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1954 Arnolt-Bristol Competition Roadster

See New Pricing!!! Factory Competition Roadster with 1961 Sebring Race History.

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sold

VIN 404/X/3046
Exterior Color White with Blue stripes
Interior Color Black
Mileage 11,503 Miles
Engine Inline 6 Cyl no. 243
Transmission 4 Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ615

Comments

1954 Arnolt Bristol Bolide Competition Roadster
s/n 404/X/3046
White with Blue Stripe with Black Interior

The Arnolt Bristol was the result of American, Italian, and English collaboration. Mr. Arnolt was an eccentric American enthusiast, industrialist and businessman who, through his MG distributorship, struck a deal with Italian coachbuilder Bertone to build 200 special bodies for the MG TD chassis, creating the MG Arnolt. Half way through the run, MG stopped building the TD and to make good on his deal with Bertone, Mr. Arnolt sought a different chassis on which to put Bertone bodies. Eventually, he agreed with Bristol to use a shortened 404 chassis along with the ex-BMW Bristol inline-6, and a very swoopy and all new open body to create the Arnolt Bristol. Available in both stripped Bolide and more equipped Deluxe versions, the Arnolt Bristol was well-received, and met with much club success in SCCA venues. With enough examples built by 1955, the car was homologated as a limited series production sports car with the FIA, and Arnolt retained two cars to use as factory works racers. This particular car is one of those two cars and was retained by the factory until 1963. Arnolt Bristols raced extensively throughout the late 1950`s and early 60`s with considerable success. For 1955, three cars ran the 12 hour race at Sebring. With number one driver as Ren� Dreyfus, and three fully equipped transporters, the Arnolt Bristol effort was very professional and well-equipped. The preparation paid off with 1st, 2nd and 4th in class for the three Arnolt Bristols.

This particular car was subsequently fitted in period with front disc brakes by the factory, and it was in this configuration that the car ran at Sebring in 1961. It retains much of its competition equipment, including a roll bar and a transverse divider to separate the passenger compartment from the trunk and add rigidity. After being raced by the factory, the car was sold in 1963 to its first private individual owner, a Canadian who raced it extensively with considerable success, placing 3rd in class in 1963, 2nd in class in 1964, and 1st in class in 1965. In more recent years, the car has been restored and campaigned in historic HSR and SVRA events in places such as Virginia International Raceway and Elkhart Lake.

The car has excellent race cosmetics, with high quality paint and excellent panel fit, an especially difficult feat given the complex compound curves of the body. There are a few very small chips, but no major blemishes, and the metal trim and chrome are very good. The wheels are very good as well, and a pair of mesh headlight grilles has been fitted.

Like all Bolides, this car has a very basic interior. There are no carpets, only a pair of purposeful bucket seats. The dashboard has been refinished to excellent standards, with beautifully restored Smiths gauges. A relatively small diameter wood-rimmed steering wheel with drilled spokes has been fitted as well.

The engine compartment has been restored and is extremely clean. It looks very stock for a race prepared car, with only a remote oil filter with stainless steel lines and aeroquip fittings. The block and cylinder head are unstamped, suggesting a factory replacement as would have been common among racing cars, while some of the accessory engine parts such as the breather tube and valve covers bear the original matching number of 243. There is a Fuel Safe fuel cell fitted in the trunk. The engine itself is a Stage II unit.

The underside is solid and tidy, while the car drives well. It is appreciably stiffer than the standard Arnolt Bristol, and the engine and transmission work properly. The disc brakes improve braking performance and the car feels tight.

This is an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire a car with tremendous and irreplaceable history. It is a documented factory race car that is extremely eligible for many prestigious events thanks to its build date. Having been fitted with factory disc brakes in period, this car can run in the most stringently regulated events with this important functional improvement. This car is eligible for FIA papers, racing, rallies, tours, and shows, and would make a fantastic addition to any collection.

 


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