1949 Bristol 400

1949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 4001949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
1949 Bristol 400
United Kingdom
With just 487 examples built, it’s unusual for a Bristol 400 to come up for sale, and this one is a lovely example. It boasts a few upgrades that make it better suited to our modern roads, and overall it has the feel of an older restoration. The body and wings are in decent condition with no obvious damage or corrosion. The panel gaps are extremely good, and all the glass is perfect.
Around the front screen some of the trim is tarnished, but otherwise the brightwork is decent. The paint is generally presentable but with overspray on the bonnet seals, some runs on the inside edges of the doors and a few small areas of microblistering. Modern flashing indicators have been fitted fore and aft, as has a rear fog light. The trafficator arms are present but not connected and the rear brake lights have been replaced by LEDs fitted in the original housings. The wheels are powdercoated and currently have no hubcaps. The interior is the highlight of the car. The leather seats are in excellent condition, and have probably been recently re-trimmed. Both doorcards are tidy while the carpets remain good overall, although the wooden dashboard is cracked in several places and would benefit from a polish to lessen the small scuffs. The period HMV radio has modern internals, including an MP3 input, and the dials and gauges all function – even though the rev needle bounces around a little under acceleration. The headlining has some staining around the rear window, but we found no further water damage. The original jack is in the boot – no other tools, sadly. The engine churns on the starter for a few seconds but soon settles to a steady idle. The gearbox feels stiff – apparently because of the conversion to a Frazer Nash closeratio competition unit – but once familiar with its narrow gate the all-synchromesh unit is a joy to use, and the J-type overdrive works well, reducing revs by about 800rpm. Steering is light at speed and admirably precise, while the brakes too are excellent – a result of the upgrade to front discs with four-piston calipers. The superb handling inspires confidence, even on bumpy roads. A welcome addition is the conversion to an unleaded cylinder head, along with modified combustion chambers with larger 100-series inlet valves, and gas-flowed inlet and exhaust ports. Indicated oil pressure was around 70psi when driving. Some oil seepage is to be expected and what little we spotted wasn’t of great concern.
The engine block has undergone a welded repair at some stage. Electronic ignition and an alternator have also been added, as has a larger brake servo and electric fan. Four Michelin radial tyres and a spare were fitted in 2012.
There’s a decent history file, including the original buff logbook and receipts for many of the upgrades. While the car shows its age in a few places, it certainly drives well. This, and the lovely interior, are the strongest selling points of this rare car.
Introduced in 1946, the 400 was the first car built by Bristol, using Frazer Nash-BMW technology. Although chassis three and four were convertibles, standard bodywork was a two-door, four-seater saloon. The Type 85 straight-six was available in four states of tune: single-Solex with 75bhp, 85A with triple-SU D2s and 80bhp, 85B with a high-performance camshaft and 85bhp at 5000rpm, and 85C with three Solex 32B1s and peak power at 4200rpm. The 400 Series 2, introduced 1948, was mechanically unaltered but featured bigger bumpers and a redesigned boot, with the spare wheel now externally mounted. Although succeeded in 1949 by the new 401, production of the 400 continued until 1950.
1949 Bristol 400
Price £65,000
Contact SLJ Hackett, Warminster (01985 219551, sljhackett.co.uk)
Engine 1971cc, six-cylinder, ohv, three Solex 32B1 carburettors
Max Power 85bhp @ 4200rpm
Max Torque 96lb ft @ 3000rpm
0-60mph 18.9sec
Top speed 87mph
Fuel consumption 26mpg
Length 4663mm
Width 1646mm
Year 1949
Power 85 bhp
Torque 96 lb ft
VIN number 6466613664498797
Airbags Yes
A/C Yes
Displacement 2.0
Complectation Low
Doors 2
Mileage 129 366 Miles
Fuel Petrol
Transmission Manual
Body Types Coupe
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!
Drives TODAY use cookie