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Old 20-03-17, 06:02 PM
Claude Claude is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 132
Default Replace

There were not enough Bristols ever made - or Tony Crook's propensity for privacy kept the profile too low - to create a collector's market in the same way there are for, say Aston Martin. Accordingly, the must-be-factory-correct crowd has never had much of a presence in the Bristol market.

This, coupled with the points raised above, that Bristol itself would replace if it made engineering sense, points to replace, not restore.

If you want to be faithful, do not throw away the originals, but keep them to be passed on to the next owner. Having the original radiator means that if times change, and restore becomes the holy grail where cost is no object, that future owner can have the original rebuilt or replicated.

Times do change. Back in 1969 when Alfa came out with the Spica fuel injection to meet US pollution laws, it was viewed negatively by the Weber crowd. Up into the 1990s, owners would still remove the Spica and replace with Webers - tossing the Spica in the rubbish. Now, originality has become the touchstone - although in part because it is acknowledged that the Spica design is in some ways superior to carbs, so those cars with the original fuel injection are more valuable... but only because the market says so. This has not happened yet with Bristol, and it may never happen. We do not have a big enough market to drive such decisions.

The biggest question looming on the distant horizon is extinction of the petrol driven car. Technology is shifting to electric... lower maintenance, huge torque, quiet, and as batteries come down in price we may come to the day where petrol is hard to get or banned. Will we send our Bristols back to the factory to be electrified? Will the remaining cars become garage queens - collector cars never driven except onto a flatbed for trucking to a show?

This could happen, and we could be the last generation of car collectors.

So I would say replace, upgrade and enjoy the car for what it is.
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