1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide

Deluxe Roadster, body by Bertone
€287,500 ($299,288)
Sale Price
€300,000 - €400,000
Est. Range
13 May 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Competition restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 404X3105; Engine no. BS1MKII302. Dark blue with white stripe over black leather. 1971/130hp, triple Solex carburetors, 4-speed, silver stamped wheels, Blockley tires, Halda Speed Pilot, stoneguarded Lucas headlights, leather rim 4-spoke steering wheel.

Evaluation: Represented as the matching numbers engine and first owned by Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, supposedly gifted to him by Stanley Arnolt himself. Sound old paint and upholstery. Dirty undercoated chassis and underbody. Dull, dusty gauges. Several event stickers attest both to the purpose and the use of this Bolide.

Bottom Line: The Hefner/Playboy connection is somewhat ephemeral but still good for starting a conversation at a car show. Its celebrity history is not reflected in the price it brought, which is a representative result for a Bolide Deluxe.

by Rick Carey
7 June 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.