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Marque: Bristol - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand

Bristol

Bristol

It is almost a century since the Bristol Aeroplane Company started to produce aircraft (from1910), and the firm’s machines played vital roles in both the First and Second World Wars. During the 1939-45 War, the company produced over 14,000 aeroplanes, including the Beaufighter, Blenheim and Fighter (all names which have been used again in recent years for Bristol car models). The car division…

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Bristol 411-412

Bristol 411-412

RATING:

6 / 10

PRICE: 411: £3500 - £16,000; 412 Convertible: £4000 - £20,000

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1969-76
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door sports saloon(411); two-door convertible (412)
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve V8 To October 1972 6277cc 335bhp; October 1972 on 6556cc power output not quoted
  • 0-60 mph:
    7+ sec
  • Top Speed:
    140 mph
  • MPG:
    12-18

The 6.3-litre 411 arrived in 1969, with a standard-fit limited slip diff and a collapsible steering column, plus (compared with 410 it replaced) revised suspension. The tail fins of the 410 had gone, and the boot was bigger. The ‘Series II’ 411 (from 1971) featured further updates. ‘Series III’ (mid-1972) had a new grille, bumpers and revised lamps and safety upgrades. A ‘Series IV’ appeared in late ‘72, with a 6.6-litre engine. Restyled ‘Series V’ versions arrived in 1975, with self-levelling rear suspension. Also a Zagato-styled four seat 412 Convertible made its debut. The ‘Convertible Saloon’ of 1976 could be used with a removable hardtop or a conventional soft hood.

Bristol 400-406

Bristol 400-406

RATING:

8 / 10

PRICE: £3000 - £19,000+

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1946-61
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door sports saloon; four-door saloon (405 only), drophead
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve in-line six-cylinder 1971cc 85bhp (401 & 402); 1971cc 100bhp (404); 1971cc 105bhp (405); 2216cc 105bhp (406
  • 0-60 mph:
    Early (85 bhp ) cars 17+ sec; Later cars approx 14 sec
  • Top Speed:
    Early (85 bhp ) cars 95 mph; Later cars 120 mph
  • MPG:
    20-25

Introduced in 1946, the two-door Frazer-Nash Bristol sports saloon (based on the pre-War BMW 328) featured a triple carb, six-cylinder, two-litre; a BMW engine which had been improved by Bristol. The 401 arrived in 1948, with bodywork built on the Superleggera principle (steel cage clad with aluminium panels). For 1949, the new 402 drophead was offered. A re-engineered 403 followed in 1953, then came the 404, with wood-framed bodywork. The four-door 405 (403- based) arrived in ‘55; dropheads were also produced. The last Bristol to use the BMW-inspired power unit was the 1958 to 1961 406 (with a 2.2-litre variant). Zagato coupé also produced.

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