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’s, 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 ever made, and it is believed that less than 100 registered cars are still in existence.
The Arnolt-Bristol Competition we are offering for sale has chassisnr 3072 and comes with quite some history. It was first registered in August 1954, and entered in the 1955 Sebring 12 hrs race driven by John Panks and Ernie Erickson. The car won the 2 litre class. In the general classification, this car with start number 60 arrived on the 18th position which was quite an achievement. After Sebring, the Arnolt-Bristol was raced again at Lime Rock Park and Torrey Pines, driven by George Carr. In the eighties, #3072 arrived in the Tom Trotman collection. In 1995, the car was sold to Douglais Blain, who ordered a full restoration by Jim Young, famous Bristol specialist. After this restoration, the Arnolt-Bristol won several concours d’elegance and obtained a FIVA passport. Between 2000 and 2005, it was entered in several historic races, and when bought by Geoffrey O’Connell it was completely rebuilt again for competition and it got a FIA HTP in 2008. The car has participated several times in the Goodwood Revival and Silverstone Classic.
The actual owner purchased the car in 2010, and brought it completely back to its original Sebring configuration. It was accepted for the Mille Miglia, and participated at Chantilly, Zoute Concours and many other events.
This Arnolt-Bristol has a beautiful patina which makes it look like an unrestored car, while everything is completely restored between 2012 and 2014. This full restoration was done by GT Label, a French top restorer who is famous in creating patinated classic cars. The interior looks like being fully original, and the paintwork has a charm like only a unrestored car can have. The engine is just back from TTP where it was fine tuned, and I must say this is one spectacular car to drive both on road and track : a glorious noise and striking performance which you wouldn’t expect from a 66 years old car with only a 2,0 litre engine….
On top of that, #3072 is beautifully documented with many period pictures including the Sebring 12 hrs race. The full history of this car is known, and the restoration is documented with many photographs and correspondence. There is a FIVA passport, and it comes with an older FIA HTP. It appeared in the May 2016 issue of Classic Cars Magazine, with a 5-page article written by Phil Bell. If you like your cars well documented, then this one will tick all the boxes….
This unique Arnolt-Bristol with loads of racing history is the right car for any serious car collection. It will be accepted for any important event worldwide, and is in beautiful patinated condition. Ready to go anywhere, and offering an unforgettable driving experience. This is not a cheap motorcar, but considering its history and design it may as well be looked at like a piece of art !
- There are no features available