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Lot 247: Arnolt-Bristol Deluxe Competition

Techno Classica, Coys (2 April 2011)

At the 1953 London Motor Show the new Arnolt Bristol was unveiled and received universal acclaim. There were three different versions available; the stripped down 'Bolide' racer, the luxurious 'Deluxe' road car and a coupe. Only a handful of the coupes were built, a fraction of the 142 car production run. It is believed that most of the cars were assembled in 1954 and 1955 with production pretty much ending in 1958, but one car kept for spares was sold to its first owner as late as 1968. In a fire at the Chicago headquarters at least 12 cars were destroyed, but around half of the remaining examples are estimated to have survived. Whereas the Deluxe Roadster was equipped with Connolly leather upholstery, a proper windscreen and full weather production, the stripped down Bolide was as bare as it got. Mechanically these two were virtually identical and the Bolide's racing successes throughout North America showcased the road car's potential. The deluxe can be distinguished by a different instrument layout and are equally sought after for competition purposes. This Arnolt-Bristol was restored in 1969 by two friends and business partners from Baltimore, Joe Farace and Ron Snow whereupon they entered it into the 1970 Baltimore Auto Show. It was then sold in 1971 to a gentleman who drove it to work for a while and then sold it to George Towner of Annapolis, Maryland in 1973. He also owned another Arnolt-Bristol and, after moving to North Carolina, he drove both Arnolts down. It was then bought from the estate in 1984 and shipped to Maryland to began preparation for vintage racing. Mike Dicola, a specialist in vintage sportscars, did 90% of the work with other smaller works undertaken as and when. When George Towner purchased the Arnolt as the 4th owner, it had just 27,487 miles on the odometer at inspection. When the vendor prior purchased the Arnolt, it had 32, 764 recorded. When it was sold most recently, it had 35,777 miles. That's 3,000 miles in 20 years. Imported into the UK by the current owner in December 2004 and thoroughly checked over and prepared for the UK MoT test. All EU taxes were paid and it now carries the period UK registration, 758 UXL. Works done include sourcing and fitting a new engine sump to replace the cracked and repaired item; cleaning and setting up carburettors; rewiring car with new loom; stripping and replacing/refurbishing as necessary all brake components, new drum brake linings all round. Five new tyres fitted to re-painted correct Bristol wheels. Since coming to the UK, it has done fewer than 1,000 miles but has been kept on the road and exercised regularly. It is also worth noting that this car was featured in Classic and Sportscar magazine in August 2006 in an article celebrating the 60th anniversary of Bristol Cars. For American vintage racing, it was fitted with a safety rollbar and 4 point harnesses, remote ignition cut-off and a new safety fuel cell in the boot. In all other respects, it is to original "deluxe" specification with windscreen wipers, full height glass windscreen, side screens in Perspex, original folding hood, correct seats, front small bumpers, full width rear bumper, chromed finishers for the front and rear side-light openings, small racing screen in Perspex (new) with correct small windscreen pillars and centre support. A history file including numerous photographs of the car and owner competing in the United States plus a photograph showing Rene Dreyfus, the famous ex-Bugatti racing driver that "Wacky" Arnolt persuaded to act as Team Manager for the Sebring races in which Arnolt-Bristol's competed between 1953 to 1961 and driving this car in 1985. There are probably only 80 cars remaining and this still in its original paint from 1969, it is rare to find such an enthusiastic competitor for historic road and track events such as this but with its history and pedigree, this comprehensively prepared example certainly deserves further inspection.

Lot Details
Auction Techno Classica
Coys, Essen, Germany
Lot Number247
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration number758 UXL
Chassis number404X3134
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2