27th Jul, 2022 13:00

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

Lot 125

1953 Bristol 404
1 of just 51 examples manufactured


(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: LGU 200
Chassis No: 404/2030
MOT: Exempt

  • One of only six left-hand drive cars out of a total production of just 52
  • Fitted with the ultimate and more desirable Bristol D2 engine
  • Well documented and interesting history

In 1953 Bristol introduced the short-wheelbase 404 coupé, swapping the distinctive two-piece BMW-style radiator grille for an equally unmistakable, aeronautically inspired air intake. The body was still an ash-framed, aluminium-alloy panelled structure, but now with a forward-hinging bonnet and for the first time the spare wheel was accommodated in the near-side front wing. Bristol continued to use the BMW-based, 2.0-litre, six-cylinder engine with its ingeniously arranged, pushrod-operated inclined valves, and this was available in either 105bhp or 125bhp form in the 404. The gearbox remained a manual four-speed unit with first-gear freewheel. Famously dubbed the 'Businessman's Express', the 404 excelled at providing high-speed travel in comfort -the very definition of 'Gran Turismo'. The coachbuilt nature or the car and it’s aircraft-industry standard of construction did not come cheap however, and only 52 examples found customers between 1953 and 1955.

The Bristol Heritage Certificate contained in the history file confirms that this 404 was supplied new on 15th October 1954 to Mr Remy Mannes, the then Bristol dealer in Brussels, Belgium. The car was supplied in left-hand drive configuration for Europe with a rare km/h speedometer, green leather interior, and European dipping, all of which it retains today. The engine number quoted on the certificate is '100B/3534'. However, the car is currently fitted with a more desirable and later type B2 engine ('100B2/4070'). Mannes had ordered this 404 for a client from Antwerp. A copy of the original order from Établissements Remy Mannes to 'The Bristol Aeroplane Company Limited'; a copy of the sales invoice; copies of all transport papers; and some hand-written notes are included in the file.

The Bristol returned to the UK in July 1968, having been purchased by a Mr Michael Beardmore, and was registered in the UK with the number 'LGU 200', which it still carries to this day. In the early 1970s the car was sold to a Mr Bradburn, who sold it and bought it back again in 1982. While in his ownership, 'LGU 200' was featured in an article in Thoroughbred & Classic Cars' June 1983 edition.

In 1985 the car moved to Olso, Norway, returning to the UK in 1989. The previous owner registered the car in 2008 and the last owner in 2019. Today, 'LGU 200' is presented in lovely condition, with its well-preserved interior possessing a beautiful patina. In addition to that mentioned above, accompanying documentation old and recent UK and foreign Registration Documents; a printout of the Bristol Owners Club's record for this car; a quantity of old MOT certificates; sundry invoices for work carried out; an original instruction manual; and a magazine featuring the Bristol 404 model.

For more information, please contact:
Julian Pinkster
07889 223904


Auction: Pavilion Gardens, Buxton, 27th Jul, 2022


Tuesday 26th July 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 27th July 2022 from 9am

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