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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 400-406

Bristol 400-406

RATING:

8 / 10

PRICE: £3000 - £19,000+

View full review

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.

Bristol 407-408

Bristol 407-408

RATING:

8 / 10

PRICE: £3000 - £14,000+

View full review

Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1961-65
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door sports saloon
  • Engine:
    Overhead valve V8 5130cc 250bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    9.5 sec
  • Top Speed:
    120+ mph
  • MPG:
    12-18

Big, bold and beautiful, the 407 was similar in appearance to the 406, but under the bonnet was a 5.2 V8 Chrysler engine, driving through standard-fit automatic. A notable feature was independent front suspension with coil springs and ball-jointed transverse wishbones (earlier models made do with transverse leaf springs). Servo-assisted disc brakes were fitted. Specification levels were high and as with the earlier Bristols, top class engineering and excellent performance came as standard with the 407, which was replaced in October 1963 by the similar 408. This model was identifiable by its quadruple headlamps and an angular roof line.

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