1954 ARNOLT BRISTOL BOLIDE WORKS
VETERAN CAR 1955 MILLE MIGLIA
An entrepreneur who had made his fortune selling marine engines during World War II, Stanley “Wacky” Arnolt had always been enamored with cars.
In 1952, Midwestern foreign car importer S.H. “Wacky” Arnolt went to the Turin Motor Show in Italy and met Nuccio Bertone. There he saw a sample coupe and cabriolet, built on MG TD chassis and resembling miniature Ferraris.
Sensing a winner, Arnolt struck a deal for MG chassis to be shipped directly to Turin, fitted with coachwork, and then shipped stateside. At $3,195, Arnolt was able to sell every one that Bertone could produce, a total of 100 “Arnolt-MGs.”
Created in 1954, the Arnolt-Bristol was Stanley Harold ‘Wacky’ Arnolt’s ideal sports racer. It used a large British engine and chassis with a unique Italian body by Bertone. The design was successful enough to take a class victory at the 1955 Sebring 12 Hours.
At the time of production, Arnolt was a major MG distributor and also on the management board at Bertone. Also having worked on the Bristol 404, he conceived Arnolt-Bristol as an out-and-out race car. Chassis and engines were fabricated at Bristol and the bare chassis were shipped to Italy for their bodies and interiors.
Because Arnolt-Bristols were built largely by hand and in limited quantities, it is believed that only 142 were constructed over a period of seven years, with 130 being sold, as 12 were destroyed in a Chicago warehouse fire.
Arnolt-Bristols were available in three different models; the Deluxe, the Bolide, and the Coupe. The deluxe was the more road friendly version and fitted with bumpers and folding top, while the bolide was more or less a race trimmed vehicle.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This specific Arnolt Bristol was first registered in Illinois on 9 March 1954 on the personal name of Mr. Arnolt. He prepared the car specifically for competing in races to show the ability of the car.
It was used at several Eastern American events including the 1955 Sebring 12 Hours were S.H.Arnolt & Bob Goldich finished 2nd overall.
This specific car was also prepared for the 1955 Mille Miglia and received start number 613 in the Mille Miglia.
Period pictures and documentation from the Mille Miglia Museum Archive in Brescia provide the proofs of the subscription of this car in the race.
The car was raced very actively in1956 and also has a significant recent history including the retro Mille Miglia where the car is recognized and accepted as an official Mille Miglia veteran car.
The car has been fully restored by a well known specialist.
The full restoration was undertaken to period-correct specification, with all components being fully restored (not just cleaned and painted).
The body was fully repaired, retaining as much of the original panelling as possible, and then repainted in the correct shade of light blue. Traces of the original paintwork have been discovered during the restoration process and used to make the exact color.
The seat have been re-trimmed in a beautiful dark bleu leather.
As mentioned above, this Arnolt Bristol has an extensive race history which is shown below:
1954 Wisconsin Grand Prix , race 7
S.H.Arnolt raced with n°9 , finished 4th class E
• June 6th , 1954 Chanute AFB National Grand Prix,races 2&4
S.H. Arnolt raced with number 129 ( result not found )
• July 4 , 1954 Offutt AFB Omaha, 2nd & 4th race
S.H. Arnolt raced with n° 9 , finished 3rd
• August 8 , 1954 Lockbourne AFB Coloumbus , Ohio , 3rd race
S.H.Arnolt raced with n°9 , finished 15th over-all
• September 18 , 1954 Watkins Glen , NY
S.H.Arnolt raced with n°9 , finished 1st class E
• 1955 Ne Ohio Forest City Trophy , 2nd race
S.H.Arnolt raced with car n°9 , finished 3rd
• 1955 Ne Ohio Lake Erie Grand Prix 6th race
S.H.Arnolt raced with car n°9 , finished 2nd
• March 13 , 1955 Sebring 12 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance
S.H.Arnolt & Bob Goldich raced with n° 59 , finished 2nd
• May 1 , 1955 Mille Miglia Brescia Italy
S.H.Arnolt raced n°613 ( DNS)
• July 3, 1955 Milwaukee Mile Road Racing 5th race
S.H.Arnolt raced n°59 ( result not found )
• September 5 , 1955 Fairfax National Races 3rd & 6th race
S.H.Arnolt raced n°29 , finished 4th two times
• September 10 ,1955 Road America Elkhart Lake , 3rd race
S.H.Arnolt raced with n°9 ( result not found )
• September 17 ,1955 Int. Grand Prix of Watkins Glen , NY
S.H.Arnolt raced with n°9 ( result not found )
• 1956 Road America
S.H.Arnolt & Bob Goldich raced n° 9 ( result not found )
• March 24 , 1956 Sebring 12 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance
S.H.Arnolt & Bob Goldich raced n°38 DNF ( lap 77 )
• June 23 , 1956 4H Road America Elkhart Lake , 2nd race
S.H.Arnolt raced n°9 , finished 8th
• March 23 , 1957 Sebring 12 Hours Grand Prix of Endurance
Car had n°93 DNP ( spare car )The day before the departure , they have crashed the car 38 and the spare car has been used with number 38.
• May 2010 1000 Miglia
The car has a very impressive history file.
Included in the history file are amongst many other papers:
– Pictures of Mr. Arnolt with the car
– Lots of period pictures and pictures of old races
– Copy of the delivery document from Bertone to Mr. Arnolt
– Copy of the document from Bristol Cars that confirm the records
– Copy of the subscription documents of the 1955 Mille Miglia
– Articles in a variety of old magazine
The body of the Arnold Bristol is in a very nice condition. The paint has a beautiful deep shine.
One can find some very minor spots on the car due to the usage but honestly this belongs to a car like this.
In our opinion the car must not be too perfect.
All windows are in a nice, unscratched condition and also the chrome is in a wonderful condition.
We would personally add the original race number on the car like the start number of the Mille Miglia which was number 613.
The interior is as the exterior. Extremely beautiful with some very small signs of us.
Absolutely no attention is needed.
The leather on the seats is in a wonderful condition.
The car is complete and ready to go for the Mille Miglia as a tripmaster is already installed.
The car is driving fabulous and is running immediately when the start button is pushed.
The car is very easy to handle but it’s a sort of wolf in sheep clothes.
The clutch is light and progressive. The steering is impressively precise and the pedals are very reactive. This is clearly a sports car but it can also be driven on a comfortable way.
But we must admit when we were making the pictures of the car that it was difficult not to push the gas and race the car for a bit.
This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a veteran Mille Miglia example. We certainly hope to see this Arnolt Bristol with its new owner in the 2021 Mille Miglia at the start.