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

401/403 Values

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Old 23-03-10, 07:19 PM
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Default 401/403 Values

What sort of price would you expect to pay for a pretty good 401/403? What are the dodgy bits to look for? What parts are totally unobtainable? As the ACAce/Aceca was sold with the Ford 6cyl as well as the BMW engine, with the ford engine likewise fit a 401 if the worst really happens?

All comments will be really appreciated
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Old 29-03-10, 07:14 AM
CEL CEL is offline
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Hi.
As a new member i find this fascinating.I have a 1953 403 which was used by Bristol to send a message of support to Bordeaux on the 10th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazis in 1954 on behalf of the people of Bristol City-also commemorating the historic trading links between the cities and their twinning.This trip was beautifully recorded in an article in The Autocar and I have an original copy of that magazine.The car was then used in 1995 to repeat the trip and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original and the 50th of the liberation.That trip was less reverently recorded in an article by The Times.The engine runs really beautifully and the gearbox the same;the interior is excellent in red leather;and all she needs is a respray quoted at 5000 for a proper job by experts.She will be MOT'd this week as everything else is ready for that test.I intended to get around to the respray while enjoying the splendour of this great car but a change in personal circumstances led me to reply to an ad from a German collector who has bid 13500 from photos sent.

In the light of the postings about prices,does everyone think that bid sounds fair or should I seek better offers or even venture the respray cost and sell as a mint example with a fantastic history?
Colin Lewis
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Old 29-03-10, 09:12 AM
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I am in the process of trying to acquire a 401/403. The prices seem to be around the 35,000 for aledgedly good examples. 5,000 is about right for a straight forward re-spay, but more would be required for a glass-out job. When the paint is stripped there may also be other work being required, but nevertheless 13,000 is still far too low I think. Thanks for your response and let me know how you get on. A 'direct' e-mail address is beakey2@tiscali.co.uk if you prefer.

Regards Richard Clarke
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Old 29-03-10, 09:44 AM
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Hello.
I sell Bristols commercially for a commission from the seller.
That price sounds far too low to me.
If you wish to contact me my UK phone number is 01672 539689
My web-site: Bristols from Andrew Blow

Anybody who wants pricing info is very welcome to call me, no obligation.
Sorry about the commercial, Kevin.

Andrew Blow

Last edited by Andrew Blow; 29-03-10 at 09:45 AM. Reason: left name off!
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Old 29-03-10, 10:08 AM
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Ford engine into a Bristol?
Ford 6 cylinder engines, in fact virtually any other 6 cylinder engine WILL NOT FIT a 6 cylinder Bristol without significant surgery.
The value of the car drops almost to less than the car was without an engine, in my "humble" opinion. Remember that Bristols made many more engines than they did 6 cylinder cars, so engine supply is actually not that bad.
Also bear in mind that the "lowly" 85 series engine, fitted to 400s, 401s and 402s, can be made to give a very usefull 100 bhp without anything very radical these days, so I implore people to look for these engines and get them working, rather than endless discussions about fitting an xyz engine. Also bear in mind that other engines are going to link to other instruments, so your dash will change as well, futher devaluing the car. The same applies to gearboxes.

ACs made chassis to take a wide variety of engines - quite sensible if you are (dare I say it) a "kit car" company. Bristols only made the 6 Bristol car to take a 6 cylinder Bristol engine. End of story.

6 cylinder "Bristol-type" heads have been made for several years, so I think this is another dead end. Yes, you might make them cheaper, but the demand is not actually that high, so the chance of a successful enterprise is very low, I feel.

One request, for a personal project, I am looking for some valve gear (rockers, shafts etc) for an 85 head. Anyone got a box full??

Andrew Blow

Last edited by Andrew Blow; 29-03-10 at 10:10 AM. Reason: name in twice !
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Old 29-03-10, 10:30 AM
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[quote=Andrew Blow;2845]Ford engine into a Bristol?
The value of the car drops almost to less than the car was without an engine, in my "humble" opinion. Remember that Bristols made many more engines than they did 6 cylinder cars, so engine supply is actually not that bad.

In the short time I have been looking at Bristols I have seen a 401 with a Ford Falcon engine fetch a high price and a 401 at an auction filmed by Top Gear also realising a much higher price than a car without an engine.

As far as supply being "not that bad" . they must be sold in secret !

Greg
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Old 29-03-10, 10:38 AM
Des Des is offline
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13500 is a bargain, I would worry that at this price the car could finish up an engine donor for one of the kit cars Andrew mentions. Sad fact that you could well fetch that amount for the engine / box alone.
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Old 29-03-10, 09:10 PM
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Default 401/403 Values

Andrew ,

I agree with you on all points except "lowly" 85 series engines .
I ran a 100D2 engine in my 400 for about 18 years and sold this engine to
complete the restoration of a AC Ace Bristol for a friend . It was replaced
with a "lowly" 85A engine that was basically rebuilt to 405 spec (8.5
pistons , 405 cam , ported head with slightly larger inlet valves, 100
series oil pump and twin point distributor) .
On a dyno this engine produces about the same power as the D2 up to 4000 rpm
(2500 - 4000 is the rev range I use on the road) and is now a more pleasant
car to drive (or am I just getting older) .
Travelling in convoy with other Bristols with later 100 series engines the
"lowly" 85A engine performs as well or better .
I have a modified 85C fitted to my Frazer Nash Le Mans Rep Rep rebuilt with
sports cam , lightened flywheel , 100 oil pump , 8.2 pistons . It will rev
to 6000 rpm in the lower gears which gives a exciting ride .
There is certainly nothing wrong with a "highly" 85 series engine.

Sorry I don't have any spare valve gear but plenty of other spares new &
used.

Geoff Dowdle
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