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Bristol 412 Wanted

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Old 14-11-16, 08:47 PM
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Location: Manchester, UK
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Default Bristol 412 Wanted

Dear fellow Members

If anyone one knows of a 412 for sale or has a 412 that they may be tempted to sell, then I'd be grateful if they could contact me here.

Being a newcomer to all things Bristol, I'd also be very grateful to hear your opinion on what I might expect to pay, in today's market, for a "good" usable car ie - not concours !!

Many thanks in anticipation.

Rob
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Old 15-11-16, 12:14 AM
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Location: Caldy, Wirral.
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Hi Rob. Welcome to the Bristol world. I'm a huge fan of the 412, and I'm sure that having acquired one, you'll be delighted with it. As with all Bristol's values have risen. Not so many years ago, I knew of a really splendid 412 that 4,800.00 would have bought. In recent months what can only be described as a derelict Beaufighter with frontal accident damage, and thoroughly rotten made nearly that at auction. You'll need to consider your description of good and useable. In my view a good car will be in excess of 20,000.00, a useable car perhaps 12-15,000.00.

Corrosion is the big issue. Particular attention should be paid to the rollover structure. They can rot very badly there, as can the chassis, and the wing lockers. Mechanically they are straightforward and robust, but I'd commend a thorough review of the cooling system. Some parts can be challenging, front and rear lights, and many minor fittings like the targa fittings and the associated rubbers.

In the UK Andrew Blow is a great guy to contact, as is Brian May in Solihull.

Hope you find your car, I found mine and love the big orange beast!
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Old 13-01-17, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calibrator View Post
Hi Rob. Welcome to the Bristol world. I'm a huge fan of the 412, and I'm sure that having acquired one, you'll be delighted with it. As with all Bristol's values have risen. Not so many years ago, I knew of a really splendid 412 that 4,800.00 would have bought. In recent months what can only be described as a derelict Beaufighter with frontal accident damage, and thoroughly rotten made nearly that at auction. You'll need to consider your description of good and useable. In my view a good car will be in excess of 20,000.00, a useable car perhaps 12-15,000.00.

Corrosion is the big issue. Particular attention should be paid to the rollover structure. They can rot very badly there, as can the chassis, and the wing lockers. Mechanically they are straightforward and robust, but I'd commend a thorough review of the cooling system. Some parts can be challenging, front and rear lights, and many minor fittings like the targa fittings and the associated rubbers.

In the UK Andrew Blow is a great guy to contact, as is Brian May in Solihull.

Hope you find your car, I found mine and love the big orange beast!
Hello -

Many thanks for your advice & your message which I have only just seen today! Not being the most patient of people means that waiting for the ideal 412 (any 412 in fact!) seems quite a slog. However, no doubt it'll all be worth it in the end!!

I hear what you say about values, hence one of the reasons that, out of choice, i'd rather not wait too long to buy a car. One cannot rush these things though I guess but I'd equally hate to see one slip out of reach as well! I would pay a good price for the right car within the realms of that you mentioned.

I will certainly take your buying advice to heart, being a big block, yes - I can see how an effective cooling system is a must. I read about the lack of availability on some of the parts. I also knew the Targa top is an area prone to problems but hadn't heard too much about this model having a suspect chassis. I guess all cars this age though should be checked accordingly, which certainly makes sense.

One of the selling points of the car to me is also part of the problems I have in that I never actually seen a 412 on the road, let alone driven one! I am drawn not only to the scarcity value but to the Zagato design & the Bristol history.

Forgive me but I noticed you're on the Wirral. I'm over in South Manchester but occasionally do pop over to Thurstaston, as I'm a member of the Sailing Club there.
I'd love 5 minutes of your time some day - to take a look over your car, ask a few questions, get a better perspective - all at your convenience of course. Apologies, that's very presumptive of me I know but please do bear in mind that I'm a little obsessive about these cars - as no doubt you are =-) & the chance to "meet" one would be great

I check the net a couple times a week but If you hear of anything coming up for sale, please could you let me know.

Thanks again for your kindness in contacting me.

Best regards

Robert J Haydock
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Old 18-02-17, 07:10 PM
geo geo is offline
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Robert,

Good luck with your search. I used my 412 daily in the late 1990s and early 2000s and greatly enjoyed using it as my daily transport.

To add to what others have said, the Zagato design (almost identical to the smaller Lancia Beta which was designed at the same time) is something that you either like or dislike my own feeling was that it rather grew upon me and liked it a lot by the time I sold it.

My 412 was a series 2 version which has the 361cdi engine which is generally more reliable than the earlier larger one, but others might disagree with this. Other than a thermostat giving up at high speed, I did not experience any cooling problems with this engine at all. Along with the different engine, there are a number of other changes most of which were improvements over the series 1.

Problems I encountered did not include any chassis corrosion or more than surface rust on the wing lockers, however, the flimsy box sections that support the boot floor and the boot floor itself required a fair bit of work. The other part that required attention was the metalwork round the front screen under the stainless trim and the metalwork behind the rear lights, particularly where the water sits. The real corrosion problem, and one that should not be underestimated, is the entire rollover section and also where that locates at its base.

If your car has the glass panel above the front seats, this looks better than it is practical in terms of being very heavy so it is not such a simple job to lift it out on a nice day and pop it in the boot. Also, when removed, you must enjoy the feeling of wind in your hair! Both the folding rear roof and its solid version both work well, however, changing from one to the other is an afternoon's work.

As others have suggested, the lights, both front and rear, are difficult to source and if you find the car has the Avon safety wheels fitted, the tyres might be shared with the contemporaneous RR, but they are not always available.

Other than that, not much to put you off and I really miss mine. It is also relatively economical and does not gulp as much fuel as some of the other models of this period.

Do not expect to get the cruise control to work for more than a couple of weeks between attention, but perhaps that says more about my inability than anything else. If you are that sort of person, you will find that you can attend to most of the servicing and repairs yourself.

Good luck,

George
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