Bristol 401, 1953
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Updated: 24-May-2024 15:05

Bristol 401, 1953

Engine sound
Sound driving
Model information
Make history

Bristol 401, year 1953. Colour blue with a beige leather interior. This fabulous aluminium bodied Bristol 401 was imported to the Netherlands in the year 1992. In recent years the body work has been restored and the original BMW engine was overhauled. The interior is beautifully original and complemented by renewed carpet. A file with invoices is present. This beautiful and rare (611 built) Bristol is in very good to excellent condition and the car drives superbly!
Bristol was a aero and fighter plane factory which also built very expensive high quality automobiles for connoisseurs. In the highest British circles Bristol cars were very highly regarded as gentleman's sports automobiles. This Bristol 401 is a very beautiful example with a touch of patina.


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The firm Bristol was founded in the year 1910 by the name Bristol aero plane company. The company built amongst others the famous Bristol Blenheim bomber airplane which was used during world war two. In the years during the second world war the managing board at Bristol decided to branch out to building automobiles once the war had ended. In 1944 the first prototype was ready and in 1947 the first Bristol automobile saw the light of day; the Bristol 400. The 400 was mechanically based upon the prewar BMW two litre. The BMW six cylinder engines were built under license by Bristol and the engines were also sold to Cooper, Frazer Nash and AC.
All Bristol automobiles which would follow over the years were constructed with an aluminium "Super Leggera" bodywork which was mounted on a separate steel chassis.
The six cylinder models succeeding the Bristol 400 were the 403 en 404 in 1953, de 405 in 1955, de 406 in 1958 (the 406 was the first Bristol with disk brakes all round).
Starting with the Bristol 407, which was introduced in the year 1961, Bristol fitted American Chrysler V8 "big block" engines to their cars. These very powerful and reliable engines formed a perfect combination with the large, heavy and very luxurious Bristol automobiles and gave them sports car performance.

Bristol is still active as automobile manufacturer. The Bristol automobiles are still fully hand build for a very select group of people. Bristol automobiles belong to the very exclusive top range in the car industry today.
People who can afford a Bristol are humans who can buy the most expensive Rolls Royce, Bentley or Maybach. They prefer the very exclusive but modest Bristol because they treasure the craftsmanship, quality and potential of the Bristol. They treasure and enjoy where and what they are in life and they do not need an external symbol to show that.

Technical data

6 cylinder in-line engine (OHV)
cylinder capacity: 1971 cc.
capacity: 82 bhp. at 4200 rpm.
top-speed: 140 km/h.
gearbox: 4-speed manual
weight: 1185 kg.