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

Identifying my 405??....

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Old 20-03-22, 02:56 PM
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Default Identifying my 405??....

Hello all,
I bought a 405 rolling shell a year or so ago with no V5C and didn't pay a massive amount of attention to any details when I bought it. It looks like a drophead with all the correct parts but I'm leaning more towards it being a conversion.
I went to look for the chassis tags and there are none on it so I looked up an old thread on here regarding someone's 404 locating the chassis stamp. Ground off some paint on the chassis leg where the 2 holes for the rivets would go and I have the numbers 4001.
Can anyone help in how that translates into what car it is and how to acquire a logbook from here?
Thanks a lot
Tommy
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Old 20-03-22, 07:08 PM
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Hi Tommy,
From the chassis number you have found your car is recorded as being the first production 405 and you are correct it started life as a saloon. If you are a member of the Bristol Owners Club or join you will find more details of it in the car directory in the members section of the website, including some of the photographs when it was offered for sale on ebay last year, described as a drop head conversion. I had been told about the car before as it was then in the process of being converted into a DHC by a former club member. It was one of a small number of cars going through this process and another has surfaced recently with the sale of some of the cars formally owned by the late Brian May.
Geoff.
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Old 20-03-22, 07:47 PM
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Evening Geoff,
Thanks a lot for the response this is what I needed to hear. I got a bit lost with it and still not sure on the direction I can take to make the best out of the situation. Are conversions of any value? My plan if I can get the ID is make a Speedster Electric car from it.
Il join the club and thankyou for the response.
Tommy
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Old 20-03-22, 08:56 PM
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Evening Tommy,
Its always difficult to put a value on drop head conversions of any car as it depends on so many factors, how well they have been done, are they an accurate copy or are they in the style of etc. Also factor in the hood and hood mechanism which can be tricky to reproduce or more so to work out if you are going for a one off style like the car built by Brabazon Motors.
If it was something like an Alvis TD/TE 21 being rebuilt with a commercially available conversion kit and done properly then the values tend to fall between the saloon and genuine dhc prices but from what I have seen closer to the former than the latter.
If you are thinking of going down the electric speedster route then perhaps end value should not be a major concern but getting a car that you are going to be personally happy with and enjoy and be prepared to answer all sorts of questions from fellow Bristol owners if you take it to an event. It looked from the photographs that some of the hard work on the body had already been done so hopefully a good basis to work from.
There are a few good photographs of Simon Drapers speedster in Bristol Cars Model by Model by Michael Palmer and it might be worth considering following an example he did on one of his earlier cars and replacing all the switch gear with parts from a Rolls Royce which are not only nice to look at but smooth to operate, breakers like Westminster Autos or Flying Spares should be able to help.
Geoff.
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Old 20-03-22, 09:37 PM
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Getting the documents for the car was the most important part and thanks to yourself for the direction I have the information to do that.
The value isn't an important part, it will make a stunning car.
In your opinion what engine would you put in it?
Your information is very helpful and I'm following up on all the suggestions
Thanks

Tommy
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Old 20-03-22, 10:22 PM
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Tommy,

Your 405 chassis 4001 was the first production 405 and BAC Demonstrator car .
Its first registered number was "THU405" , then later changed to "AEL1" and the last known number "189JGF".
It's original engine number was 100B2/4002 and in the 50's changed to 100B2/4280 (The ID plate was changed at that time)
Attached are a few photos of your car before the conversion to a Drophead .
Best of luck with the restoration , luckily most of the body work has been completed.

Geoff
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 405 4001 THU405.jpg (59.5 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg 405 4001 Ebay rrq.jpg (52.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 405 4001 ebay Feb2011.jpg (30.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg 405 4001 ID plate.jpg (48.7 KB, 18 views)
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Old 21-03-22, 12:11 AM
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Tommy,
If it was mine and I could afford it I would not go down the electric route, very expensive even compared to putting a decent second hand unit into the car or a new engine from IN Racing. The other factor is the way these cars handle and drive in there original form which is something rather special but there are cheaper retro fit engine options than a Bristol unit, a friend who died sadly just before Christmas for several years ran a 403 with a Triumph 2000 and then 2500 engine and box in it and preferred it to his standard 403. Rover V8 another good conversion and some say the Daimler V8 250 can make a superb car, a few have been done but the Majestic Major engine is only a bit bigger physically, food for thought.
If you felt really brave however and you would have to radically improve the brakes how about an Al Melling designed engine out of a TVR.
Or a Chrysler V8 and auto box, a real speedster replica and in my book at least adding value to the project, but think carefully about this I am one of the people who think fuel for ICE's will be around for a long time even if it is in some synthetic form, electric powered cars are going to face problems that are worse than our politician's bad dreams and could prove to be far more expensive to run than anyone anticipated even if their is enough power to charge them.
Geoff.
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