1954 Bristol 404 Coupé  Chassis no. 404/2003

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Lot 759
1954 Bristol 404 Coupé
Registration no. 463 UXS Chassis no. 404/2003

Sold for £ 38,900 (US$ 47,081) inc. premium
1954 Bristol 404 Coupé
Registration no. 463 UXS
Chassis no. 404/2003

Footnotes

  • Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery; nevertheless it seems unlikely that BMW’s engineers felt particularly gratified when the Bristol Car Company obtained the rights to their automotive designs as part of Germany’s post-WW2 reparations. Thus it came about that the Bristol 400, which commenced production in 1947, was effectively a synthesis of three pre-war BMW designs, with a chassis derived from that of the 326, an engine from the 328 sports car and an aerodynamic bodyshell similar to that of the 327 coupé. But Bristol did more than simply copy the work of its German counterparts; the application of aviation industry standards to its manufacture resulted in a car more refined and considerably better constructed than its Teutonic forbears.
    With the 1953 introduction of the short-wheelbase 404 coupé, the Bristol line at last lost its resemblance to the pre-war BMW, swapping that distinctive two-piece radiator grille for an equally unmistakable, aeronautically inspired air intake. The body was still an ash-framed, aluminium-alloy panelled structure, but the bonnet was now forward-hinging and for the first time the spare wheel was accommodated in the near-side front wing. Bristol continued to use the BMW-based, 2-litre, six-cylinder engine with its ingeniously arranged, pushrod-operated inclined valves, and this was available in either 105bhp or 125bhp form in the 404. The gearbox remained a manual four-speed unit with first-gear freewheel. Famously dubbed the ‘Businessman’s Express’, the 404 excelled at providing high-speed travel in comfort -the very definition of ‘Gran Turismo’. The car’s aircraft-industry standard of construction did not come cheap however, and only 52 examples found customers between 1953 and 1955.
    Right-hand drive chassis number ‘400/2003’ was exported new to South Africa where the dry climate contributed to its preservation in good condition. Restored some years ago, the car was imported into Holland some seven-or-so years ago and has been used on historic rallies since arriving in Europe. The useful additions of a battery isolator and Halda rally instrumentation are the only notified deviations from factory specification. Finished in maroon with its grey leather upholstery, this fine example of a true connoisseur’s sports car is offered with workshop manual.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the original workshop manual is not offered with this lot.
1954 Bristol 404 Coupé  Chassis no. 404/2003
1954 Bristol 404 Coupé  Chassis no. 404/2003
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