The 411 series of Bristol cars were produced from 1969-1976 and went through a number of basic changes throughout their life cycle. When it was initially introduced, it replaced the stop gap model of the 410. Although the styling was very similar the 411 made a number of key changes, the biggest one being the switch from the A-type Chrysler V8 to the all-new 6.2 Liter big-block B series engine. This new engine gave the 411 an estimated 30 percent increase in HP and bumped the top speed to an incredible 143 MPH. Throughout its 5 series of evolution, the 411 became sleeker and gained additional safety features and modern amenities. In the end, the 411 series enjoyed healthy sales for the small manufacturer with a total of 287 cars being produced through the 7-year production run.
This particular Bristol 411, chassis number 7649233, was originally delivered in Gold with Black interior. Not much is known about the early history of the car but service records begin in 1996 when the car was acquired by a Mr. Richard Gray of London. He kept excellent records of his UK ownership and they are included with the car. In August of 2003, he exported the car to Northern California where he presumably had a second residence as the car stayed in his name. He continued to lovingly maintain the car when it came stateside until 2015 when he sold the car to its current owner who resides in Massachusetts. The most recent records from 2015 and 2016 show that the car had the brake system sorted, fluids changed, an engine tuneup, and a number of other minor things to bring that car into a roadworthy driver condition. This Bristol 411 can be classified as a good driver quality car, mechanically well maintained and ready to be enjoyed and driven. There are obvious cosmetic imperfections surrounding the vehicle but nothing that truly warrants attention.
This car comes with all available service records dating back to 1996.
Body & Paint
This car was originally finished in a gold color and was repainted to the green it currently wears at some point during its life. The paint has held up fairly well but would be considered driver quality with scratching and small knicks in various locations throughout the car including the front hood, lower valence, rocker panels etc. The body is in very similar shape with evidence of use and age such as small dings around the rear driver side wheel well, minor paint bubbling and flecking around drivers side window trim and rear badge area and fair sized dent and paint chipping in the passenger side of the rear valence (more then likely from backing into a curb)
Glass & Trim
The glass appears to be in good shape with no major pitting or cracking. Chrome trim around the windows shows some minor pitting in areas but is absolutely presentable. The rubber molding around windows shows some minor cracking and dryness but nothing to be worried about. The chrome throughout is fairly clean with a good consistent shine and minor pitting.
The front passenger side hub cab has a small ding and the chrome is chipping but the other three wheels are in decent condition with good clean chrome centers and trim rings and some minor wear to the painted finish of the wheels.
Paint bubbling and chipping around window molding as well as by the rear badge of the car. Dent and chipping paint in rear lower valence. Small spider crack in the paint on drivers side rear quarter panel.
Seats & Surfaces
The seats in the car were also redone at some point in the cars life. At that time they were changed from black to their current color of ivory white. They remain in great condition with excessive wear or staining to note. The carpets are all clean and relatively fade and stain free. The veneer on the dash is cracking throughout, a common problem with the material used but is holding up ok and could be replaced or enjoyed as is. The top of the dash is tight clean. The rest of the interior including the headliner and gauge faces are all clean and tidy.
Functionality & Accessories
All switchgear and gauges appear in good cosmetic order. The fan system works although the AC does not blow cold. The dash lights and the overhead dome light do not appear to function. The windshield wipers, hazards, and turns signals all function as they should. The driver’s side window regulator appears to have become inoperable, an easy fix though.
The veneer on the dash is heavily cracked throughout but is holding up well. Driver side power window currently does not go down.
The engine churns to life with a quick turn of the key and settles into a smooth idle fairly quickly. There are no noticeable flat spots in the rev range when moving down the road. Throttle response is slightly slow but completely normal for the vehicle.
The transmission selector moves through the gears with no issues and the transmission engages with minimal effort. Once on the move the shifts between gear are timely and fairly smooth.
Brakes & Suspension
The suspension certainly lends itself to a more touring nature and is soft with some roll when going over bumps and coming to a stop. The brakes are adequate and feel solid, although not confidence inspiring.
The tires are Pirelli P4 215/70R/15 on all 4 corners are relatively new with plenty of tread left on them.
Climbing into the flat-floored Bristol 411 finds you perched in an equally flat driving position. The seats are comfortable but offer no lateral support which is ok because this Bristol was not made for hammering turns. Turning the key reveals a surprising growl from the big Chrysler sourced V8 engine. Place the conveniently located shifter into drive and with a slight press of the throttle pedal that big V8 comes to life and easily moves the small Bristol coupe down the road. It is not fast by any means but easily quick enough to keep up with modern traffic and devour open road miles, just as it was intended to do. The suspension is soft and supple but not overly bouncy or noncompliant. Overall these Bristol 411 coupes are interestingly styled, make a great noise and are a pleasure to spend some time behind the wheel of.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States