1956 Arnolt Bristol Roadster

When MG ceased production of the TD "Wacky" Arnolt and Bertone were left without a chassis on which to continue production of the Arnolt-MG. In looking around they identified the advanced Bristol 404, designed and built by the aeronautical specialists at the Bristol airplane company as a possible choice. Fitted with the 2-liter Bristol inline six derived from the prewar BMW 328, it offered levels of road holding and light weight others could only dream about. The large diameter twin tube frame, transverse leaf spring independent front suspension, torsion bar sprung live rear axle and rack and pinion steering were both light and adaptable. At Arnolt's initiative Bertone designer Franco Scaglione created a unique aluminum streamlined envelope body design with distinctive sharply creased fenders, Scaglione's favored clamshell wheel wells, a low horizontal grille integrated with the headlights and a subtle hood scoop to clear the top of the tall Bristol six. The resulting Arnolt-Bristol made its first appearance at Sebring in 1955, sweeping first, second and fourth places in the 2000 cc sportscar class. Despite its outstanding performance the Arnolt-Bristol was expensive and sold slowly but they have become avidly sought by collectors today, particularly by those who exploit their exceptional performance and benign handling characteristics in historic racing. Several remained in Arnolt's inventory even after production ended and it has long been speculated that a few were modified by Arnolt with Chevrolet engines in the late Fifties to assist in clearing out the inventory. This beautifully restored and presented 1956 Arnolt-Bristol is fitted with a Chevy 265 cubic inch V-8 with dual 4-barrel carburetors and 4-speed transmission. Its origins are unknown, but the fact that it is built with the earlier 265 Chevy, available in high performance trim only through 1956 and superseded for performance applications in 1957, strongly suggests it was built in the Fifties before the Chevrolet 283 or its even more powerful 327 successor were available. Its restoration is fastidious and complete, with excellent cosmetics and a dramatic color scheme of bright red with dark red competition stripes over a luxurious performance oriented bucket-seated interior upholstered in black and red leather. The cut down curved glass vee windshield and sparse interior identify it as one of Arnolt-Bristol's Bolide models. Arnolt-Bristol badged and fitted with chrome steel wheels with Arnolt-Bristol hubcaps, on the widely spaced dual exhausts identify it as something other than a Bristol-powered Arnolt-Bristol, until the power and torque of the Chevy are unleashed which will forever separate it from similar cars. It will challenge the best 289 Cobras while being one among many on the Colorado Grand or any Concours field. This is one very special, fastidiously restored and potent Arnolt-Bristol.

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