Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Out and About

It was nice to get out and about in the sunshine today. I know it was only round the corner to Holland Park Mews but it felt good all the same. Hopefully someone will snap me up soon so I can have more days out like this.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Looking for my New Owner!

Here I am for sale on the Bristol Cars web site. While I have been resting the fine fellows at Bristol's have done a bit more work on me including new floor boards, carpets and interior woodwork - but I’m still the same old Bertie.

They say I’m a “pleasure to drive”, so what are you waiting for – come and get me and let’s have some adventures together!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Keep Bristolling!

“I’m just taking you down for a quick MOT and service”, he said; but little did I know the Bristol Cars Showroom had taken an interest in me and Neil was speaking to them about how much he might sell me for! A few telephone calls later and the deal was done, bringing a very happy 10-year relationship to an end. I am now nervously waiting to see what they will do to me before I am offered up for sale again.

So this could be my last posting on this blog. Perhaps when I find a new owner they might provide a voice for me and continue recording my adventures.

In the mean time, thanks for reading and keep Bristolling!

Monday, 18 February 2013

For Sale – 1967 Bristol 410

After 10 years ownership, I am preparing to sell my Bristol 410, chassis number 410-7412, and the subject of this blog. It is the 12th 410 built and one of only 79 made.

410’s have a Chrysler 5.2 litre V8 engine and a 3-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, together with power steering and power assisted brakes. This makes for relaxed but purposeful driving, which belies the car’s size and weight, offering true 4-seat comfort in classic Bristol style.

The car was first registered on 18th December 1967 to the Steel Supply Company (Western) Ltd for their Managing Director. It then passed through the hands of 10 further owners, before I bought it in 2003.

A distinguishing feature of the car is the lack of side trims. This gives it a cleaner profile than the standard car, which is further enhanced by the dark green paintwork.

I have had it regularly serviced and maintained by Bristol Cars, and I have receipts going back many years for work carried out, including at American Car Care Services.

Major work was undertaken in the 1990’s including an interior re-trim in Connolly hide and a complete body-off re-spray in the current colour, Connaught Green (for which I have a photographic record viewable on this blog). Both of these are still in excellent condition. The car would however benefit from having the dashboard refurbished where the lacquer has started to peel.

As well as regular servicing, I have had the following significant work carried out:
  • ·       Engine rebuilt
  • ·       Electric windows installed
  • ·       New alternator
  • ·       New water pump
  • ·       New light-weight starter motor
  • ·       New radiator
  • ·       Heater matrix overhauled
  • ·       New o/s exhaust manifold
  • ·       New brake master cylinders
  • ·       Overhauled rear brake callipers

It sits on 4 Michelin XVS tyres fitted in 2007, which are still in good condition with a good depth of tread remaining.

The car is well known in the Bristol Owners’ Club (I am currently a regional secretary and have been for the past 4 years) and at local classic car rallies.

The car is currently in very good running order, but I will have it serviced and MOT’d in May before offering it for sale. Enquiries can be made before this date by leaving a comment below.

Monday, 24 December 2012

A Christmas card from Bristol Cars

It was a nice surprise to find a Christmas card from Bristol Cars included with the Club’s December newsletter.

This is yet another welcome sign of the manufacturer forging closer links with the club and the owners of their cars. This started shortly after their acquisition of the company in April 2011 with a stunning parade of Bristol cars from throughout the marque’s history, spanning almost every model ever built. Since then they have taken great care to preserve everything of historic interest from the old factory including spares, specialists tools and the bucks used to shape the bodies. Regular features in the club’s Bulletin and sponsorship of a fully catered marquee at the Club’s concours are further signs of their support.

The card depicts the cover for the 1948 Christmas issue of the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s in-house magazine, the ‘Bristol Review’. The watercolour painting shows the company’s headquarters at Filton with an array of its products; piston and jet aero-engines, aeroplanes (Brabazon, Britannia and Freighter), the Type 171 helicopter, aluminium pre-fabricated schools and housing, and of course, 3 Bristol cars; Type 400, 401 and 402.

Bristol’s ambition is to design and manufacture a new car, capable of equalling the quality and exceeding the performance of the cars that built the marque’s reputation. The car is being developed in great secrecy so little is known of the design, but what is certain is that it will combine Frazer-Nash’s advanced hybrid drive-train technology with the styling cues that have always made Bristol Cars so distinctive.

So on that note I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and I look forward to what 2013 may bring.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Bristol Owners' Christmas Lunch

A bright, crisp first Sunday in December was the perfect backdrop to the East Anglian section of the Bristol Owners’ Christmas lunch at the Ravenwood Hall Hotel in Suffolk.

Driving there along the A14 a familiar shape appeared in my rear-view mirror as Churchill the 411 closed in behind. As we made our way up the drive to the hotel we saw several other cars had beaten us to it and were making an impressive statement parked right outside the entrance.

I parked next to Churchill and the above photo shows the Chairman’s 410 nearest the camera alongside Warwick Banks’ 404, Nick Challacombe’s 407 and Richard Phillips’ 411 - recently the runner-up in Classic Car Weekly’s Classic Car of the Year competition.

The roads on the way back home were dry but the temperature was falling and after we had turned off the A14 onto the A137, bound for Manningtree, we encountered one of Essex County Council’s gritters coming in the opposite direction. There was an awful racket as it sprayed my bonnet with grit and rock salt but thankfully there was nothing that Neil couldn’t polish out.

The good weather had certainly encouraged a good turn-out with 23 club members arriving in 10 Bristol cars, ranging from a 1948 400 through to a 1979 603. A few more next year and we will be able to take over an entire room in the hotel!

Here’s to a very happy Christmas and a Bristolling new year.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Hunstanton Show Hits the Spot

Classic car owners from across the east of England descended upon a blustery Hunstanton on Sunday 30th September as part of a day of activities raising money for the Stroke Association and the Friends of the Stroke Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn. The classic car show, which was sponsored by CUP Classic Cars, attracted an eclectic mix of cars to the green in the centre of the town. This inaugural event was organised by Richard Phillips, a member of the East Anglian section and a Director of CUP Classics.

The day started with an early rendezvous with Churchill in a supermarket car park in Ipswich. We then set off up the A14 to Bury St. Edmunds where we took the A134 through Thetford, then around King’s Lynn and on to Hunstanton. Fresh from his Bristol Owners’ Club concours win in his 411, Richard welcomed us to the site, which is situated between the town of Hunstanton and the sea, and showed us to our position which he had already marked out with an Owners’ Club banner.

Once parked drivers and passengers immediately sought refuge in the Tamworth Tearooms overlooking the green where coffee and very good egg and bacon baps hit the spot as a succession of classic car owners from the show followed suit.

Back to the show and we were delighted to see that Charles and Pat Nelson had also made the trip to Hunstanton in their 409. The group of 4 cars made a strong presence that kept the owners busy for most of the day, with the V8 engines and spare wheel storage promoting the most interest from visitors.

Mid-morning and it was still blowing a gale so The Golden Lion Hotel at the top of the green looked like a good bet for coffee. Disappointingly the hotel staff ignored the 4 visitors as they made their way to the lounge and took their seats, but desperately in need of a pick-me-up the group decided on Café Lattes with an added shot of Baileys Irish Cream liqueur.

More inattentive service prompted a trip to the bar where the request for 4 Baileys Lattes was met with a response of “we don’t do Baileys Lattes”, so an order duly went in for 4 Lattes and 4 Baileys – you can guess the rest. Suffice to say the recipe wasn’t complicated. The drinks having hit the spot, departure was as memorable as the arrival. It turns out the experience was far from unique and I would recommend seeking out the reviews on tripadvisor for more of the same and a laugh or two.

Back to the show again, and the four awards that were given out during the course of the day; Most Original Car went to a very well preserved Delahaye, Best Car in Show went to a Lotus Elan +2S which had been the subject of a total restoration, the prize for the Most Appropriately Attired Owners went to a couple dressed as gangsters in their Excalibur Phantom, and Furthest Travelled On The Day went to a surprised Neil Turnbull who together with his wife Karen had travelled 103 miles from their home on the Essex-Suffolk border.

Final refreshments at Hunstanton were taken at The Coffee Pot where tea, cheese on toast and toasted tea-cakes were ordered from the friendly staff and enjoyed for a very reasonable sum.

Returning to the green cars had started to drift away and so final thanks were made and goodbyes said before I led the way back towards Suffolk and then Essex. There was however time for one more food stop and the Foldgate Inn at Stradsett turned out to be a real find. Adnams bitter and Abbot Ale from the cask and home-cooked roast dinners and desserts that were too tempting for some!

Churchill led the way on the final leg home and we parted company on the A14 at Ipswich. Final thanks to the Stroke Association and Richard Phillips for organising a great day and I hope that it will become a regular fixture on the classic car calendar.