Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Bristol Forums > 8 & 10 cyl Bristol cars

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

Fair Comparisons

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 03:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 87
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Berlin View Post
I wonder why people treat the quality of Bristols so high. They rust like any other car, they have technical problems like any other car. If I look at my Mercedes 220 SE from 1960 I see no difference in the quality compared to a Bristol. I guess the value will rise if Bristol is willing to open themselves a little bit more to the public like other companies producing such expensive cars like Königsegg or Wiesmann.The funny thing in Germany - I raise far more notice with my frog or my Rover P4 than with my Bristol 408 because nobody knows the company and has no idea about the car. A DB5 is well known from Bond - so people know what to expect. Hans
You wouldn't see any difference in quality. Mercs were built to last in those days and you really could see the vast difference in quality compared to any other car on the road. It no doubt equalled or even exceeded the quality of Bristols. You could also tell the difference in price. Even if your 220SE was the saloon, it was probably twice the price of a 3.4 Mark2 Jaguar. Coupe's were perhaps three times the price! Today however, other manufacturers have caught up as quality control has become much more importance and good quality parts can be produced more cheaply. It's well known that Mercedes have almost taken a backward step in this field as people's perception of Mercedes Benz quality has gone downward and you get many 'They don't make them like they used to....' comments.
I borrowed an ML a few months back and the quality of the interior palstics was risible and out of place in a £45k car.
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 03:57 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Burbank, California
Posts: 135
Default Fair Comparisons

Hi all -

The older Brooklands Portfolio on Bristol Cars has several articles
comparing Bristols to other similar cars. Worth reading! The book
is still available - most expensive soft-cover book I've ever bought.

Bob
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 04:06 PM
Ex Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: CANADA
Posts: 131
Default Fair Comparisons

Values and quality are very subjective. The other quality makes mentioned,
are built in larger numbers and at any given time will be on the market in
the "used" section of the newspaper. You can then establish a value based on
sales. With a Bristol this is difficult and hence depreciation is high.
I see a Bristol as a very individual car and has a certain "je ne sais
quoi" about it and that is sufficient for me.
I have not found Bristol quality / engineering to be that much better or
even as good as some of their competitors. The mechanics are sourced outside
and are of the same quality that is available from that supplier, who is
also supplying other auto manufacturers. Chrysler does not build a "special"
engine for Bristol.
It is good but I would not place quality / engineering on the top of the
list. Again a subjective valuation. When I read in these posts of light
assemblies becoming scarce because Bristol had bought them from Lancias I
really have to struggle with the word "quality". Lancia Betas / Montecarlos
are not even Lancias as they are Fiats in disguise.
When I need a light assembly for my 66 Mercedes coupe, the dealer will have
them air freighted from Germany at no extra cost! They will have them in
stock 35 years later. They were designed and built for that car and in
common with no other! That combination = quality!

Dorien
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 09:14 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,138
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lansdownplace View Post
Hi Kevin, I think you need to look at the top notch 411 restorations and S6s to appreciate why the press at the time thought that Bristol had a seat at the very top of the build quality tree.
Paul,
I have no doubt that some restorations of Bristols and the 411 S6 upgrade, result in a car that was better than new. But you can take almost ANY classic car and restore/upgrade it so it is better than when it originally came out of the factory.

However, when you were talking about why people buy Bristols I thought you were talking more in a general sense.

I bought 411 because I considered it to be a "practical" classic which can comfortably transport 4 people. The anonymity also appeals to me and the fact that I will never see another one pull up beside me at the lights (there are only 2 or 3 411 S5s in Australia - when I bought mine I think it was the only one).

I must admit I thought I was also buying something special in terms of engineering and quality, mainly due to reading Setright's 'A Private Car'. However once I started working on the car I soon realised that engineering and quality were nothing special (apart from the panel fit, which is excellent).

I would describe the engineering as relatively simple and robust - nothing wrong with that, because it does the job. Fortunately most quality issues can be addresses retrospectively, albeit at some expense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Berlin View Post
I wonder why people treat the quality of Bristols so high.
To a large extent it is the "link" with an aeroplane manufacturer, combined with the new purchase price and exclusivity. In other words, it's largely perception. In reality I suspect quality started diminishing shortly after the car business became detached from the aeroplane business.

Getting back to values. It's ironic that while other classic "prestige" cars, particularly sports cars such as Astons, fetch much higher prices today, they were usually cheaper than Bristols when they were new.

Most of the other manufacturers went bust, (Aston went broke several times), probably because their development costs were much higher and they did more in-house. They also spent more on marketing and they also sold through dealer networks.

Bristol Cars of course is still going today, still in private hands.

I wonder what Bristol 407-412 values would be today if Bristol had developed the prototype BMW V8 engine as Aldington suggested back in the 1940s ...
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 09:23 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1
Default Fair Comparisons

"As an aside, the vast
majority of Bristol Owners seem to use Macs, which I think reveals an
individual streak where utility and quality are more important than
following the masses."

I find this statement alarming as I always assumed the ownership of a Bristol to reveal a truly individual character with some mechanical acumen whereas a Mac is a product of an entirely design and marketing driven firm with very little actual engineering, quality and creativity and whose products provide even less expression of individuality than PCs. Sort of like Bose.
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 09:41 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: York
Posts: 808
Default

I wonder what Bristol 407-412 values would be today if Bristol had developed the prototype BMW V8 engine as Aldington suggested back in the 1940s ...
Reply With Quote

I don't think they would have made it to 409 - development and manufacturing costs are the killer, especially as a stand alone without aerospace in the group

We will never know - if my aunty had balls etc
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 10:08 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 183
Default Fair Comparisons

The straightforward mechanicals also appeal to me, replacing or rebuilding an engine in many classics would be ruinously expensive, whereas in a Bristol (V8) it is eminently affordable and nothing to get unduly stressed about. As with most manufacturers Bristol bought many parts in, they were notorious for testing every item and rejecting more than they accepted so whilst some of the parts are generic, they are all the best of bunch. I have seen some evidence of this approach first hand with shock absorbers, I had new adjustable Spax ones fitted and they had been tested on the factory rig first. The test rig is an interesting piece of manufacturing arcania in itself. It is hitched up to a small engine and gearbox and plots a small graph. It was built in the 40s and is mentioned in some texts somewhere.

On the restoration front, I can only say that my own car was restored back to original spec at the factory so I think I can take that particular car as a reasonable bench mark of it's type. Only 10 more days to go till it gets it's new tricked up engine though!!! it's like being seven again and waiting for Christmas.
  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 10:15 PM
geo geo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Orkney
Posts: 105
Default Fair Comparisons

Having been reading this thread I have realized just how complex the idea of trying to compare different cars can be. Thinking of those I have owned over the last thirty or so years and comparing how the Bristols rated with these is not straightforward. The cars concerned would be 2 x 408 (Mk.1 & Mk2), 412 S2, R-type Bentley, Alvis, Rover 100, Volvo 164, and several SAAB 96s & a 95.

Which did I find the 'best' car? Well, that would depend upon which criterion I had in mind at the time. I have to say that the one I found the most relaxing to drive (and could do such things as drive up from Dartmoor to London, cope with a day's work, then return in the evening and feel like going out to socialize) was the first 408. It just seemed to get on with the job, allow one to drive at an adequate speed (in those pre-Gatzometer days!) and leave one refreshed at the end of the journey. It was also astonishingly reliable, albeit not in the first flush of youth. A close-run second place would go to the R-type, but I often thought that it had been designed with the thought of finding a multitude of little tasks for the chauffeur to attend to when he was not actually chauffeuring (reliability was also only average). The build quality was not great, but the 408 seemed quite a bit superior to that of my 412, which was nowhere near as reliable and corrosion seemed to be more of a feature than it was on either 408. I suppose I should mention under the head of relaxing to drive, reliable, comfortable, and little corrosion after 40 years, the unexciting Volvo 164 — although its petrol consumption is heavier than either the 408 or the Bentley was.

In terms of appreciating the practicalities of the design, then the Bristols and SAABs were clear winners with the antiquated braking system and useless heating system of the R-type and the front suspension and lack of effective oil filtration being noticeable minus points of the 3-litre Alvis (the latter being improved on the later models).

Driving in extremely snowy conditions the SAABs won out, but the Bristols were the runners up here.

As for the best made, well that would have to go to the very much over-engineered P4 Rover — goodness knows how they could afford to devote so much metal and man-hours to a car that retailed for so much less than some of the others I have owned.

I suppose it would fail on most of the above counts (other than ability in heavy snow), but I feel I should also mention that possibly the car that was (nay, still is) the most fun to drive is the Singer Chamois (i.e., Imp with interior wood!) that has been in the family for a very long time as the spare car!

Oh yes, and I have used Apple Macs for 30 years!

Last edited by geo; 11-02-10 at 10:17 PM. Reason: Forgot last line
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 10:37 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 183
Default Fair Comparisons

Don't forget, all current macs can run Windows AND linux at as well as OSX, and all at the same time. PCs can't match that.(Embarrassing fact: macs run Windows faster than same price PCs in tests)

Can't agree that Macs aren't engineered well, or high quality, quite the reverse, my company has to bin it's PC's every couple of years and the Windows servers that were top line two years ago are now redundant and are being trashed, while the apple X-Serves were updated for just £450 quid each, We haven't ever had to retire any of our macs. A bit like a Bristol I suppose.
  #30 (permalink)  
Old 11-02-10, 11:24 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: York
Posts: 808
Smile

QUOTE -
Which did I find the 'best' car? Well, that would depend upon which criterion I had in mind at the time. I have to say that the one I found the most relaxing to drive (and could do such things as drive up from Dartmoor to London, cope with a day's work, then return in the evening and feel like going out to socialize) was the first 408. It just seemed to get on with the job, allow one to drive at an adequate speed.

Thanks GEO - exactly the sort of comparison over a long period of time I was thinking off. It's not just me then. My 408 does seem a bit special to others too. I think the awareness and sporting links does explain the values. I wonder just how different that would have been if Bond had driven a Bristol as Flemming originally wrote.

It seems all I need now is a "Mac" and all will be well
  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 01:03 AM
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 43
Default Fair Comparisons

Greg u say 'I wonder just how different that would have been if Bond had
driven a Bristol as Flemming originally wrote'.

I could be wrong so don't shoot me, but didn't Bond actually drive a Bentley
in the books?

Andrew
  #32 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 01:44 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 220
Default

Several Bentleys, according to this -

List of James Bond vehicles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  #33 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 01:45 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ardrossan South Australia
Posts: 94
Default Fair Comparisons

Hello,
As my wife is the 007 expert, I have found out that you are right in saying
JB did have a Bentley in the books. In the start of the Goldfinger movie,
"Q" is told to show 007 the DB5 as a replacement for his existing Bentley.

I like all the reasons for people buying Bristols - a bit like reasoning why
you married a particular woman!

BR
Mike O
  #34 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 08:41 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: York
Posts: 808
Default

Yep - I made the Bond bit up to give you some google practice ! If Bond (Sean Connory ) did have a Bristol, it would have been a 408 - or maybe a 406.

It was the earlier MI5 reference that inspired me. Must put some WD40 on my revolving number plates ! Greg
  #35 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 10:54 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default Fair Comparisons

Sean,

I approach all Microsoft products with caution.

Agree. I try to steer clear of Microsoft as much as I can. But
the same goes for Apple

Julf
  #36 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 10:54 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default Fair Comparisons

my company has to bin it's PC's every couple of years

It is very seldom I bin even a PC - they tend to get converted to
Linux and do useful work as servers. Some of the ones I still run
are from the 90's, and some have an uptime since last reboot of
more than 2 years.

Julf
  #37 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 10:54 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default Fair Comparisons

Linux users probably build their own kit cars and spend
every waking hour 'adapting' them to get them to do anything.

OK, I realize the discussion is drifting further and further
away from Bristols, but have you tried any of the modern
Linuxes (such as Ubuntu)? On most computers it is "load and go".

Julf

And no, I don't do kit cars, but I have a Brigand, a
Morgan 4/4, a Hesketh motorcycle and a bunch of old
Land Rovers so there is enough to fiddle around with...

>
  #38 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 12:57 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,138
Default new thread for computer talk

Hey guys, how about we discuss the merits of the various computer operating systems over here
  #39 (permalink)  
Old 12-02-10, 01:07 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,138
Default extreme provocation :)

see here
  #40 (permalink)  
Old 13-02-10, 08:38 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 39
Default new thread for computer talk

Kevin Howard wrote:

Hey guys, how about we discuss the merits of the various computer
operating systems over here
(Microsoft, Apple and Linux

Absolutely - the problem is that the email interface to the
forum is so slow that I posted my responses long before the
message about the new topic got into my inbox.

Julf
Closed Thread

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:31 AM.


This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2