Lot 149 - 1950 Bristol 401

Lot 149 - 1950 Bristol 401

Lot 149 - 1950 Bristol 401

Lot Number 149
Registration KDD 124
Chassis Number 401274
Engine Number 8501546
Odometer reading 71,818 miles
Estimate £38,000 - £44,000
  • One of only 622 built
  • Glorious alloy coachwork
  • Discreet safety upgrades

Bristol cars have become known as the 'connoisseur's car' with their aircraft quality construction and discreet and purposeful styling. Bristol's first car, the 400, was introduced in 1946 and was based on BMWs tooling liberated from Eisenach, West Germany after World War Two. It essentially combines the best components from the pre-World War Two models and mating the BMW 326 chassis with the race developed 328 engines and clothed in an aluminium body from the 327. The 401 was introduced in 1948 and remained in production until 1953 with only 611 examples being built for the worldwide market. Mechanically it was similar to the previous 400 models apart from the SU carburettors that were changed to carburettors made by Solex. This increased the horsepower to 85hp from a previous 80hp and the chassis was increased in length to accommodate the new Touring-designed aerodynamic bodywork.

We are delighted to offer this wonderful example of the Bristol 401 that is presented with a lovely black coachwork with contrasting magnolia hide interior. Being an early 401, identified by its square-edged bottom sill, ivory coloured instruments, and indicator switch on the top of the steering column, the car comes with a 2.0 litre, OHV engine with triple Solex carburettors and a four-speed manual gearbox with overdrive. It has a good history file, showing plenty of ongoing maintenance and care and it received a thorough bodywork overhaul in 2012 from, the well-respected specialists, Mitchell Motors, Wiltshire. Brakes, suspension and steering have all been attended to and an overdrive, brake servo and a discreet high-level brake light have been added to improve safety for modern road conditions. Seat belts are fitted front and rear so that everyone may enjoy travelling with extra safety. The history file records MoT test certificates back to the 1980’s, invoices from the 1980s, an original instruction manual and a large amount of paperwork and photographs to confirm the extensive works since 2008.

In excellent order throughout, the Bristol looks wonderful in black and, we are informed, drives superbly. Examples of this quality are becoming increasingly hard to find and seldom come up for sale in the market place, especially when compared to their contemporaries such as the Aston Martin and Alvis. They perhaps offer the true enthusiast an opportunity to own a hand built car, especially with respect to the attractive estimate.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.

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