Monday, 21 February 2011

Under The Skin - Bristol 403

Continuing the Centenary Celebrations of the Bristol Aeroplane Company which for my part went horribly wrong when I originally identified the car in today's photographs as a Bristol 401.


With that error thankfully corrected I am now armed with a Bristol Owners Club Membership and Car List and a Christmas treat to myself recommended by Teb Marius, the excellent 'Bristol Cars, a very British story' by Christopher Balfour to help correctly identify the various Bristol models in future.

Apart from the badging differences and chromed bumper of the 403 detailed in my Bristol 401 blog there is little externally to help tell a 401 apart from a 403.


Internally however there were many changes between the two models, the 403's engine ran with larger valves in the cylinder head and larger crankshaft bearings which helped boost the power of the BMW derived engine by 15 hp up to 100 hp. Coupled with improved 'Alfin' brakes and an antiroll bar on the front suspension the 403's performance was much crisper loosing 3 seconds from the standstill to 60 mph acceleration test to record a time of 13.4 seconds.

Just 287 104 mph Bristol 403's were produced from 1953 to 1955 when the process of separating the Bristol Car Company from the Bristol Aeroplane Company, it's parent, was getting underway.

Hope you have enjoyed to days 'Alfin' arrested edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you'll join me again tomorrow for a look at a fabulous drop head Bristol with tail fins. Don't forget to come back now !