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8 & 10 cyl Bristol cars Type 407 onwards - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

408 Engine Question

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Old 28-01-14, 03:02 PM
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Default 408 Engine Question

Hi all, I just happily purchased a 1964 Bristol 408. I had been looking for a LHD car for a number of years but when this RHD car came up from a friend I jumped and bought it. It has had its 313 V* replaced with a newly rebuilt 340 six pack engine.

My question is does the replacement of the original 313 with the Chrysler 340 six pack engine effect the value in a positive or negative way. Being new to Bristol ownership I am still figuring all this out.

I live in the US hence originally wanting a LHD car.

Any opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks
Andy
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Old 28-01-14, 10:53 PM
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Default 408 with wrong motor

Hi I also own a 1964 408. It will definately effect the value of your car. The more original your car is the better it is. A wrong motor is a kind of "no go" to my mind. I would take any effort to bring the car back to its original condition.
Best Hans
Berlin Germany
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Old 28-01-14, 11:11 PM
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Hi Andy, perhaps in the long run there may be some affect in having a different engine but Bristols are so rare, and unfortunately so unknown, in the US that I doubt there will any current impact. Condition is much more important as the cost of a restoration to original standards generally costs more than could be recouped by sale. I'd love to be able to update the Registry with your car details. I can be contacted at mcgou@msn.com and would be happy to help you with any issues you have with the car, if I can. Peter McGough BOC NA Registrar.
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Old 29-01-14, 12:51 AM
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Hi Andy,

A classic car with a non original engine is always going to be worth less. That said there are a few Bristols around with non original engines and the factory have been known to "upgrade" and modify cars.

However a 340 six pack seems more appropriate for a street race car than a Bristol 408.

Do you know whether your car is a 408 or a 408 Mk2?

If I were you I would source an original A series 313 or 318 Plymouth engine (NOT LA series) and at least have that available if you sell the car down the track. Being in the US that should be relatively easy.

Did they change the transmission also?
a 408 would have a Torqueflite A-466 and the 408 Mk2 the A-727

If you post the chassis number on here someone should be able to tell you whether it is a Mk2 or not.
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Old 29-01-14, 01:57 AM
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Is a series 6 411 worth more than any other model -- YES

That answers the question on originality ?
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Old 29-01-14, 03:56 AM
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Default An engine swap-not an issue

Some would advise to immediately seek out the original engine of that displacement. The 313 was a Chrysler Canadian engine, and the ubigutious 318 were manufactured by the millions. Your 340 is a small block Chrysler out of he same family, but is what is referred to as an LA engine. Your car, being a 1964 had one of the early small blocks and it was a different family. The idea of a six-pack on it steps up the performance substantially over the old engine, but if you choose to revert back to original, that will not be a hard thing to do. It all depends upon what you want. I would keep the 340 in there and enjoy the performance. I would also source an old 313, and set it aside in case you get the itch for 'originality' or if you decide to sell the car. The torqueflite automatic bolts behind both engines. Enjoy!
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Old 29-01-14, 04:08 AM
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Default Value of an old car-a serious consideration?

To some, yes. To most people who would just like to own any Bristol, no. Value on old things depends upon demand by collectors, and in the case of Bristols, a very tiny fraction of one percent of the car buying public even knows what a Bristol is. Those of us who have been lucky to own most of the cars they have dreamed of owning in our lives find Bristols, Pegassos, and Facel Vegas as some of the last ones we would like to have, and we continually seek them out. There are others, but we all have unique tastes, and we know that some will never come into our possession. The irony of all this is once you have found your prize, you discover that it is a disappointment. After more than 200 cars, I have yet to find the 'perfect' one. I continue to chase my dreams, which is what the old car hobby is all about.
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Old 29-01-14, 05:04 AM
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Thank you for the info. I thought as much. My chassis info is below. I have started to look for the 313 engine and I have been told it is an easy and inexpensive purchase as long as you are patient.
It seems that many Bristol cars I have seen, especially 411 and 603 cars have had engine upgrades. I do know that the 340 was an AAR cuda engine and itself pretty valuable, especially with the vintage Holley six pack with manifold and linkage. Also the performance is astonishing yet still very drivable and sedate when you want it to be.

Car details for Chassis 7007.000, 4081007
Manufactured 1964 1st regd. ca 1964
Colour Pale Silver Blue Config RHD
Trim colour Dark Blue Engine T 383 1025
Chassis 7007 Body/Body No. 1-007
Location CT-USA
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Old 29-01-14, 05:37 AM
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Andy

I know of your car and I would definitely consider the engine you have as an upgrade that would make me pay more for your car over an original one from Berlin. Others wouldn't,but I don't think you want to sell it, so just enjoy !

You have a superb car
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Old 01-02-14, 10:37 PM
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As Bristols are so rare there will not be a body of sales to make deductions from.

Unless your cars next owner is obsessed with matching numbers I'd say : more bhp, newer engine, more efficient- what's not to like?

More and more Bristols will have later power trains as the years pass and this one is closer than most to original spec.

Hope that helps!
Stefan
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Old 02-02-14, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GREG View Post
Is a series 6 411 worth more than any other model -- YES

That answers the question on originality ?
No it doesn't.

If you've just spent 128,000 having the factory refurbish and upgrade a 411 to "Series 6" spec, you would expect (or at least hope) it would be worth more than any other model, at least any other V8 model.

It bears no comparison to a 408 with a 340 six pack.

The word "factory" makes a big difference, in most people's minds when it comes to originality and value.

Generally speaking, it is not correct to say that you can change an engine in a classic car to an engine that has never been fitted by the factory, and the car retain it's originality value.

I'm not being critical of Andy for buying a modified 408, after all I have modified my own 411, but Andy did ask the question and I believe he should have a realistic answer.

The saving grace for Andy is that the engine fitted to his 408 is a quite valuable engine on it's own. But it's value does depend on it's condition, the spec of the internal components, and how many times it has been re-bored. But that's another topic.
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Old 02-02-14, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald G. Stephenson View Post
The 313 was a Chrysler Canadian engine, and the ubigutious 318 were manufactured by the millions. Your 340 is a small block Chrysler out of he same family, but is what is referred to as an LA engine.
The 340 is NOT the same family of engine as the 313 and 318 engines used by Bristol.

The 313 and 318 engines used by Bristol were "A" series engines, with a polyspherical cylinder head chamber. The engines are commonly referred to as "Poly" engines.

Chrysler then moved on to produce the "LA" series engines which had a wedge shaped head chamber. There are few, if any, interchangeable components between a 318 Poly and a 318 "LA" or wedge head engine.

Unfortunately, the "LA" series engine is commonly referred to as the "A" engine which causes much confusion.
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Old 02-02-14, 12:49 PM
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Hey Kevin thank you for the reply. The engine itself is in amazing shape and still retains its forged crank, rods, and its original cylinder heads. A single rebuild on the engine using forged pistons from Mopar performance. All hardware is ARP on engine internals.

It is a very valuable engine and makes me not care too much about not having the 313 right now as the intake manifold on the 340 would probably pay for a rebuildable 313.

I only wondered as I have seen quite a few engine upgrades on Bristol cars and those seem to sell for pretty good money still.

Last edited by andyreid3; 02-02-14 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 11-01-15, 04:28 AM
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This is old, but I think worth a bit more input. I have always understood that since the Bristol factory was always willing to upgrade your V8 Bristol at a price, there is no penalty in value (or in exhibition) so long as you do something that they would have done. So putting in a later Torqueflite is fine, and putting in a 383 (for instance) would be fine. A 340 would not have been an option, as it was never fitted to Bristols, and is indeed a lumpy street engine and not a smooth cruising Bristol engine. I happen to think the 313 is a fine engine, developing 250 bhp at 4400 rpm stock from Plymouth Canada. They can be sourced easily in Canada, having been put in Plymouth Belvederes and Dodge Senecas among others, and even in combine harvesters (my neighbour has one in a Massey Harris combine). They could easily be booted up slightly to a 318, but keep in mind that this is an A engine and not an LA, as pointed out by others, so one has to be careful about the 318 parts and what hey are intended to fit. The 318 version of the A engine was put in a number of US market models also, between about 1958 and 1962.
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Old 17-01-15, 09:40 PM
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Default 340 Six Pack

I bought Andy's 408 last year.
It has needed some work on its steering and also the petrol tank. But the biggest issue has been its engine.
Luckily the 340 "six pack" is an object of great interest to Mopar nuts. With new inlet manifolds, pushrods and much work trying to get the carburetors right it now produces enormous amounts of power.
It is however a little corse, and doesn't like being smooth at 70mph, although pulls like a train beyond 100mph.
If anyone knows of good 313 or 318, I would be very interested in purchasing it. I live in the US, so shipping from Canada would be easy.
The 340 is quite valuable, and I have plenty of potential buyers for that.
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Old 20-01-15, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkirk304 View Post
I bought Andy's 408 last year.
It has needed some work on its steering and also the petrol tank. But the biggest issue has been its engine.
Luckily the 340 "six pack" is an object of great interest to Mopar nuts. With new inlet manifolds, pushrods and much work trying to get the carburetors right it now produces enormous amounts of power.
It is however a little corse, and doesn't like being smooth at 70mph, although pulls like a train beyond 100mph.
If anyone knows of good 313 or 318, I would be very interested in purchasing it. I live in the US, so shipping from Canada would be easy.
The 340 is quite valuable, and I have plenty of potential buyers for that.
I would happily place a wanted ad for you up here. I see you are in Massachusetts, I am located in Alberta.

If you want to find a 318 poly engine in the US, you should look for it in models that used the Carter AFB carburettor, to get the same level of performance. These cars would include the 1960 to 1962 Dodge Dart, including submodels Phoenix, Pioneer and Seneca, although the first of these is most likely to have that option. 1958 to 1960 DeSotos also had the 318 four barrel as an option. I don't have details on later models, but certainly up to 1967 these engines were still current in several models, and found in the Fury among others, and only replaced by the LA in all Chrysler divisions in 1967, although the LA was introduced in in 1964. Most of these poly engines have long since been replaced with something very like your 340.

PS. I have found one 318 in Las Vegas and one in San Jose. PM me if you want details of these. Both are cheap and look complete; the San Jose one was from a 1965 Fury and was running well when removed....... that one would be suitable, although it looks like a 2 barrel, but probably still a performance engine. There's even a video of it running in the car, and it does look and sound good.

Last edited by Bryn Tirion; 20-01-15 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 20-01-15, 02:08 PM
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Smile

I held off from posting on this when it first came up and I have tried to hold off again these last few days, but my petrol head has overcome my sensible head, so here goes :
While a Bristol of the period should have a polysphere 318 engine (original 'A'), and it really is a fine engine, if a little heavy, a 340 six-pack is among the best single cam carburettor V8 engines ever, and there is no shame in running one of these in any vehicle which will take it.
I would like to increase my car collection to include a Dodge Challenger of the period, carefully set up to handle (and ride) well on road, powered by a 340 six-pack. You can have a Hemi or a 440 Max-wedge, but the 340 gives all the power you need if you're not actually drag-racing, and is usefully lighter in the nose of the car.
Anyway, as others have said, the 340 will not be difficult to sell.
As to the originality question, I think these V8 Bristols are amazingly good cars to drive, even in modern traffic. I feel quite strongly that using more modern Mopar V8s and more up-to-date Mopar transmissions are very positive things to do, so that the beauty of the cars and the good qualities of the chassis can be used more frequently, if not daily, with the better economy, driveability, and emissions of the more modern drivetrain.
So you might consider rebuilding your 408 with a Magnum 360 with a 4 or 5-speed and lock-up transmission, its not that difficult !
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Old 20-01-15, 05:04 PM
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Remember that the OP was about an effect on value of the car with an original engine as opposed to the 340. There is indeed a positive value in having a Bristol-sanctioned drivetrain, which can be: a. a 313 poly; b. a 318 poly;c. a 383. The transmission could be either earlier or later push-button Torqueflite, or 727 Torqueflite. For 1965-level performance there is little to beat a poly engine. The 408 313 develops stock 250 bhp at 4400 RPM, and that is straight, unmodified 1958 Plymouth Belvedere with AFB. Bristol pretended they tuned it, but specs are Plymouth stock. The poly A engines developed about 15% more bhp with comparable carburation than did the later LA engines. They're just, as Thor says, heavy.

Since it is rkirk's car, he can do whatever he wants with it, but to fit in with the smooth, high speed cruising style of the car-as-built-in-1965, the 340 or other high cam engine is unsuitable, and a 360 is not a Bristol-sanctioned engine. At slow speed, these cars are meant to glide along almost silently, with just a subdued blub-blub from the tailpipes.

The early cast iron Torqueflites are heavy and run hot, and the aluminium 727 is a much better unit for those reasons. If I could keep the pushbutton operation, I would make the change, but I am not aware that you can.

As for making the 408 into a more modern drive, there lies the slippery slope we can easily get sucked down, and I've been that road myself. Your 408, almost no matter what you do to it, will not beat my 2004 Focus wagon with 2.3 litre Z-Tec engine to 60 mph (7.8 seconds), and that's not fast these days. So why bother? Keep it as a 1965 car and enjoy the ambiance. It still drives very well indeed, feels smooth and powerful, and will easily keep up with modern traffic under normal driving and at any legal speed, plus 40 mph or so!

Last edited by Bryn Tirion; 20-01-15 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 15-05-15, 03:26 PM
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Default 318 Poly

Hello All,

I have acquired a 318 Poly, as I could not find a 313.
The motor is currently being rebuilt, with much guidance from Gary Pavlovich.
I would like to know what color the engine should be painted.
Does anyone know?

I have also received quite a few offers on the 340 6 pack. Apparently it is highly prized.
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Old 15-05-15, 09:15 PM
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Antique Chrysler green (it is a robin's egg blue-green). This is the same as Duplicolor Detroit Diesel Alpine Green, but I used Plastikote number 225 Alpine Green, and I was told that Krylon colour number 2007 is much the same. This colour was very popular for several engines by different manufacturers. Valve or Rocker covers are usually the same colour, but I have seen them black too.
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File Type: jpg poly colour.JPG (152.4 KB, 27 views)

Last edited by Bryn Tirion; 15-05-15 at 09:35 PM.
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