Bristol 408

Bristol 408

The Bristol 408 was a two-door sedan, the British car manufacturer Bristol Cars Ltd.. produced 1963-1965 in small numbers. He was the successor to the Bristol 407

Model history

The in September 1963 at the Earls Court Motor Show presented Bristol 408 was based largely on the previous model. First, the 408 differed only by modified design of its predecessor; later, that is, with the 1964 featured series 2, also held technical innovations feeder.

The body of the 408 was still based on the 406 featured six years ago, the design of Dudley Hobbs. For financial reasons, a complete redesign was not considered; Hobbs therefore had to restrict the 408 easy to implement modifications. The 408 was a completely new, lower front section, which was now two recessed headlights, a lowered hood and a large, wide front grille, set into the two auxiliary lights. The larger compared to the previous radiator opening improved the thermal behavior of the motor. At the rear end the round lights used 406 since Bristol had been replaced by elongated, upright units that had been an older Humber Sceptre loan. At the same time the curvature of the roof has been reduced, so the car was slightly lower than the total of 407 new was also a second trim in the front wings.

The drive system remained unchanged. Bristol continued to use a highly individualized eight-cylinder engine from Chrysler. As the chassis was the 408 rear axle for the telescopic shock absorbers of Armstrong, who were individually adjusted by the driver on a device on the dashboard and the level of the vehicle should hold uniformly with different loading of the boot.

The 408 came in two series, differing from each other in the technical details:

  • The first, from 1963 to 1964 produced series corresponded to the drive side completely the 407th Like this, they used a Chysler engine with 5130 cc capacity, which was connected to a conventional Torqueflite automatic transmission. The engine's power is specified with 250 hp. The maximum speed was according to factory specification 196 km / h (122 mph), while the magazine Car Illustrated in a test determined a value of 206 km / h.
  • In the fall of 1964, the 408 Mk 2 was presented. He received a revised engine, whose displacement was slightly increased to 5221 cc. At the same time, the power was increased. Also, the automatic transmission was new. It was easier and had a modified translation. It allowed Bristol to choose a higher rear axle ratio. The performance did not change the fact; However, the speed level could be lowered, so that, inter alia, the consumption reduced.

Reception on the market

The Bristol 408 had to compete against some vehicles that had been designed according to a similar pattern. His strength was a flawless workmanship and excellent handling characteristics. Its peculiarity lay in his conservative image, by which he differed from its competitors. His performance did indeed correspond to those of established sports cars; a British test of 1964 pointed out that the Bristol 408 could be a Ferrari 250 GT 2 2 in acceleration over a quarter of a mile behind.


Bristol Cars published - as usual - no production figures for the 408 The information in the literature vary widely. L.J.K. Setright, for decades brand chronicler, is based on about 80 specimens, an American publication, however, claims in two years were 280 vehicles manufactured from type 408.

Unlike the Bristol 406 and 407, there was the new 408 no special bodies by Zagato of the other manufacturers more. The Bristol 408 was replaced in September 1965 by the Bristol 409.


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