For sale is my privately-owned Bristol 412, Series 2, Zagato "Gentleman's Express".
When Tony Crook was talking about a "Bristol with Bite", he was referring to the Beaufighter, a turbo-charged version of the 412.
My car has the added "bite" for (imho) better reasons...
Keeping the original Chrysler 360cu.in. block and nothing else, this engine has been rebuilt at colossal expense to the highest possible standard using the best parts available to create a powerful, high-compression unit to give the car the oomph of the Series 1 and Beaufighter without a bolt-on turbo and no crazy bumpy idle, traffic issues or overheating.
The whole build was carried out by a well known Mopar guru/genius. I have reference photos showing the Chrysler engine and casting numbers as well as the Bristol engine number which corresponds to the original leather-bound manual with Tony Crook's own handwriting in it.
The engine looks and sounds amazing - and runs even better than it looks.
It has a brand new high-torque starter, alternator, carburettor and other accessories as you can see in the photograph.
While the engine build was happening. A BRAND NEW gearbox and torque converter was sourced and now sits beautifully behind that engine. (I have the originals but Bristol did not stamp numbers on them anyway)
Alongside all that, time was taken to carry out a number of other jobs to stay on top of general maintenance of the car. That's a long list for discussion over a cup of tea!
For clarity, there was no catastrophic event that led to me deciding on the engine rebuild - it and the transmission were working fine, just a bit tired and in need of a freshen-up.
In my book you can't freshen-up an engine - it's all or nothing.
Before deciding to invest in the above, the car was treated to a whole new boot floor, and fixes to the rear arches and passenger floor, when the rusty bits were removed and painstakingly replaced as per factory-original spec (for the good and bad of that!) but rust-protected generously too.
A lot of work has gone into making this a very real prospect as a collector car or a daily driver or anything in between. Of course, if you're like me, the list is endless and work could continue ever more. Just as easily, you could now use this car and maintain as needed only.
The car was sold new by Tony Crook/Bristol Cars as DLW 2T to a Mr Frame in Watford.
(DLW 2T reg no. is on retention somewhere. If you own it and want to sell, please contact me as I would like to reunite car and number if the car doesn't sell)
As a new car it was Bristol Pegasus Blue. The previous owner changed it to the grey you see here some time ago. Not the most perfect repaint ever but it still looks good after all these years.
I have the first ten year's service records from Bristol Cars, full ownership history from DVLA and a few stories from previous owners...
The car spent some time being maintained for its owners by Martin Barnes and the team at ACCS (now Brisparts)
Two owners were Doctors, at least one was a barrister. There's even been a magician at the helm.
I purchased this car a while ago from a private collector who had owned it for nearly twenty years, using it only for days out and the occasional foreign jaunt. During his ownership the car was maintained by his full-time fitter/mechanic. There are notes in the history folders.
Other things you should know: (what I don't like to call the "bad bits"!)
My car presents very well indeed. It is not a show car. It is not faultless. There is no damage to speak of outside but there are small bubbles in the paint here and there. They haven't deteriorated in my time as far as I can tell - I keep it in a dry garage.
Inside, all looks great but it's not perfect. If I don't sell the car I will probably re-trim the rear seats next (fronts are aged but pretty nice). The car was previously stored in a super-dry building and the rear seat leather was very dry. I have applied many coats of hide food and it is now relatively supple. Stupidly, I managed to split the rear seat while applying that hide food! (see picture). The small black vinyl pads at the end of the dash are missing - a trimmer will be able to make-up some new ones.
The engine is all spanking-brand new! It looks awesome. I wish I had stripped and repainted the engine bay while it was all out but it didn't look so bad until the shiny bits went in...
The wheels you see here are genuine GKN 16" alloys (XJS). I also have the correct Avon safety wheels for the car.
There is a JVC stereo with Pioneer speakers. It works fine but is not up to much by modern standards.
Milometer shows 62,000. All indicators suggest we should assume that means 162,000.
All keys and locks are original and all work fine.
Both electric windows work pretty well, having been fixed recently.
The battery (bigger and stronger than required but better that way...) was new at the end of 2015.
There are no rear seat belts. I got some to fit but they are the wrong ones. Lap-only type needed as there is no suitable anchor-point for lap-&-diagonal type.
Included is the original hard top that replaces the cabriolet roof (pointless, but nice to have) It probably needs a new headlining as I have left it in storage since buying the car and it was similarly stored for the twenty-or-so years before me.
In addition, I have gathered a fair collection of other parts for the car - including a fully refurbished (as new) set of rear lights that came all the way from Australia. I will include all I have for the car at the asking price.
I don't normally (see picture from Henley show, 2015) but this week I have been commuting to work in the 412 (roof off yesterday!) and, apart from the fuel bill, it has been a real treat.
This is a classified advertisement so do please call for more information if you are interested in coming to view the car and ultimately purchasing it.
Some haggling over sale price is inevitable, I accept that, but please don't call with low offers as I will not sell - the asking price is only part of what I have spent so far anyway.
Viewing can be near Henley-on-Thames or near Iver, time and logistics permitting.
Best number is 07836542065. Otherwise please leave a message at 01494882172 and I will get back to you.
I will happily take you for a spin but no-one can drive without producing evidence of identity and suitable insurance.
This is a private sale, the car will be sold as seen, without warranty. This is not a new car, it is an old Bristol. They are great cars but need a lot of care. I have described it sensibly here but am not a professional, I am a very enthusiastic car nut! Buyer is responsible for checking before buying.
If you've read this far, you probably don't think this car is ugly either. I grew up in West London and got used to seeing these cars from a young age. My Grandfather had a Bristol car, as did my Uncle. I spoke to Tony Crook briefly on a few occasions - he was very polite to me (meaning he didn't lock the door as I approached!) and knew exactly who all his customers were. You only really 'get' what these cars are once you have one. Mine has strayed into new territory with this engine upgrade but the 'Bristolness', albeit on the old-side, is still there in bucketloads.
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