Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum

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-   -   WTB Bristol 400 (

Bela 03-06-18 08:09 PM

WTB Bristol 400
First let me introduce myself. I'm 67 years old, a retired engineer and own a MG TD from 1950 in good condition since 2015. It is not a daily driver but every year it runs about 5000 km. The most maintenance and repair I do on my own together with my son in law. Two of his cars are also british - a Jaguar XK120 and a doublesix.

I'd owned a Mercedes Benz 170 S from 1950 for 2 years but it was a car without spirit and so it was sold. I like old cars which are in good condition and I hate old cars better than new or with too much modern improvements. A Bristol 400 should be a supplement for longer distances with luggage and the goal is to give it into the hands of my youngest daughter if driving old cars will become too hard for me.

I have seen only one Bristol 400 in Germany - but this one was nearly perfect in a museum here in Nuremberg. It is car 308 from BOC list (the location may be altered fro England to Germany). Because of that I never had the chance to drive a Bristol 400 or talk to an owner. My wife and I have seen many old cars but when we were in front of that Bristol we fall in love.

We will be in GB at Tuesday the 5th of June and will visit 3 sellers. I would be glad if one of the cars will be a hit.

Are some other cars available?

Geoff Dowdle 03-06-18 09:38 PM

Bela ,
they are at least 12 Bristol 400's in Germany but I don't know of any that are for sale .
After owning one of my 400's for over 40 years and restoring it twice, my recommendation is to buy the best car available within your budget and get an expert to inspect it before purchase .
They can be a very expensive car to restore especially if any previous accident damage has not been repaired correctly. Check the fit of the bonnets to the wings and scuttle . The panel gaps should be even .
Check for rust in the body under the doors and boot floor .
The wooden frame can rot especially where the boot hinges are fitted .
Bad examples can have substantial rust in the rear of the chassis frame.

Mechanically they are reasonably straightforward for a home mechanic to maintain with a few special tools. Check oil pressure when oil temperature is above 70 degC the pressure at 3000rpm should be between 55 - 60 psi .
If it is below 45psi the engine will need some work.

They are a rewarding car to drive when running well and adjusted correctly but benefit from upgraded brakes in today's traffic conditions.

There were 421 standard bodied production cars made plus about 10 prototype and special bodied cars . There are probably about 300 that exist in some form and about half of those would be in running condition.

None are known to be sold new in Germany but Australia was the largest export market taking 94 examples

Good luck in your search

BOC Joint 400 Registrar

Bela 04-06-18 05:52 AM

Thank you Geoff for the quick response and your hints.

I'll try to find an owner here in Germany. At the moment I'm a little bit anxious about the spares. E.g. one car misses the original air cleaner and two the chrom on the wings. Also window sealing with chrom inlet may be a problem, because one of the headliners shows former presence of moisture.

Richard 04-06-18 07:25 AM

Where are you located in Germany? I have a 405 but am in the north close to Hamburg. However there are several Bristol's in the south and I know of one near Munich. I am sure one of the owners would be happy to show you his car

Bela 04-06-18 08:05 AM

Hello Richard,

I'm located in Nürnberg. Since yesterday I'm member of the BOC. I'd found 4 owners and send them an email. They live in München, Grünwald, Eltville and Kelkheim. If you have a well relationship to one of them or to an other - please support me to get into contact. I'll send you a private message with ma email address.

405dh 05-06-18 12:13 PM


Should you not find a 400 on your visit to the UK or at home in Germany, I may be able to help.

I am a long time member of the BOC and current custodian of a 405DH for 39 years. A while back I managed to persuade my brother into the idea of Bristol ownership. We looked at many 400s, before finally purchasing chassis no: 374, Registration LBH 448, from Andrew Blow the Bristol specialist (since merged into SLJ Hackett). You can see pictures of the car in the members area. I believe it to be a fine car of good provenance.
Sadly my brother has recently passed away. Once all the legal formalities in his Estate are completed, the car will most likely be offered for sale. I cannot say at this point when this will be, but you may like to stay in touch. In the meantime, good luck in your search.

Kind regards,
Chris Sherwood.

Bela 06-06-18 01:46 PM

Thank you Chris,

I offer my sincere condolences to you. It's so sad to loose a member of the family or a friend.

Depending on the traffic yam and resulting lack of time we only visited two cars in GB.

Both didn't fullfill what I'd expected. The benchmark in this case is a car of a friend. It is a Mercedes W187 with M180 engine from 1951. The car has more weight (+220kg) and the engine has 6 cylinders too, has a newer design (OHC) but only 59 kW with 2,2 liters. The Mercedes runs smooth, powerfull, balanced and is reliable. I guess that should be possible for a Bristol 400 too. If I expect too much please put me back on the ground.

One of the cars was sold for a customer by SLJ Hackett. There was a Bristol 403 in the workshop. My son in law became aware of this car. Now we are two who are looking for a car made by Bristol in the 50th :-).



Bela 24-03-19 09:08 PM

I'm pleased to announce the handover for Bristol 400-374 and I'm glad that it was possible with help of this forum. Chris offered the car and after 10 month of searching and travelling some thousand miles we came to an agreement. It was not only a handover of an old car - it was more. Two families came together and the hospitality of Chris let it become an event we ever will keep in mind. Thank you Chris & R.

405dh 25-03-19 10:07 AM

Dear Winfried.

Thank you for your kind words. Our feelings were very much the same and we are sure Trevor is very happy with the 400’s new home.

Best wishes,

Bela 23-05-19 08:04 PM

B400 on German roads
1 Attachment(s)
Every car build before EU COC papers had been emitted must be inspected by a German spezialised engineer. Bristol 400-1-374 - car No. A-236 had been examined and got the permission to drive on public roads.

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