Bristol 410


Here's a paragraph or two from the indomitable LJK Setright's missive on Bristols written for CAR magazine back in the eighties.






4 Speed Automatic




Julien's Perspective

Some thoughts on this model

"Bristols have always been amply fast by the standards of the day without being in the front rank of the out-and-out speedsters; they have always been big enough to make travel elegant rather than indecorous; and have always had the handling qualities of a very high standard, usually up to the best sports car'.

"Broadly speaking, therefore, they represent one of the best possible compromises among all the conflicting demands made of a car".

Okay one has to admit that he was slightly biased, as he had been a long term enthusiastic owner of a 405, Chairman of the Bristol OC, and Editor of that Club's magazine and clearly believed that Bristols were the World's best car, superseding in quality and exclusiveness even the noted motor-cars from Crewe. Nevertheless, having owned a wonderful 404 myself I can undertand his high praise for this most gentlemanly of marques.

This particular 410 was first registered in January 1969. We have history relating to its sale via Bristol Cars Ltd in Kensington in December 1988 and this keeper's ownership until 2005. Throughout his tenure, chassis #410-7450 was looked after by Brian Marelli at Bristol West London's service centre. The 410 was actively used and covered over 20,000 miles in the intervening 16 years, participating in numerous rallies, most famous being the Euroclassic run from Paris to Marseilles, even appearing on TV when used for an episode of the TV series Kavanagh QC!

Moving forward, Classic dealer Justin Banks sold it to an individual who enjoyed the car for a further 5 years, then a brief spell with another engaged owner, then into the hands of the current owner, an existing client of mine.

Over the years there has obviously been extensive amounts spent with the most interesting expenditure and transformation taking place back in 2009 when a 408 Mopar (6.7cc) Small Block Chrysler unit was dropped into the front. Dyno'd at the time to 375bhp with prodigious torque on tap and costing a not inconsiderable £9,890. At the same time the gearbox was also upgraded to a TorqueFlite 518 four speed affair, essentially an overdrive fourth gear which is a vast improvement over the original 3 speed unit and often used in Mopar cars.

Given the extra urgency and drama up front, an enhanced more purposeful look was decided upon, so small bumpers were fitted together with a quad exhaust arrangement giving a more robust and appropriate V8 rumble. Finally a set of 412/Beaufighter alloys were fitted which certainly add to the look.

The interior was fortunately left stock and the better for it. Turning to 'Setright' again, his positive take was, 'the standard appointment is frankly terrific with headroom and legroom before and behind, good wood and eminently legible instruments.' And he's absolutely right, it's a great place to sit and soak up the miles as only two appreciable changes are the sporty Mota-Lita steering wheel and period looking but modern Becker Mexico system which has as been installed at vast expense, otherwise it's just copious amounts of leather and wood adorning every surface. As one can see it has air-conditioning and unusually a sun roof too, this being a rare factory item.

Recent engine works and an air-con recharge means it's ready for some summer miles. An awful lot of car for the money in my opinion !

It would be a pleasure to answer any further questions you might have. This Bristol can be inspected at my Guildford showroom - please call me directly on 07788 865700.

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