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1952 Bristol 401 For Sale by AuctionFor sale by auction on Saturday 1st September 2012 with Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit, Weybridge, Surrey.
Estimate: £26,000 - £30,000
Bristol cars have become known as the ‘connoisseur’s car’ with their aircraft quality construction and discreet and purposeful styling. Bristol's first car, the 400, was introduced in 1946, and was based on BMWs tooling liberated from Eisenach, West Germany after World War Two and essentially combines the best components from the pre World War Two models and mating the BMW 326 chassis with the race developed 328 engines and clothed in an aluminium body from the 327. The 401 was introduced in 1948 and remained in production until 1953 with only 611 examples being built for the worldwide market. Mechanically it was similar to the previous 400 models apart from the SU carburettors which were changed to carburettors made by Solex. This increased the horse power to 85hp from a previous 80hp and the chassis was increased in length to accommodate the new Touring designed aerodynamic bodywork.
This Bristol 401 has only had four owners from new, the first being Mr. P. H. Newman of Burnley who took delivery on the 21st March 1952. The second owner, Mr. Robert Moule purchased the car in 1994, some 42 years later, he then undertook a full ground-up, nut and bolt restoration. Since the restoration, Mr. Moule has used the car sparingly, covering approximately 200 miles per year with a huge history folder confirming the odometer correctly reading just 52,100. This is also substantiated by old MoT test certificates. Mr. Moule sold the vehicle in 2011 to a Mr. Sanky, he in turn resold the car after only owning it for two months to the current owner. Finished in the original colour of British Racing Green with cream leather trim, piped in brown and complemented by a most appealing Art Deco inspired dashboard. The large history folder contains a current V5C registration document, an MoT test certificate which expires on the 18th May 2013 and an enclosed in the folder are the following ; various pictures, correspondence and listing of suppliers who helped out with the restoration, insurance paperwork, various invoices for work carried out, old MoT test certificates, old road fund licences, the old V5 registration document, an original brown leather Bristol document holder, Bristol Owners Club paperwork, wiring diagram, Bristol manual on chassis and frame repair, Bristol manual booklet for re-wiring etc, Bristol works manual for the wheels, brakes, hubs and tyres, Delphi remote vacuum servo manual, Bristol water cooling manual, Bristol workshop manuals, Bristol gearbox and prop-shaft manual, Bristol rear axle and suspension manual and Bristol diary. Examples of this quality, low ownership and mileage are becoming increasingly hard to find and seldom come up for sale in the market place, especially when compared to their contemporaries such as the Aston Martin and Alvis which now command much higher prices. They perhaps offer the true enthusiast an opportunity to own a hand built car at a relatively affordable price.
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