1955 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide

Sale Price
$280,000 - $320,000
Est. Range
21 January 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. X4043005; Engine no. BS1MKII291. Red over black. 1971/130hp Bristol engine with triple Webers, 4-speed, steel wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, Ansa exhaust, roll bar, dual mirrors, woodrim steering wheel.

Evaluation: Represented as the sixth Bolide built but early history is unknown. Vintage raced in the 1980s and restored about 30 years ago. Not raced since, just driven on the road. Engine bay looks tidy but not fantastic. A few chips visible around some panel edges. Very small dent in the tail. Interior looks good.

Bottom Line: Backed by the money and energy of American businessman Stanley “Wacky” Arnolt, clothed in an unusual but sexy body by Franco Scaglione at Bertone, and powered by the tall British Bristol-straight six in a Bristol 404 chassis, it’s hard to say what country the Arnolt-Bristol really hails from. But these oddball sports cars are rare, interesting to look at, and Mille Miglia eligible. This one is still perfectly presentable and usable, so at this price it’s something of a bargain. It sold for well under its low estimate, and nearly all of the Arnolt-Bristols sold at auction in the last few years have brought on the other side of 300 grand.

by Andrew Newton
27 January 2021
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  • R Bennett says:

    This example has altered body work and a few other questionable features. Perhaps condition also had a bit to do with the result.

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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.