1955 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide

History

An American engineer named Stanley Harold 'Wacky' Arnolt was working for Waukesha Engineering Company during 1939 when the company went bankrupt. As payment for the work Stanley had done, he was awarded a patent for an outboard motor. In two short years, Arnolt had purchased two factories and production of the 'Arnolt-SeaMite' engines for American Marine was in production day and night. As a result, Arnolt made a fortune. By the end of World War II, Wacky had six factories. He switched production from engines to domestic appliances.

Arnolt ordered 200 MG TD's from Nuccio Bertone. He sold all two-hundred in the United States as Arnolt-MGs. Though they may not have been extremely fast, they were exquisit to behold. This success inspired Arnolt to continue to purchase vehicles, outfit them using famous coachwork builders, and then re-sell them to the public.

Arnolt Bristol

During the early 1950's, Arnolt realized a market for sports cars in the United States. Using a Bristol 400 chassis, modifications were named and the result was dubbed the 404. In 1954, the Arnolt Bristol was in production and featured Bertone supplied bodies. They featured hand-formed steel body and aluminum-skinned hoods. The similarities between the Shelby Cobra's and the 'Bolide' are undeniable.

The 'Bolide' was a true racing bred sports car. Without a top, carpeting, windshield wipers, or adjustable seats, the car was void of amenities and very light-weight. A 'DeLux' option was available that included these items, different dashboard, and instruments in front of the driver.

The suspension was comprised of independently sprung front wheels, wishbone arms and a transverse multi-leaf spring and anti-roll bar. The steering was rack-and-pinion.

In 1955, an Arnolt Bristol finished first in class at the 12-Hours of Sebring. Two other Arnolts finished second and fourth. The racing team, owned by the Arnolt Company, went on to win its class at Sebring in 1956 and 1960. Privately owned Arnolt Bristols were frequently seen racing in SCCA E-Production classes.

In total, only 142 Arnolt Bristols were created. Three were coupes, a few were powered by Chevrolet V8's, and a few were all-aluminum bodied cars.


By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007

1955 Vehicle Profiles

1955 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide vehicle information

Roadster
Designer: Bertone

Chassis Num: 404/X/3050
Engine Num: BS1/MKII/ 255

Arnolt Bristol Bolides were designed to be stripped down competitive weekend racers which could be driven to the track, raced and then driven home. This car is no exception and is believed to be the first privateered Bolide. It was initially delivere....[continue reading]

Roadster
Chassis #: 404/X/3050 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

$1,070-$3,990
1955 Bolide
$3,990-$18,050
1955 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Base Price : $3,990

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Arnolt-Bristol
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)
1954Ford (1,165,942)Chevrolet (1,143,561)Plymouth (463,148)
1953Chevrolet (1,346,475)Ford (1,247,542)Plymouth (650,451)
1952Chevrolet (818,142)Ford (671,733)Plymouth (396,000)
1951Chevrolet (1,229,986)Ford (1,013,381)Plymouth (611,000)
1950Chevrolet (1,498,590)Ford (1,208,912)Plymouth (610,954)

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Arnolt-Bristol Models

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Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.

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