13th Mar, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

 
  Lot 42
 

1948 Bristol 400

Estimated at £25,000 - £30,000

Lot details

Registration No: JNF 506
Chassis No: 400-1-378
MOT: Exempt

  • Very original and solid example that can be used as is
  • Comprehensive history file, dating back to 1973
  • V5C records 2 previous owners until 2023, when acquired by the vendor
  • Mille Miglia eligible model

With the support of the War Reparations Board, the rights to manufacture the BMW 326, 327 and 328 and their famed six-cylinder engine were secured by the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s fledgling Car Division in 1946. Place a pre-war BMW 327 alongside Bristol's first offering, the 400, and the ancestry is self-evident, but there were many differences. The decision to make it a four-seater saw it based on the longer chassis of the 326. The aircraft grade Bristol body was more streamlined than that of the 327, while Bristol developed the already impressive 328 engine into one of the finest 2-litre units of the period, which powered not only all Bristol models until 1961, but various sports and racing cars from AC, Arnolt, Cooper, Frazer Nash, Lister, Lotus and Tojeiro. The 400's interior trim was an unmistakably British blend of leather and wood. With its lithe 1170kg kerb weight, rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension, torsion bar controlled rear axle and four-wheel drum brakes, the Bristol was among the fastest and best handling saloons of its generation capable of humbling rivals with far larger engines. However, such excellence did not come cheap and only 487 examples of the 400 were made.

First registered in May 1948, Chassis 378 has one previous recorded owner until 2002 when the previous owner purchased the car from our Buxton auction. In 1973, it was sent for a complete restoration which included having the engine, gearbox and suspension completely overhauled and the invoices from Bristol Cars are still available in the history file. The interior was re-trimmed and the carpets, headlining and leather work were refurbished and we understand that the car won the trophy for the best 400 at the 1976 Bristol Owners' Club Concours d'Elegance. It has completed just over 10,000 miles since 1974 and is completely original even down to the HMV radio. Unfortunately, shortly after the previous owner purchased the car it suffered some fuelling issues which resulted in a small, but luckily contained, fire around the carburettors which burnt the paint off the bonnet cowling. The car was subsequently taken to a classic car repair garage in Kent who got the car back to running standard and the vendor then put the car away for 20 years until we pulled it out of its resting place in dry storage in 2023. This did, however, preserve what must be one of the most original Bristol 400s available.

The current owner purchased the car from H&H in 2023 with a view to full restoration. He set about repairing the car to see if it would run and without much work found that a thought to be seized engine was merely a soft seize and having stripped the engine down discovered that it was all in very fine order. He then reassembled the engine fitting a new oil filter and air cleaner box that was missing when acquired, cleaned the fuel tank and fuel lines, refurbished the fuel pump and nursed the car back into life and the vendor now advises that the car runs very well indeed and remarkably that all of the gauges work and so do the electrics. He also decided at this point to remove all of the barn-find dust from the car and professionally repaint the bonnet and now the car presents in fine 'oily rag' condition. The vendor has now unfortunately lost storage space and has chosen to move this fantastic Bristol on for another prospective owner to enjoy and improve as they see fit. This rare example comes with a good documentation folder that includes lots of previous MOTs, the driver's handbook and workshop manual, a spares list and a number of invoices for work that has been carried out on the vehicle over the years.

For more information, please contact:
Lucas Gomersall
lucas.gomersall@handh.co.uk
07484 082430

 

Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 13th Mar, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars to be held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

To enquire about entering your classic or performance car into the auction please call our sales office on 01925 210035, email sales@HandH.co.uk or click here: Enter Your Classic Motorcar 

All our professional valuations are complimentary and without obligation.

To take part in the live online bidding please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page  Register to Bid

Viewing

Tues 12th March from 12pm
Wed 13th March from 9am

View all lots in this sale

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:

               

Do you have an item to sell?

If so, contact one of our friendly specialists for your free valuation by completing the form below and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

If you prefer to speak to humans, don't hesitate to call our office on +44 (0)1925 210035

Contact Us Today!

 

Images

Drag and drop .jpg images here to upload, or click here to select images.


Dozens of ‘no-reserve’ classics head to auction
Recently restored Audi Quattro press car heads to auction
Classic motorcycle auction highlights buoyant market
Rare barn find stars in classic motorcycle auction
Highly original Jaguar SS100 flies away at Duxford sale
Modified classics add a twist to H&H’s next motorcycle sale
Century of motoring history represented at H&H auction
World’s biggest production pick-up truck roars to auction
Mercedes-Benz 500SL delivered new to Sir Stirling Moss heads to auction
Cars from the 1910s to the 2010s head to auction for Buxton sale
H&H’s motorcycle sales off to a flying start in 2024 with market-leading 88 percent sales rate
Goon, Goon, Gone: Unique Peter Sellers 1960 Bentley heads to auction
Eclectic 150-plus classic car auction helps round out H&H’s milestone 30th year celebrations
One of the UK’s best driving Aston Martin DB5s heads to auction
Mid-century sports car icons race to Buxton auction
Former front cover ‘star’ heads to auction
Classic British motorcycles shine as 230 lots head to the National Motorcycle Museum auction
Racing legend Patsy Burt's Jaguar XK120 speeds to Buxton auction
22-strong single owner classic motorcycle collection heads to auction
Norton's racing heritage set to ignite the auction stage
Rare Frazer-Nash BMW with rich racing history to be auctioned
“The Rolls-Royce” of the motorcycle world, heads to      auction
Martini inspired Porsche 911 ‘RSR’ Tribute to head under the hammer
Rare ‘Car on Two Wheels’ heads to auction for the first time in 30 years
More than 100 classics sold in H&H’s 30th anniversary sale
Stunning classics worth more than £9 million offered in 30th anniversary auction
Rare Aston Martin DB1 heads to anniversary auction from long-term ownership
Rare Bentleys to star in 30th celebration auction
H&H Classics 30th Anniversary Auction
H&H unveils details of its 30th anniversary celebrations
Classic car owners handed ULEZ lifeline
H&H Classics auction Hurricane X-75 Prototype to National Motorcycle Museum
Vintage and modern classics lead the way at latest H&H sale
H&H offers exceptional range of vehicles spanning 11 individual decades
Pavilion Gardens. Wednesday 26th July 2023
A whimsical blast from the past: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recreation heads to auction
From Italy with love: auction showcasing the essence of Italian design and sprezzatura
250 Motorcycles & Vintage Scooters Set To Go Under The Hammer!
March of the Mods: Lambretta owned by Paul Weller heads to auction
Lawbreakers to law enforcers: historic scooters with infamous connections up for sale
Jaguar SS100 among £2¼  million worth of classics sold at the Imperial War Museum
British classics to shine at H&H Classics’ sale
Historic Guinness Collection heads to auction
Browse The Catalogue Now! 135 Classic & Performance Cars To Go Under The Hammer.
Robbie Savage’s Ferrari F430 to be sold at H&H Classics
RAC Rally winning ‘Jaguar’ to be sold at auction
Former MP’s Bentley and Facel Vega ‘garage find’ among £1.3m worth of classics hammered away by H&H
Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Auction Preview Video