miercuri, 6 aprilie 2016

Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster by Bertone 1957 - World Of Classic Cars -

Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster by Bertone 1957

Known as “Wacky” for his demeanor, Chicago imported car and accessory dealer Stanley H. Arnolt was an inveterate entrepreneur and larger-than-life figure. He was remarkably successful, with a huge Austin-MG-Morris distributorship based out of Chicago and a seat on the board of Italian coachbuilder Bertone, which he willed to produce several interesting specials on a variety of chassis.
In the early 1950s, Arnolt struck a deal with Bristol Cars of England for 200 of the Series 404 chassis, equipped with the company’s 1,971–cubic centimeter inline six, four-speed gearbox, and transverse-leaf and torsion-bar suspension. The cars were shipped to Bertone and clothed in aerodynamic roadster bodywork, designed by Franco Scaglione, later famous for Alfa Romeo’s BAT cars. The cars were sold in four different configurations. The most basic model was known simply as the Competition, with a low windscreen and very Spartan cockpit. Slightly better appointed was the Bolide, with a folding half-screen. The Deluxe model was even better appointed and was designed for road rather than track use. Arnolt-Bristols were raced extensively in the 1950s and ’60s. The factory team took 1st, 2nd, and 4th in class at Sebring in 1955 and won its class again in 1960.
Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster by Bertone 1957

The Arnolt-Bristol Bolide presented here was sold new to Larry McNutt of Oakland, California, who competed with it in SCCA regional events in Northern California, including at Stockton, Vaca Valley, and Cotati. Correspondence from Walter Inai, Arnolt’s sales/racing manager, congratulates him on numerous successes.
Following McNutt’s untimely passing in the early 1960s, his faithful steed sat in storage until 1974, when it was sold by his widow to British-born composer and musician James “Jimmy” Dale. Dale competed with the car at Mosport in Ontario, among other venues, before selling it to the third owner in 1977. The new owner installed a small-block Chevrolet V-8 and nine-inch Ford rear axle and ran the car at various East Coast tracks and hillclimbs, in a new orange and dark blue color scheme, including annual appearances at Mount Equinox in Vermont for over two decades.
Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster by Bertone 1957

The current owner purchased the car in 2009. Since that time, some $40,000 has been spent on an extensive mechanical rebuild, including reinstalling the original Bristol engine, which was included in the sale. In addition, some upgrades were made for better operation and reliability: a new, large aluminum radiator with manually operated electric fan, a backup electric fuel pump, and electronic ignition. The car has the original oil cooler and Alfin brake drums on the front.