Brian May And His Bristols

Brian May probably has more Bristols and more spares than the Bristol Car Company! A visit is an almost unbelievable experience because he has stuff that most of us will never see in a lifetime, even a de-activated WW2 incendiary bomb!

I visited him recently and spotted several interesting projects as well an immaculate 603 and a Blenheim, both in good colours and needing homes. More interesting from my point of view were the two litre cars on offer, which included a part restored 401, a 403 needing more work and a 405DHC, also part restored, but perhaps most interesting of all is the 400 in the pictures. There are about 130 still in existence of which 20-30 are in tip top condition, they rarely come on the market and rebuilding a derelict example is extremely expensive. However apart from a respray and interior restoration, this car has been done and runs well, so represents a considerable saving over a total rebuild.

Fifties cars are becoming increasing difficult to find, especially the more exotic examples, consequently prices are rising. The Bristol 400 is eligible for all the major post wars events, even the Classic Mille Miglia and if fitted with an overdrive will cruise in excess of 80 mph, so gives little away to moderns if used for long distances.

Brian is asking £25,000 for this car which is far less than the best fetch now, so if you fancy a fascinating day out, this is a good car to go and see.

There is also a very interesting 1 or 2 seat Bristol engined sports racing car called a Wingfield, which would offer similar performance to a Frazer Nash Le Mans replica or Cooper Bristol, but at a much more modest price. I can’t remember it all, but I do recommend a visit. I think there was a Porsche and a Ferrari as well!