Monday, October 28, 2013

Arnolt-Bristol by Bertone

Stanley H. Arnolt (for some reason known as "Wacky") had enough spare money that he created an automobile company that had several hundred cars built during the 1950s.  Nearly all had British based mechanical parts and bodies crafted by Bertone, an Italian coachbuilding firm.  Arnolt's first such effort was based on the MG TD sports car and the next made use of the Bristol. The Wikipedia entry on Arnolt deals with the history of his automobile efforts.

Both cars were nicely styled, but I think the Arnolt-Bristol (built 1953-1959) was the more exciting of the two. One source describing it and presenting some nice photos is here. Another account dealing with the Arnolt-Bristol can be linked here.

Below are some good photos of an Arnolt-Bristol that I found on this site.


Here is an introductory view.  Note that this car has no bumpers.  (Some had tiny bumpers that made them street-legal, but offered no serious collision protection.)

Here is how the car is seen from normal eye-level.  One of the sources linked above mentions that the hood and cowl were high due to the dimensions of the engine and its placement on the chassis.  It went on to state that Bertone helped camouflage the bulge by raising the fenders higher than they otherwise needed to be.  The result, in my fairly humble opinion, was a distinctive design that oozes sex, speed and a certain amount of power.  I loved it the first time I saw a photo of it.

A side view.  From this position the car's height and ground clearance are obvious.  It still looks good, but not so sensational.

Seen from towards the rear, the upwards body bulge and high fenders come into play again.  Not quite as nice as the front views above, but in the early 1950s stylists tended to pay less attention to a car's tail.

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