• BRISTOL 411

    Year of manufacture #1975
    Recorded mileage 54,637
    Asking price £59,950
    Vendor Bristol Cars, Kensington, London; tel: 020 7603 5555; www.bristolcars.co.uk

    WHEN IT WAS NEW / #Bristol-411 / #Bristol / #Bristol-411-Series-5 /
    Price £7795 (1973 UK)
    Engine V8 6.6-litre
    Max power 264bhp
    Max torque 335lb ft
    0-60mph 7.8 secs
    Top speed 140mph
    Mpg 13

    While it was mechanically identical to the S4, with the 6554cc #V8 and self-levelling rear suspension, the S5 packed more safety features, including inertia-reel seatbelts. It was identified by the all-black grille. This one has a full maker’s service history, with invoices from new on file (we are told, and this is Bristol so they will definitely be there). It was owned by the chairman of the Bristol OC from 2008 and, for the eight years prior, it changed hands within the club. Most recently (2014), it’s had the front seats rebuilt and reupholstered, plus new carpets and factorystock Blenheim alloys with Pirelli P4000s, which have plenty of tread.

    The dash veneer was refinished at some time, and the front suspension was rebuilt in 2008, with new balljoints and bushes, plus new rear dampers. The gearbox and torque converter were reconditioned in 2007.

    It was last painted about five years ago, and remains shiny and even, bar a small run above the offside headlight. The bumper chrome is smart and the brightwork all lines up, though there’s one slightly wrinkled section on the driver’s door trim. Inside, as well as the fresh front hide, the rear seat is in very good shape and the headlining is excellent. The motor is tidy but not concours: its fluids are all clear and sweetsmelling, but we couldn’t lift the rad cap because the car had been driven over from Bristol’s workshop and these Chryslers retain a lot of heat.


    It starts instantly and sounds great, with no blows from the exhausts. This big-looking car shrinks around you and is a doddle to pilot even in tight traffic thanks to relative narrowness and a highish seat. The chassis is supple but not sloppy, with excellent handling, and you can almost feel that complex rear-axle location working for you. Prod is instant, kickdown almost as responsive, and the brakes pull up straight. Oil pressure is 60psi on the move, with temperature steady at 92ºC. Both electric windows work. There’s a small creak from at least one of the front wishbones but this will be sorted before sale, when the car will come with a new MoT.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Paint nice; roof vinyl excellent
    INTERIOR New front hide; carpets; veneers
    MECHANICALS Lots of ongoing care

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

    For Superb usable condition
    Against Not the most sombre décor for a Bristol

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    A serious contender at not silly money. A lovely, friendly old thing that could easily be a daily driver and isn’t as far from concours as the works modestly likes to think.