Lot 214 - 1949 Bristol 400 Coupé

Lot 214 - 1949 Bristol 400 Coupé

Lot 214 - 1949 Bristol 400 Coupé

Lot Number 214
Registration NNU 312
Chassis Number 400/1/563
Engine Number 400/85A/1273
Odometer reading 18,792 miles
Estimate £55,000 - £65,000

Bristol motor cars occupy a soft spot in every enthusiast’s heart, the methods of construction taken directly from aircraft production, the superlative triple carb engine combined with sumptuous refinement to the interior all made for a true classic. The 400 was the first real Bristol motorcar. After World War II. Keen collectors will note that Bristol chose to base its first model on the best features of two outstanding pre-war BMWs, namely the 328's engine and the 326's frame. These were covered with a neat all-steel body, inspired on BMW 327's. This could carry four passengers to a top speed of around 92mph with acceleration to match.

The previous owner bought the car some years ago in Northumberland where the owner had kept it in storage for over 40 years. It was then taken back to bare metal and repaired where necessary before receiving its new duck-egg blue paintwork with all chromework rechromed and rubbers replaced. New P770 headlights were also fitted and the side lights were reworked to act as indicators. The engine was then rebuilt and the opportunity was taken to fit a later cylinder head which is a recognised improvement and a source of extra power for the BMW derived engine. Electronic ignition was also installed within the original distributor and the gearbox overhauled with a new clutch fitted alongside a stainless-steel exhaust.

A new tan hide interior upholstery with headlining and refurbished woodwork has also been installed with immaculate results. The current vendor went through the car meticulously alongside Charles Russell, specialist vintage sports car engineers based in Warminster. It turns out however that more work than was initially expected was required and the initial workshop report was extensive to say the least. The engine was removed and taken apart taken away to be rebuilt for even though new rings were installed, the ‘lands’ were worn, a crucial element of these engines if not in tip-top condition. The cost of the re-built engine was over £12,600 alone and included a number of significant gearbox and poor brake line repairs. All works are detailed and now completed to an excellent standard.

The result is a beautifully presented example of Bristol's iconic 400 series coupé in a proper factory colour and prepared to the very highest degree. This really is the best example we have ever seen.


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. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. 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.

Web design London Edgebound