1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326

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Lot 216
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon
Chassis no. 4097326

US$ 40,000 - 50,000
£ 29,000 - 37,000
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon
Chassis no. 4097326
The Bristol Aeroplane Company entered the automobile business in 1946. Britain’s oldest aircraft manufacturer, Bristol had built many different craft during World War II. With peace at hand, they diversified with a car derived from the prewar BMW 327. An aerodynamic coupe rather in the 327 idiom but with the benefit of wind tunnel testing, the Bristol 400 used a slightly modified version of BMW’s 1,971 cc straight six. A hallmark of that engine was a hemi head with valves operated by a single camshaft through a complex but effective bell crank arrangement.

Bristols were BMW-derived through 1961, though their styling had diverged with the 404 and 405, introduced in 1953. The company became Bristol Cars, Ltd., in 1961, and with the new name came a new pattern: power from Chrysler V8s. The 407 of that year was a two-door sports saloon with a Canadian-built 5,130 cc (313 cubic inch) Chrysler engine. The Torqueflite automatic was the only transmission option. Capable of 125 mph and zero-to-sixty times just over nine seconds, it was an Anglo-American hot rod.

Succeeding Bristols were basically a refinement of this recipe. The 407 had abandoned the BMW-style transverse leaf spring front suspension for a coil spring arrangement. A new body debuted with the 408 of 1963. The 409, introduced in October 1965, used Chrysler’s workhorse 5,211 cc engine, which eventually found its way into a wide range of cars and trucks. Durable and understressed, it easily moves the 409 in a spirited fashion. The Torqueflite auto ‘box is bulletproof.

Unusual for its left-hand drive configuration, this Bristol 409 has had three owners from new. Originally delivered to Canada, it is one of very few brown examples, and has always been well cared for. It has been continuously maintained, never restored, and its body and British Racing Green paint are in excellent condition. The off-white leather interior is fair for its age, although some cracking is evident on the front seats.

It has its original Chrysler 318 cubic inch V8, with some special components: aluminum intake manifold and valve covers, for example. Recent work includes a rebuilt automatic
transmission, brake work, exhaust system and tires. All perishable bushings have been replaced. The current owner purchased the car in 2000 from Robert McManus; it currently
indicates 55,927 miles. An invited participant in recent Greenwich and Fairfield County Concours d'Elegance, it is presently titled in Connecticut and has a current registration. However, it has not been driven recently and should be subjected to a comprehensive servicing before being committed to use.

British cars with American engines have a long heritage. Railton, Brough and Jensen were popular before World War II; Jensen, Allard and Bristol in more recent times. This Bristol 409 represents a chance to acquire a very desirable example of the genre.
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
1966 Bristol 409 Sport Saloon  Chassis no. 4097326
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