Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Bristols in Brandeston

I met up with Winston yesterday. Winston is a 1970 411 Series 1, liberated from the Bristol Cars showroom in Kensington and brought to Suffolk. We met up at the Queens Head Inn, at Brandeston in Suffolk, where our drivers and their partners had a very enjoyable lunch.

Winston sports smart British Racing Green paintwork with a red leather interior, and at first glance the 411’s body is very similar to the 410’s. Most obvious is the radiator grille that is less rounded with inner driving lamps that protrude from the radiator grille in chromed shrouds. It also houses a Bristol nameplate instead of the 410’s bonnet badge.

At the rear the style of the boot is simplified being squared off with the loss of the 410’s vestigial fins. There are slimmer bumpers front and rear and a neater single trim line applied to the flanks. Door kick plates are narrower than on the 410. All in all less fussy perhaps but in my opinion it is at the loss of a certain amount of character.

Inside a smaller 3-spoke leather-trimmed wheel with a Bristol badge set into its central boss has replaced the traditional twin-spoke Bluemels steering wheel. The dashboard has also been updated with large rocker switches replacing the 410’s toggle switches all set within a lighter wood veneer.

Perhaps the biggest change is under the bonnet with the Chrysler engine being up rated from 318 to 383 cu in – that’s 6.3 litres! This results in stunning performance but to the detriment of fuel economy, which is typically around 13 mpg.

Hopefully that won’t stop Winston getting out and about and I look forward to seeing him at shows over the coming year.