Classic Car Mag Marketplace – Bristol 411

Filed under: Classic News |
1972 Bristol 411 Series 2Here at Classic car we enjoy watching the classic market and think it’s time to detail some of the vehicles you can purchase right now. We also want open our sales room to readers; offering you the option of advertising your classic by producing a small write up and pictures. Its free to all and contact can be made through our web site or facebook page where we can advise on the transfer of pictures and copy. Trade & private sales welcome.

Today we bring you the Bristol 411 Series 2, for sale at Country Classic Cars Ltd, Midhurst, West Sussex. GU29 9DH. Office: 01730817996




Mileage: 70,576

Price: £36,000

Bristol 411Born of an aircraft manufacturer pre-WW1, the name Bristol Cars promised hand built quality, high end engineering and today demands a loyal and knowledgeable following. It seems, once ‘would be’ clients crossed the threshold of the company’s single showroom in Kensington High St they joined a unique motoring family and entered a long term relationship. Between the wars, the Bristol Aeroplane Company supplemented its income by supplying Armstrong Siddeley with car bodies and bus bodies for Bristol Tramways. Post WW2, Bristol Cars was formed and built the 401 aluminium panelled sports/saloon powered by BMW engine. Fast forward to 1969 and the unveiling of the 411 model at Earls Court Motor Show where the Pathe News broadcast raved of its beauty. The 411 enjoyed a new big block version of Chryslers V8 and the ‘B’ block offered just under 150mph performance with 340bhp; this forced a limited slip diff to be fitted to deal with the power. At the same time the all new Capri started at £890, Bristol’s 411 of 6277cc would set you back an eye watering £7,000 with 11mpg from its 1.6 tons and 16ft of length. A magnificent machine certainly with only 287 produced over 6 years and 5 versions, this car at Country Classic’s in Midhurst is the ultra-rare Series 2. One of just 59 produced this car varied from the original Series with the addition of self-levelling suspension, recessed door handles and wider wheel rims. A four seat GT car that incorporates everything the avid collector could desire, leather, wood, power and style, a true gentlemen’s cruiser that I was thrilled to get acquainted with.

Treasured & Travelled

Bristol 411 Series 2 interiorThis 411 Bristol is being sold on behalf of the current owner and has yet to go through Country Classic Cars preparation; my enthusiasm to view got me in early with a chance to scrutinise the huge file of invoices and official documents that offer a timeline whilst revealing some interesting details. Registered 14th March 1972, finding its first home in Oldham and was finished in midnight blue, having a 1000 mile service just two weeks later. Having travelled 32k by May 1977 it had also changed hands, residing in Norfolk. In 1996 the Chrysler Torque-flight gearbox was replaced with torque converter and rear axle whilst the front suspension received a freshen-up. The custodian had changed again by the millennium after which the car was exported to New Zealand then returned in 2006 via Southampton Docks. Numerous receipts fill the file but the £12,329 invoice (June 2009) for a bare metal respray caught my eye, complete with full photographic confirmation the 411 received this deep burgundy finish; a colour that was available for this model when new. To date this Series 2 has covered 70576 miles after five owners, all of which contributed to its upkeep, the last of which purchased the car from Bristol’s showroom.

Imposing & Impressive

Bristol 411 Series 2 engineThe car will currently require small attention to a couple of areas of paint, these will be undertaken by Country Classics ‘in house’ whilst the interior will receive a complete valet. The wood and ‘Dove Grey’ leather have the correct age, this car sits well with its originality and is not a restored ‘concours’ example; resembling most Bristol’s this car has been and should be driven. The walnut dash surrounds a collection of Smiths gauges which offer all the information required including amps, healthy oil pressure and clock; all of which operated correctly. The carpets have been covered with tailored mats for years and yearn for nothing more than a clean and the leather cased tools sit in a boot that would certainly accommodate your average male. The chrome offers a certain ‘patina’ and proprietor of Country Classics, Paul Gravely confirmed a couple of areas of the rear bumper will receive some specialist attention whilst the rest of the 411 will accept a finish this car deserves.

Test Drive

Bristol 411 Series 2Initial care was taken on the test, it’s a substantial car with a very powerful Chrysler V8 up front. On the move this experience was anything but frightening, best described as ‘first class flight’; rattle and jolt free. Obviously the power is ample for such a large car (100mph in 10 seconds) but the superb gearbox offers seamless changes giving the impression of smooth, constant forward thrust, minus interruptions. The brakes are progressive but not sharp bringing the cruise to a halt quickly if required whilst the steering is certainly assisted making parking surprisingly easy. It was on the faster roads where the Bristol comes into its own, ease back into the leather loungers and push down the throttle and the 383 cu inches come to life. The nose rises as the world passes faster whilst inside everything seems peaceful and unhurried, most impressive for a 44 year old car. The Bristol is certainly a class act and enjoys an enthusiastic following in the classic world and this rare 411 Series 2 will take pride of place in someone’s garage.

Bristol 411 Series 2 Specification

  • Length:          16' 1½"
  • Width:           5' 8"
  • Weight:         33¼    cwt
  • Capacity:        6,277 cc
  • Fuel consumption: 13 mpg
  • Top speed:   140 mph
  • Acceleration: 0-60 7sec