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Old 11-02-10, 10:02 AM
Kevin H Kevin H is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,168

Originally Posted by GREG View Post
I am really interested to know if say a 411 S3 compared to the Astons of the day stands up.
V8 Bristols and Astons are completely different beasts in my opinion.

I've owned several Astons and I would have to class them all as "sports" or "grand tourers". The cars I had were all very good to drive, considering their age (I don't expect a 1959 DB MkIII to drive like a 1982 V8 Volante).

The Bristol 411 doesn't feel like a sports car, or even a GT, but nor was it supposed to I assume. It's really a saloon, with a large coupe body.

I was surprised when I had a drive of an early E Type ( my first car love ) how shyte it was to drive. I do believe my 408 is better and maybe quicker.
How was it shyte?
Comfort/ride, and/or handling?
Was the E-Type a well maintained example?
Are you comparing cars that are on a par in terms of mechanical condition?

My DB6 was a death trap when I first drove it and I am sure you can find a few Bristols that don't drive very well either!

As for the values, I'd have to agree with Paul D - the fact that Astons have their own engines, compared with mass produced US donks, would be a factor.

It's possible that Bristol's anonymity works against it in terms of classic car market values. Unlike Astons and Ferrari, Bristol V8's don't have much of an identity. Astons, Ferraris and the like have been well marketed over decades, by both the makers and especially their dealers, which of course Bristol had none of once Tony Crook became involved.

A much bigger factor however, is the car type. Name another large saloon contemporary with the 411 that commands significantly better prices?

Then there's the styling. I had a light metallic blue 1970 Aston DB6 Mk2 which was a gorgeous looking thing, admired by most people who saw it, women included, even if they didn't know what it was. Plenty of people recognised it as the James Bond car, even though it wasn't!

Bristol 411s however are definitely an acquired taste, and earlier V8 Bristols even more so.

Personally however, I always felt a bit too conspicuous driving an old Aston. The fact that very few people know what the Bristol is actually appeals to me.