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6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

Overtaking mirrors for 401.

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Old 30-10-19, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Wales.
Posts: 423
Default Overtaking mirrors for 401.

I want to fit a pair of overtaking/rear view mirrors on my 401, I don't want to make holes in the body work so am thing about the type that clamp to the door window channel as advertised by companies like Holdens. I am probably being thick but from the pictures in their catalogue it is not clear to me how they clamp to the frame, am I correct in assuming they fit partly into it with part of the mount against the class and tightened up on the outside of the frame.
That being the case are they a good fit and stable in use are there any that owners have found better than others and are there any to be avoided. I have seen some of the small rectangular ones that seem to be quite close to the side window glass are these any good, do they give a reasonable view for reversing or should I go for one of the larger round mirrors. Any advice much appreciated.
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Old 30-10-19, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Aberdeenshire Scotland UK
Posts: 98


The type you are referring to have a "U" section with two small screws that thread through tapped holes in one side of the "U". One slides the "U" over the door window frame and tightens the two screws. Horrible!! The screws of course bite into the chrome. I'm thinking it would be better to mount wing mirrors. They need a hole in the wing of course, but at least the holes can be rustproofed before the mirrors are installed. I've got wing mirrors on my Healey 100 and most cars of that era would have had mirrors on the wings, not the doors.

Just my opinion FWIW.

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Old 31-10-19, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 239

I fitted a set from Moss. They need some adjustment (twisting) due to the steep angle of the door frame and the plastic cover that comes with them will not fit.

They clamp onto the back of the window frame and there is a plate that the screws go down on to protect the frame. Be careful not to drop those little plates down into the door! It took me several attempts to get them on and adjusted.

I also bought an identical set from E-bay for half the price. Except, for some reason, they just would not fit onto the frame securely and fell off (one making a mess of my paintwork). So you pays your money...
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Old 01-11-19, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Wales.
Posts: 423

Thanks for your advice, I remember having a similar mirror years ago which kept on working loose and falling off but the side of the window frame was not flat like the Bristols.
The top of the front wings have already been drilled at some point to take wing mirrors, two holes each side which is a bit odd, I did think perhaps racing type mirrors had been fitted though the do seem a bit too close to the center line of the car to be effective.
My R Types are fitted with wing mirrors which are difficult to keep adjusted, they often get knocked by people walking past the car and the standard round ones are too small to be that effective, my S Type has one mirror of the same size door mounted which is handy for reversing the car, not so good for keeping an eye on traffic behind, I would like to have one on the passengers door as well but they are mounted on the door window frame and I haven't got the courage to have it drilled.
If I had converted the Bristol to negative earth I might even have been tempted by one of the small reversing cameras or some parking sensors, though in the garage the clatter of the back bumper hitting the watering can is just as effective as the latter.
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Old 11-11-19, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Redditch, Worcester, England
Posts: 57

Hi, I used "Clamp ons" with my original 401 and I never had a problem. I still have them somewhere as usual buried in my garage. However, my current 401 has mirrors fitted to the doors, as done by a previous owner. These are much better than wing mirrors as they are visually closer and look as though they were an original fitment.

It is all about safety and despite my original and continued misgivings about drilling holes in my 401, if I had another I would certainly drill away with mirrors that looked original. It is hard to understand why such an originally expensive car was not fitted with them in the first place.

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Old 15-11-19, 09:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Westward Ho, Devon
Posts: 22

My 401 came with a well fitted clamp on mirror on the drivers side, a bit small but quite stable. i bought and fitted a left side clamp on and despite much fiddling and adjusting it fell off! I have been looking at lots of images of Bristols to see what it would look like with wing mirrors, either racing or simple circular and cannot decide what to do. At the end of the day itís a balance between safety and looks.
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