Bristol 401 Farina

1948

Bristol
Rarity, pedigree and performance assured. One of perhaps eight Bristol Farina Cabriolets built, this car has been prepared for high-speed Continental motoring. Mitchell Motors 2.2 ‘fast road’ engine.
£245,000

Captivating !

Italian elegance

Fast Road 2.2 Litre

Year

1948

MILEAGE

As Displayed

SERVICE HISTORY

Bristol & Specialist

Transmission

4 Speed Manual

Information

interior

exterior

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Julien's Perspective

Some thoughts on this model

A opportunity to purchase a rarely available Bristol which certainly cuts a dash in the flesh and on the road too, as its been prepared for high-speed Continental motoring courtesy of Mitchell Motors and its 2.2 'fast road' engine.

Bristol Cars production records show that chassis number 401/210 was built in 1948 with engine number 400/85B/1342 and despatched out from the factory on 9 August 1948.

It was one of a total of 38 driveable rolling chassis built by Bristol for delivery to a number of coachbuilders for completion of bespoke bodywork, including Pinin Farina, Touring, Langenthal, Van Den Plas, Beutler, Ghia-Aigle, and others.

Of these, by far the most significant were the rolling chassis ordered by AFN Ltd for delivery to either Carrozeria Touring or Carrozeria Pinin Farina, because the Italian bodied cars had a direct impact on Bristol’s creation of its in house Type 401 Coupé and 402 Drophead models.

401/210 was bodied by Farina in its trademark cabriolet style, and almost identical bodies were also fitted to Lancia and Alfa-Romeo chassis in the immediate post-war period.

The first Bristol Farina Cabriolet was built on a Type 400 chassis, but the subsequent vehicles were built on Type 401 chassis. In total, between 8 and 10 Farina Cabriolets were built, depending on which marque expert you listen to!AFN Ltd announced the Touring and Farina Bristol models in March 1947 at the Geneva Motor Show, and the model was first advertised in the UK in late 1947, marked as available for export only at a cost of £2,500.

Bristol Cars service records dated October 1949 show that chassis 410/210 was registered as UMD 603 and owned by AFN Ltd. It was fitted with a replacement engine at a recorded 2,246km.

According to Bristol Cars, the Farina was subsequently purchased by Lord Jersey, who also owned a Bristol 400, and taken to the island of Jersey, where he had an estate. It was registered as MCR 718 at Southampton on 24 February 1955, presumably when it returned to the mainland.

By the early 1960s it was owned by A M B ‘Mike’ Curtis, a stalwart of the Bristol Owners’ Club, and by 1968 it was in the hands of Roger Pearce Harvey. He commenced a long-term restoration in 1989, consigning the car to TT Workshops.

In 2011, Roger Pearce Harvey decided to sell the unfinished Farina and its new custodian was Jonathan Bradburn, whose father had been a partner in the Wolverhampton Bristol agent, Bradburn & Wedge.

Jonathan completed the restoration to a very high standard and was also able to re-unite the Farina with its original engine, which was found in Switzerland! Jonathan subsequently consigned the Farina for sale at Bristol Cars, Kensington, from whom it was purchased by the current keeper in early 2014, with an indicated 53,790 miles.

The current owner, a long-term owner of several Frazer Nash-BMW and Bristol vehicles, set about improving the Farina to make it suitable for long-distance, high-speed Continental motoring, assigning the project to Andrew Mitchell of Mitchell Motors Ltd, Wiltshire.

Modifications include rebuild of the original engine to Mitchell Motors ‘fast road’ specification (steel billet crank, high comp Cosworth pistons, bespoke steel billet conrods, liner WCL10 and block bored to suit, larger valves, electronic ignition, fast road cam CAM1012, overdrive, front anti-roll bar) all of which make the car capable of sustained 85mph cruising.

Participated Rallies:

Hamburg-Berlin Klassik Rallye 2015, 2016, 2017

Bavaria 2017Switzerland 2018

It would be a pleasure to answer any questions you might have. However, to really appreciate this exceedingly rare Bristol, it needs to be seen “in the flesh”, so do please call me directly on 07788 865700 to arrange a viewing.

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1948

Bristol 401 Farina

CAR NUMBER
BRIS55-085
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