Thread: Bristol Engines
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Old 04-03-10, 08:05 PM
Geoff Kingston Geoff Kingston is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Wales.
Posts: 423
Default Bristol Engines

I was thinking along similar lines and had preliminary discussions with a firm in the UK who had already produced a cylinder head of similar complexity to the Bristol head. The major cost is in the pattern making, rough guide to produce the fist head around 20/25k after that castings could be turned out, they thought, at about 450 to 600 each on top of which you would have all the machining costs. This puts into perspective the 7500 being currently quoted by someone who has taken the plunge and is producing small batches of new heads. Cylinder blocks are or will shortly be available from another source I am told for around the same price. Sadly the current value of the majority of the early cars simply does not I suspect for most of us justify that kind of expenditure .
This is probably why when I recently advertised two complete 401's and two complete 403's for sale for 35k the lot the majority of calls were from people wanting to buy the engines and gearboxes. The AC's and Frazer Nash's are far more valuable and the figures stack up. The other problem is that you will need at lest one scrap head to start with to be cut open for the pattern maker to copy the internal as well as external features, plus a good one for reference, I suspect the same applies to blocks. I had thought about going out of the UK. to get heads made as I have family connections in China but now production is actually starting in the UK I don't think it is a gamble I want to take anymore. I would rather join other owners to see if a larger order or commitment to buy in greater volume could bring the unit cost down.
To go the other route different engine and box I would be very interested in thoughts on ways of converting the earlier cars to disc brakes without sacrificing any more 406's'. Whichever way you go with your project I think the effort will be worth it.
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