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BRISTOL 401 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > BRISTOL 401

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BRISTOL 401 (1949-1953)

CAR HISTORY

Car review on BRISTOL 401

The Bristol 401 , announced in 1949, was only the second model built by the fledgling car builder whose 1946 400 looked much like the pre-war BMW on which it was based. It being a car built by a planemaker, where quality is a matter of life or death, there was no room for penny-pinching compromise in design or construction.


The 401's alloy body was but one example of high-minded extravagance permeating the car's design. Alloy panels, wrapped around small diameter tubes, were graded in thickness according to function, heavier on top of the wings, for instance, where mechanics would lean during servicing. Under the skin was a separate chassis, derived from the first BRISTOL 401, which continues in its essentials to this day.
The engine, a throaty straight six appropriated from BMW after the war as reparations, was a gem. Almost 100 mph (160 kph) from an 85 bhp two-litre engine (pulling an opulently trimmed full four-seater) was something to write home about in the late 1940s - the likes of Bentley and Jaguar needed double the capacity to do the same job - and to row it along with that beautifully slick four-speed gearbox was a constant delight.


Outright speed, however, was not what this car was all about. Fine handling, especially in the days before motorways, was even more important, and the 401 was well blessed with light precision steering and a general feeling of poised good manners that made the marque many lifelong friends.


The memorable "Aerodyne" body shape, inspired by Touring with its elegant teardrop tail and smooth contours, was honed on BRISTOL 401's two-mile-long Filton runway and was truly aerodynamic for the time. In tests carried out at the MIRAS wind tunnel 20 years after the 401's demise, only four modern cars were found to be more aerodynamic. Low levels of wind noise even at high speed were one side benefit from this attention to aerodynamic detail; another was fuel economy: up to 25 miles (40km) to every gallon of the filthy poor petrol that was still all you could get in 1949.

BRISTOL 401

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

ENGINE TYPE

Straight six

CAPACITY

1971 cc

POWER

85-100 bhp

TRANSMISSION

4-speed manual

TOP SPEED

97 mph (155 km/h)

NUMBER BUILT

650

 

 

 

 

 

 
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BRISTOL 401 CAR

CARS > USED CAR HISTORY > BRISTOL 401


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Shopping Mall :BRISTOL 401 Cars at Auto Lemon - Used Car History Check

Cars Directory: BRISTOL 401 Auto, Automobile, Automotive, Car, Cars, Classic, Classic Car, Used Cars, New Cars, Used Car, New Car

Site Description: BRISTOL 401 Used Car History reviews and guide on classic and older model cars. Including car designers from Italy and Germany. Learn history of cars from classic, exotic, used, new to prototype model cars.

Cars Topics: BRISTOL 401 Classic Cars, Price, Prices, For Sale, Part, Restoration,
Classifieds, Classified ads, pictures, muscle car, picture, and photo , AutoCheck, KELLEY BLUE BOOK, USED CAR HISTORY, VIN number, VIN SEARCH, Lemon Car Check