1956 Arnolt Bristol Deluxe

1956 Arnolt Bristol Front Corner

Update 7/5/11 – The reserve wasn’t met at $66k and 33 bids. We’ll watch and see if it gets relisted.

In the 1950’s many wealthy Americans wanted cars with Italian flare and style, but without the headache often associated with high strung Italian mechanicals. So, Stanley Arnolt began importing car bodies from Italy and using more reliable British mechanicals to power them. Arnolt used a wide range of British mechanicals, including MG, Aston Martin, Bently, and Bristol. The Arnolt Bristol deal was the most successful of Arnolt’s partnerships, with 142 Arnolt Bristols being built. This Arnolt is a beautiful deluxe model with a soft top, side windows, and a glove box. This Arnolt Bristol is currently on eBay with a current bid of $60k.

1956 Arnolt Bristol Rear Corner

The design of the Arnolt Bristol is quite unique and very flowing. These cars borrowed a lot of styling cues from cars such as the Jaguar XKSS. The highly raised fender with their sharp crease is not an attractive design choice; it also helped disguise the large hood bulge that was necessary to house the very tall Bristol BS1 spec engine.

1956 Arnolt Bristol Interior

The simplistic interior is very attractive, with beautiful tan leather seats with red tubing. We really love the dash in the Deluxe Arnolt Bristols. The gauge cluster well laid out, with a very defined sense of balance and symmetry rarely seen in cars of this era. We also can’t help but notice the remote shifter on this car.

1956 Arnolt Bristol Engine

The seller says this car is currently fitted with a Bristol 100D bottom end, which is not the original block. The head is the correct BS1 MkII and is stamped as number 316, which matches the VIN plate. This is particularly interesting considering that this car was listed on eBay 3 years ago with no mention of the engine having been swapped at any point. The Bristol 100D is very similar, both in size and performance as the BS1, so this should make little difference in the performance of the car.

1956 Arnolt Bristol Left Front Corner

This car is currently in Belgium, so somewhere between California and Belgium this car may have changed engines. If anyone knows more about the history of this car we would love to hear about it. We can’t tell for sure, but the car’s id number appears to be 5811SL and the chassis number is 3112. Arnolt Bristols are pretty rare and ones in this condition often go for over $150k, so we will be interested to see if this car meets its reserve and if so what it goes for.


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  1. Gene

    Actually, the styling was in no way emulating the Jag-XKSS as the XKSS did not come along until the A-B was almost at the finish of its production. I think the first A-B came about in 1955.

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