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TODAY WE FEATURE
TODAY WE FEATURE
Saturday 23rd September 2017
Brooklands Motor Museum, Weybridge Surrey
1954 BRISTOL 403
Registration: UFF 221
Chassis No: 403/1549
Engine No: 100/AB2/3200
Estimate: £50,000 - £59,000
With the introduction of the 401 - the first of its exquisitely styled aerodynes - Bristol began to move away from the pre-war design the company had inherited from BMW. Carrozzeria Touring provided the Superleggera method of body construction that overlaid alloy panels on a lightweight tubular-steel framework, while the low-drag shape was achieved after hours of experimentation in the Bristol Aeroplane Company's wind tunnel. The 401 continued to use its predecessor's running gear and BMW-based, 2.0-litre, six-cylinder engine with its ingeniously arranged, pushrod-operated, inclined valves. The gearbox remained a manual four-speed unit with the first-gear freewheel. With the introduction of the 403 in 1953, Bristol improved on what was already an exemplary Grand Tourer, the newcomer's apparently unchanged appearance disguising a number of important changes. The engine remained a 2.0-litre six of BMW design but the alloy cylinder head was new and helped liberate 100bhp, up from 85bhp. The increase in straight-line performance (top speed was now in excess of 100mph) was matched by improvements to the running gear in the form of a front anti-roll bar and finned light-alloy brake drums.
This stunning and rare Bristol 403 presented in metallic blue with beige leather interior, has only covered 46,000 miles from new. This striking coupé drives beautifully with the 100AB type engine giving fantastic oil pressure and is running beautifully and quiet. The drive train is fitted with a Derek Hughes overdrive and the gearbox has very good synchromesh in all gears. The brakes are servo assisted with Girling discs to the front. The car comes with a folder with full history from day one and is a fantastic looking and driving car with the rare three rear windows, which we understand were only fitted to four of these models with this one possibly the only survivor.
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