1961 Bristol 407

When World War II came to a close, the Bristol Aeroplane Company found themselves with an interesting dilemma of having a surplus of skilled labour and reduced demand for their product. So the Filton-based business diversified into the car market, focusing on the up-market cars. The first vehicle of the Bristol Car Division was the 400 saloon, introduced in the autumn of 1946. It was powered by a Filton-built, slightly modified version of the BMW 328 engine. In 1957, the company introduced the 406 two-door saloon and would be the last of the Filton-engined Bristols. Power was from an overhead valve straight-six pushrod engine fitted with triple Solex carburetors and displacing 2216cc. During its production lifespan, 174 examples were built. These were the first saloon cars of its class to be fitted with disc brakes on all four wheels.

The Bristol 407 followed in 1961 and would remain in production through 1963, with a total of 88 examples built. They were visually similar to the 406 with one of the distinguishable features of the 407 being a single horizontal bar on the enlarged radiator grille. In the back were two exhaust pipes instead of the one found on the 406. The big difference between the 406 and the 407 lay under the bonnet. The BMW-derived six-cylinder engine was replaced by a 5,130cc Chrysler V8, built in Canada, and given mechanical tappets and a new camshaft of Bristol design. The engine was married to a TorqueFlite automatic gearbox with three forwards speeds and a torque converter. The transverse leaf sprigns found on the front suspension of the 406 were replaced with coil springs on the 407.

The sport saloon body was built by a bus body builder named Park Royal Vehicles. Viotti and Zagato each built at least one custom example.


by Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2019

1961 Vehicle Profiles

1961 Bristol 407 vehicle information

Coupe

Between 1960 and 1961, at least six Bristol 406 saloon cars were rebodied by Zagato as fixed-head coupes. The later Bristol 407 was the first in the long line of Chrysler V8-powered Bristols that extends to this day. ....[continue reading]

Coupe
 


Concepts by Bristol



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Performance and Specification Comparison

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Bristol
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)

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