Overview
Produced: 1948-1953, 611 produced.
Types: Saloon,2 doors,4 seats
A second model appeared in 1949: the Bristol 401, which was equipped with a body by Touring of Milan.  The construction used a patented lightweight system in which the aluminium skin was attached to thin steel tubes.  These Bristol cars were sporting thoroughbreds that had speed enough for the circuit but were better suited to long journeys.  They were also extremely expensive and small numbers were produced as 2+2 coupes and convertibles.  A higher powered version with 107 bhp motor was the 403 of which 281 were made.
Source: The complete encyclopedia of Saloon Cars - Rob de la Rive Box
Engines
CapacityConfigModelBore/StrokeCR
1971ccS6 OHVBristol S6 (BMW derived)66mm x 96mm
Performance
Top Speed0-60SQMMPGEngine PwrComment
94 mph15.1 s19.9 s23 mpg85 bhp 4500
Auction Sales History
Lot
Num
Description Auctioneer Date Hammer Price Hammer Price
(inc premium)
111 Bristol 401 Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers 25 Sep 2013 Not sold
22 Bristol 401 H&H Sales Limited 5 Dec 2012 - £39200.00
264 Bristol 401 Historics at Brooklands 1 Sep 2012 Not sold
67 Bristol 401 Charterhouse 15 Jul 2012 £13839.00 -
66 Bristol 401 Charterhouse 17 Jul 2011 £19500.00 -
151 Bristol 401 Coys 14 May 2011 - £26200.00
156 Bristol 401 Coys 23 Oct 2010 Not sold
69 Bristol 401 H&H Sales Limited 16 Apr 2009 Not sold
043 1952/3 COOPER BRISTOL T20 MKI SINGLE SEAT RACECAR H&H Sales Limited 27 Feb 2008 Not sold
060 1951 BRISTOL 401 H&H Sales Limited 20 Jun 2007 £16000.00 -
010 1952 BRISTOL 401 H&H Sales Limited 1 Mar 2007 £22500.00 -
647 1950 Bristol 401 Saloon Bonhams 4 Dec 2006 £17000.00 £19550.00
723 Bristol 401 Saloon Cheffins 2 Apr 2005 Not sold
063 Bristol 401 Coupe H&H Sales Limited 28 Jul 2004 Not sold
019 Cooper-Bristol Grand Prix F2 Single Seater (1952) Artcurial - Briest - Poulain Le Fur 16 Jun 2003 - -
018 Bristol 401 (1952) BCA 7 Apr 2003 - £5136.00
009 Bristol 401 (1950) BCA 5 Aug 2002 Not sold
1106 Bristol 401 Prototype (1948) Bonhams 12 Jul 2002 £19000.00 -
028 Bristol 401 (1951) BCA 17 Jun 2002 - £12412.00
063 Bristol 401 (1952) BCA 24 Sep 2001 Not sold
045 Bristol 401 (1951) Barons 31 Jul 2001 Not sold
141A Bristol 401 (1952) Coys 30 Jul 2001 - £11000.00
141a Bristol 401 (1952) Coys 30 Jul 2001 - £11000.00
053 Bristol 401 (1951) Barons 17 Apr 2001 Not sold
1989 Bristol 401 Sports (1952) Bonhams & Brooks 4 Dec 2000 - £11270.00
045 Bristol 401 (1951) BCA 27 Nov 2000 Not sold
186 Bristol 401 Berlinetta Touring Superleggera Prototype (1948) Christies 20 Nov 2000 - £56987.00
035 Bristol 401 (1951) Coys 15 May 2000 Not sold
268 Bristol 401 (1952) RTS Auctions Ltd 24 Oct 1999 £5000.00 -
464 Bristol 401 (1950) Brooks 12 Sep 1999 - £7130.00
027 Bristol 401 (1951) H&H Sales Limited 28 Jul 1999 £7500.00 -
502 Bristol 401 Saloon (1953) Brooks 3 Oct 1998 - £10580.00
977 Bristol 401 Saloon (1950) Brooks 2 Dec 1996 - £5697.00
086 Bristol 401 Saloon (1952) H&H Sales Limited 21 Sep 1995 Not sold
245 Bristol 401 Sports (1952) Brooks 19 Mar 1995 £6200.00 -
496 Bristol 401 (1951) Sandown 26 Nov 1994 £7200.00 -
537 Bristol 401 Saloon (1952) Sothebys 17 Oct 1994 £7500.00 -
067 Bristol 401 (1951) ADT 3 Oct 1994 Not sold
108 Bristol 401 Sports (1950) Christies 10 Sep 1994 £2800.00 -
078 Bristol 401 (1952) Brooks 14 Oct 1992 Not sold
032 Bristol 401 (1951) Christies 12 Sep 1992 £7800.00 -
Magazine Articles
Title Pages Options
Article The Bristol way
42 View
Publication Classic Cars June 2010
The Bristol way - To those in the know a Bristol is the finest car money can buy, yet the price of finding out for yourself starts at less the £25,000.   Bristol 401 vs 410 vs 603.
Article Staff car sagas
38 View
Publication Practical Classics May 2007
Staff car sagas - 1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 Litre Coupe Auto-Matt Wright.  1951 Bristol-Theodore Gillam.  1968 Tatra 603-2-Sam Glover.
Article Our Cars - Martin Gurdon - 1951 Bristol 401, 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe
46 View
Publication Classic Cars October 2004
Our Cars - Martin Gurdon - 1951 Bristol 401, 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe - Thank God lightening didnít strike twice.
Article Our Cars: 1951 Bristol 401 - Martin Gurdon
42 View
Publication Classic Cars June 2004
Our Cars - Trials and tribulations of the Classic Cars team and the cars we live with.† 1951 Bristol 401 - Martin Gurdon - Chickens avert Bristol sell-off threat.
Article Our Cars - 1951 Bristol 401
37 View
Publication Classic Cars February 2004
Our Cars. Trials and tribulations of the Classic Cars† team and the cars we live with. 1951 Bristol 401
Article Buying Guide - Bristol 401-403 (1949-55)
94 View
Publication Classic Cars January 2004
Buying Guide - Bristol 401-403 (1949-55).† Combining German engineering with British aircraft technology and Italian-derived body construction, early Bristols boasted quality, beuty and pefection. Here' show to find one that's kept that way.
Article Buyer's Datafile - Bristol 401/403
136 View
Publication Practical Classics Spring 1997
Buyer's Datafile - Bristol 401/403.
Article Every single one
89 View
Publication Octane April 2012
Every single one - Bristol Cars' history is one of consistency and evolution - and now it's reached a tuning point that will define its future.  Time, then, to get all 21 models together.  Bristol 400 to 403, Bristol 404 to 406, Bristol 407 to 410, Bristol 411 to Beaufighter, Britannia to Blenheim, Bristol Fighter.
Article On Your Marques - Bristol - Flying High
2 View
Publication Classic Motor Monthly November 2005
On Your Marques - Bristol - Flying High - "On your Marques - Club Call!" is our feature in which we spotlight the nation's enthusiasts vehicle clubs - if you want your club in "Club Call!", write to Peter Cahill at CMM.  This month, "Club Call!" looks at the BRISTOL OWNERS CLUB.
Article Road Test - Bristol 401/403
38 View
Publication Classic Car Weekly 20 October 2004
Road Test - Bristol 401/403 - Built 1948-55, two-door, four-seater, saloon and convertible.  Front-engined, rear-wheel-drive.  Six-cylinder, 1971cc OHV engine.
Article Thinking of Buying...2 Litre Bristols?
44 View
Publication Classic Car Mart July 2004
Thinking of Buying...2 Litre Bristols? - Ted Purcell takes a long hard look at one of the more unusual classic British marques.
Article War Babies
138 View
Publication Classic & Sports Car November 2002
War Babies - IT's not just aviation that links BMW's 'Baroque Angel' 501 and the Bristol 401, as Alastair Clements explains.
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