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1961 BRISTOL 407 TWO-DOOR SPORTS COUPE

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1961 BRISTOL 407 TWO-DOOR SPORTS COUPE

Registration No. 407 WPC
Chassis No. 6001
Engine No. 949/12297C
Red with black interior

Engine; Chrysler V8, 5,130cc, 250bhp at 4,400rpm; Gearbox; three speed automatic; Brakes; four wheel hydraulic discs; Suspension; front, independent by transverse wishbones of unequal length, coil springs and telescopic dampers, rear, rigid axle with longitudinal torsion bars, Watts linkage and telescopic dampers. Right hand drive.

Bristol Cars were a subsiduary of the Bristol Aeroplane Company of Filton, Bristol. They had early associations with BMW and the 400 was based upon the 2-litre BMW design. The Bristol 2-litre engine was a force to be reckoned with in the fifties sporting scene and among the users of this excellent power unit were Frazer Nash, A.C. and Cooper Cars.

In 1958 the Bristol 406 appeared and had a new two-door aluminium body which whilst resembling the previous 405 was larger and more imposing than the previous models. It also had a more sumptious interior and in the mechanical department had an uprated 2.2-litre Bristol engine, all round disc brakes and an improved method of rear axle location. Whilst the car was well received the Bristol could not compete with the likes of Bentley and other high performance luuxury saloons and therefore in 1961 Bristol decided to drop its hallmark engine and settled upon the far superior 5-litre Chrysler V8.

The new model was (no surprises) announced as the 407 and with the new engine could reach a top speed of 127mph and cover 0-60mph in an incredible 9.2 seconds, despite being linked to Chrysler's own Torqueflite three speed automatic gearbox. According to the Bristol Owners Club records this 407 is the very first production vehicle and in their chassis list is shown as a "development car". There were two prototypes, 1-P4 and 1-P5. The vehicle is unique in that until recently it retained the original General Motors dynamo and electric control equipment. These items are available to be refitted. The vehicle is also fitted with unusual bucket type racing front seats.

The previous owner, a Judge in the north of England, used it daily for 12 years. The current owner, who uses it for the comfort the Bristol gives on long journies, bought it in 1989, and has carried out extensive repairs and restoration including a complete overhaul of the gearbox, a new dynamo and electrical system, a complete overhaul of the brakes, a new burr-walnut veneer and restoration of the leatherwork.

The car has been well maintained throughout its life and some documented service history goes back to 1976. It is in a very original condition except for the colour which was ice blue when new and was resprayed (bare metal) early on in its life in Jupiter red.
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