Monday, 22 August 2011

Meridian Date - Bristol Concours d'Elegance

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Yesterday I travelled 2 degrees, 35 mins 45.25 seconds East to the Meridian line at Greenwich in London with Florian, my guest from France, to see the Bristol Concour's d'Elegance, where a fine selection of Bristol Cars and a single Fraser Nash BMW, representing over 60 years of automotive history was accumulating in the grounds of the Old Naval College.

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Oldest car at the show was this 1939 Frazer Nash BMW 321, Frazer Nash were in partnership with the Bristol Aircraft Company when the latter diversified into the automotive market after WW2.

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Several Bristol 400's, the manufacturers first model, were present all in immaculate condition, this 1971cc, 120 cui six cylinder being maintained by Bristol Owners Club (BOC) member Derek Hughes.

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Among many Bristol models I saw for the first time was the 402 of which only 23 examples were built, this one belonging to Richard Weale.

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I know the father of one GALPOT regular used to race an Arnolt Bristol so it was a particular thrill to see and above all hear this car being started up by Kenneth Andrén who brought this car over from Sweden.

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There were several Bristol 406's, which featured roof mounted indicator lights, present this one belonging to Edward Anderson.

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Chrysler supplied the motor's for all Bristol models starting with the 407 in 1961, this is the 6277 cc / 383 cui big block Chysler B series V8 fitted to the 411 Series 2 belonging to Jamie Davenport.

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In 1976 the 603 model was introduced a car that owed no heritage at all to the Bristol 407 that had been continually upgraded from 1961 and formed the basis of a succession of new models. This is the cockpit of the 603E belonging to Fergus Taylor-Gregg.

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Newest of the Bristol's present was the 2009 Blenhiem (603 Series 4) of Richard Levine.

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91 year old Bristol Works Director, until the factory closed earlier this year, the sprightly Syd Lovesy was amongst those who handed out the prizes at the end of the day. Syd is seen here with Richard Vaughan and the unique 1963 Bristol Viotti 407 styling exercise that once belonged to comic actor Peter Sellers.

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Concours d'Elegance award winning cars included the 400 of Ashley James, the 403 of John Manley, the 405 of Cyril Milward, the 411 Series 2 of Jamie Davenport, a 412, the Arnolt of Kenneth Andrén, and the last one I can positively identify in the line the Fraser Nash BMW 321.

Arnolt Bristol, Bristol C'dE, Greenwich

Car of the day for me was definitely the Arnolt, hats off to Kenneth bring this car over from Sweden, thanks to everyone at the Bristol Owners Club who made this a day for Florian and I to remember.

Thanks for joining me on this Meridian edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres', I hope you'll join me again tomorrow to see how the Aluminium Buick 215 V8 came to impact the British motor industry. Don't forget to come back now !

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