 1963.
In total Arnolt-Bristol built 130 cars from 1954 to 1963.
The white car shown here is a 1959 DeLuxe model that traveled all the way from Louisiana to be photographed at the 2012 California Mille in San Francisco. The blue car, a 1954 Bolide model, traveled about five miles and was photographed at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in 2011.
Let us know what you think about the Arnolt-Bristol in the Comments.
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