Stanley Howard "Wacky" Arnolt was a Chicago based industrialist/car dealer magnate who in the
early 1950's decided to build his own car. His initially foray was combining a MG TD chassis with
Bertone styling to produce the Arnolt-MG. About 100 of these cars were made. When MG discontinued
the TD, Wacky turned to the Bristol 404 for the running gear and Bertone for the styling and another
American-British-Italian hybrid was born in the Arnolt-Bristol.
Wacky had originally started out making machining equipment and a marine engine called the
Sea-Mite in a Warsaw, Indiana based factory. As his business flourished he diversified into car dealership
and by the early 1950's had approximately 30 dealership throughout the Midwest.
Since Wacky liked racing it was a natural fit for him to produce a race car after his Arnolt-MG.
The Arnolt-Bristol (A-B) of which only 142 were made was introduced in 1952 at a race in Elkhart Lake
and premiered at the International Motor Exposition in London in 1953. Ever, a showman
Wacky placed an ad for the A-B in the 1954 premier issue of the new sports magazine, Sports
(Image courtesy of McLellansAutomotive.com)
The Arnolt-Bristol although a bit of a parts bin car was competitive for a number of reasons
including a light chassis(Bristol 404), body (Bertone-weight 2050lbs) and a tuned Bristol six putting out 130hp
when the regular Bristol engine was putting out 108hp. Suspension setup was a double wishbone
upfront with a live rear axle and drum brakes at all four corners. As a racer the A-B was good
enough to win many races including the 2.0L class at Sebring in both 1955 and 1956.
A confluence of events lead to the end of the A-B demise despite the fact that there were still competitive
race cars when production ceased of which the death of Wacky in 1960 and Bristol's phasing out of the BMW derived
straight six were the two key issues. The surviving A-Bs are well sought after and this well
documented example is now for sale at Fantasy Junction in California.