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1953 Bristol 403

For Sale

  • Desirable 100B2 engine

  • Rebuilt gearbox

  • Extensive recent works


  • Well-maintained example

The Bristol 403 followed on from the 401 and 402 and was similar in appearance. The cars utilised a straight-six engine of largely BMW design used in the legendary 328. British aeroplane and motor car manufacturer Bristol obtained the design as reparations following the Second World War.


The 1971 cc engine of the 403 was more powerful than the previous models and featured larger valves which helped boost power output to 100 bhp. To handle the increase in power the 403 received an anti-roll bar and improved 'Alfin' drum brakes.


The hand-built 403 is a rare car with only 287 examples produced between 1953 and 1955 and was aimed at well-heeled customers who appreciated its understated style and high-quality finish.


Chassis 1356 was originally registered in the UK on the 20th July 1953 and was exported to France some years ago. The car was purchased in Paris by the current owner in 2016 and re-imported back to the UK where it was re-registered with an age-related number.


Since then this 403 has been maintained to a high standard and is offered with a large history file which includes multiple invoices from Bristol specialist Spencer Lane-Jones Ltd.


Invoices for works from the current keeper's tenure include a full rewire with a new wiring loom supplied by Autosparks and an interior re-trim by HC Classics which also included new carpets. Bristol specialists Mitchell Motors renovated the chassis and applied corrosion protection to the underbody.


The car is fitted with the improved and desirable 100B2 engine which received a top-end overhaul and included the installation of new exhaust valves. The gearbox was also overhauled and a new overdrive unit and clutch installed.


The heat exchangers were rebuilt with new matrices, hoses and clips. The fuel tank and fuel system were rebuilt and a new lift pump, reserve tank solenoid and fuel gauge sender fitted. A new exhaust system was also installed.


In addition, the brake system was overhauled with relined shoes, hoses, master and slave cylinders.


Cosmetically, the side window frames and hub caps were re-chromed and rubber window channels replaced. The dashboard panels were re-veneered to high standard and the instruments restored. Finally the door spring mechanisms were also rebuilt.


Today, the car’s burgundy paint is an older finish but has mellowed nicely and still presents well overall with only a small amount of minor bubbling along the front valance and several small chips in the paintwork.


This well-maintained, usable example represents an opportunity to acquire a high-quality and rare ‘’Gentleman's Express’ at an attractive price point.


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