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Sunday, April 2, 2023

The rare American sports cars built on British' car chassis and Italian-worked body

Rare ONES The early 1950s could be said to be the era of the birth of beautiful sports cars as a result of collaboration between 2 manufacturers from different countries. Some time ago we discussed a beautiful car, the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe by Ghia, which was the result of rebodying America car done by the skilled hands of Italian carrozzerie. And now we will try to bring nearly same automotive work, which has Italian-designed bodywork built on British car chassis and initiated by an American.
The Arnolt-Bristol Coupe (in pictured was 1953 model). (Picture from: RMW)
Well, the man behind the birth of the car later known as the Arnolt-Bristol was Stanley "Wacky" Arnolt, an American entrepreneur, who made a fortune by selling marine engines during World War II and has a great passion for the automotive world. So after the war, he began importing foreign cars to the United States during the 1950s.
Interior view of the Arnolt-Bristol Coupe (in pictured was 1953 model). (Picture from: RMW)
For smoothed such automotive business, he estabilished his own company, SH Arnold Inc. which is a licensed car manufacturer in the State of Illinois. All those cars were true hybrids, with British mechanicals, Italian bodywork, and U.S. sales and distribution, as well as in some cases final assembly and body work.
The Arnolt-Bristol (in pictured was 1953 model) is powered by an 1,977 cc six-cylinders engines with power of 130 hp. (Picture from: RMW)
Then, he had a fortuitous meeting with Bertone, while attending the 1952 Turin Auto Salon, which resulted in four collaborative efforts between Arnolt and the Italian coachbuilder. Furthermore, he also negotiated with the British automaker Bristol Cars Ltd. for the purchase of 200 of their 404 Series chassis included the 1,971 cc six-cylinder engine with 130 hp of power.
The Arnolt-Bristol Coupe (in pictured was 1953 model). (Picture from: RMW)
As quoted from RigaMasterWorkshop, the purchase was made in order to find a new source of chassis to fulfill one of the clauses of Arnolt's deal with Bertone in whom he had invested heavily in, after another British automaker MG was unable to fulfill the amount that he wanted.
The Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe roadster (in pictured was 1954 model). (Picture from: ClassicCarWeekly.net)
Then the Bristol-supplied chassis were shipped to Carrozzeria Bertone where they would receive a highly aerodynamic body with a flowing design. Coincidentally, the Arnolt car' body was designed by Bertone's new designer and aerodynamicist, Franco Scaglione whose soon-to-be-famous designer of the Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept cars.
The Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe roadster (in pictured was 1956 model). (Picture from: RMSothebys)
Initially, the very tall Bristol' engine coupled with three single barrel Solex 32 carburetors was created problems for designing a sleek-looking sports car. However, Franco Scaglione handled these with particular genius, in which firstly by incorporating a hood scoop to lower the surrounding sheet metal, and then by incorporating sharply creased fender lines out over the wheels to draw the eye's attention away from the unusually tall peak in the hood, plus there's a slight design changes were requested by SH Arnolt.
The Arnolt-Bristol Bolide roadster (in pictured was 1954 model). (Picture from: Medcom.id)
Harboring his own automotive ambitions, Arnolt created a racing team for the Sebring 12-Hour races, and in 1955, at their first attempt, the special lightweight cars finished first, second and fourth in the Sports 2000 class. Success was achieved again in the following year in which they took second and third in the same class.
The Arnolt-Bristol Bolide roadster (in pictured was 1954 model) is powered by an 1,977 cc six-cylinders engines with power of 130 hp. (Picture from: Medcom.id)
However, the team withdrew from the championship in 1957, after Bob Goldich's fatal accident on the first lap of his first start in the car co-driven by Wacky Arnolt, while a privately entered Arnolt-Bristol finished fifth in class. Eventually, in 1960 brought final class win, the team placing 14th, 22d and 39th overall.
The Arnolt-Bristol Bolide roadster (in pictured was 1954 model). (Picture from: Medcom.id)
At that time, the Arnolt-Bristol cars were available in four body styles, ie the Competition was a stripped road racer, the Bolide was a slightly better-appointed road racer, then the Deluxe, a better-appointed version of the Bolide with side windows and convertible top, instruments mounted in a housing in front of the driver, glove box set in the dash.
The Arnolt-Bristol Bolide roadster (in pictured was 1954 model). (Picture from: Medcom.id)
And the last style of the Arnolt-Bristol sports car was the Coupe featured with pop-up headlights. Besides that at least one open car was subsequently fitted with a removable hardtop by S.H. Arnolt. Then related to the price, the official price from the factory per 1956 for the Arnolt-Bristol Competition was $ 3.995, for the Bolide $ 4.245, then $ 4.995 for the Deluxe and $ 5.995 for the Coupe.
The Arnolt-Bristol Competition roadster (in pictured was 1954 model). (Picture from: CollectorCarWolrd)
All Arnolt Bristols were built between January 14, 1953 and December 12, 1959. The majority were built in 1954 and 1959. A total of 142 cars were produced, of which 12 were written off after a factory fire. The fire-damaged cars were used as a source of spares by Arnolt in later years.
The total production included six coupes, and two aluminum alloy-bodied cars. One of the cars was originally right hand drive: the rest were all left hand drive. One of the cars never received a body, and was used as a rolling chassis for auto shows. This chassis is still in the possession of the Arnolt family.
Despite the racing successes, the cars did not sell well. Some of the cars did not sell until after 1960, and the last car to be sold, fitted with four headlights and remained unsold until 1968. Today, of the approximately 130 to 140 units ever made, estimated that around 80 to 90 units were left. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | RMW.LV | CARSCOOPS | CLASSICCARWEEKLY.NET | RMSOTHEBYS | COLLECTORCARWORLD ]
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