Bristol Type 603

Bristol 603 S1

The Bristol 603 was a two-door sports sedan of the British car manufacturer Bristol Cars Ltd.. , Which replaced the Bristol 411 Mk.5 in October 1976 and was produced until late summer 1982. The car appeared on the occasion of the thirty year anniversary of the brand. Its design is the basis for all later featured Bristol- models up to the producing up to 2011 Bristol Blenheim.

  • 3.1 The 603 S1
  • 3.2 The 603 S2

The term

With the 603 Bristol began a new designation system. After 1974, the Bristol 412 was introduced as the latest model of the brand, the successor to the Bristol 411 was supposed to bear the designation 413. This would avoid the company. Instead of a jump in the number 414 Bristol began with the new model a whole new counting system. In the first sales brochures that have been published on the occasion of the presentation of the model in October 1976, the model name is not specified with Bristol 600 Series. Ultimately, the company chose the name 603 With this choice should take into account the fact that the city of Bristol in 1976 celebrated its 603 anniversary.

The concept

The Bristol 603 set - apart from the Bristol 412 - the most sustainable change in the recent history of the company dar. The car broke down almost completely with the established 16 years design of previous models 406-411, and also in technical terms, numerous changes were recorded. The 603 was the first car whose body was prepared at Bristol itself. So far, the British bus manufacturer Park Royal Vehicles had delivered the body in white. Due to a production in our own factory promised to Bristol's owner Tony Crook greater flexibility and better ways to respond to phases of lower demand. The exterior body parts were no longer made ​​by hand but by machine pressed. First, the results of the pressing process of different precision were. In particular, the large sheet metal parts shown in the first years some significant bumps along, which was created in viewers the impression of lack of manufacturing quality.

The design

The exterior of the Bristol 603 was completely redesigned. Responsible designer was Dudley Hobbs, a longtime Bristol- employee who had already designed some 603 of the previous models. Although it was at the 603 still is a two-door, four-seat sedan, and also the basic proportions - long front with side housed spare wheels and rearward offset cabin - have been retained. Aside from that but it was all new at 603. Notwithstanding the previous notchback line, got the 603 a semi- fastback with very thin B- and C-pillars. The aim of the designer, it had been to maximize the layout of the body. The thin vehicle pillars and the large rear window allowed a very good all-round visibility. To support this, Bristol launched in the press pointing out that it was the work not been able to find an interior mirror, which was large enough to cover the entire section of the rear window fully. The flowing roofline of the 603 was the Tom Karen ( Ogle Design) designed Anadol A1 modeled on a car that Reliant had developed for the Turkish market. The short tail fell off and had rectangular taillights which 411 were already known from Bristol. Unlike the previous model were found in the tailgate left and right of the vehicle number plate per two large fog lights and reversing lights. At the front end, in turn, were known from 411 large round headlights to find. The grill was - unlike the previous model - not designed as a toaster grill, but consisted of three approximately equal-sized elements, of which the middle a large Bristol logo wore. Striking were extremely thin, chrome bumpers. Bristol used numerous mounting parts from Vauxhall or Bedford, for example, the front indicators, door handles and the rear lights.

The design of the interior remained largely intact. Bristol retained the now classic, attributable to the coupe 404 dashboard; generously laid wood and leather continued to dominate the decor.

Overall, the Bristol 603 was a very narrow car. Bristol laid emphasis on this feature and picked it out as a reason for special handling of the car.

The design of the Bristol 603 was recorded differently. In isolated press reports, the 603 has been called " very nice car ". In most cases, however, the design was critically appreciated by the car was described, for example, as " not very nice ". Some Bristol- customers were in their formulations on. They compared the - well-crafted, additionally, made ​​unclean - body of 603, among others with the " self-made a blacksmith ."

The technique

Like all his predecessors, also used the Bristol 603 the well-known framework, which had been only slightly modified. What is new were the engines, which were smaller than in the Bristol 411 On sale now was a 5.9 liter eight-cylinder, which was still available from Chrysler; added temporarily came also a smaller, 5.2 -liter version. Both engines were used at the same time also by Monteverdi, and indeed for the sedan Sierra.

The models

The Bristol 603 was produced 1976-1982 in two series. Overall emerged between 70 and 80 copies; the Bristol Owners Club assumes that in the 1970s approximately one car per month left the factory in Filton.

The 603 S1

The first series of the Bristol 603 was offered from 1976 until the fall of 1982. The choice was between two engine options:

  • The Bristol 603S ( for sport) was equipped with a 5.9 -liter eight-cylinder engine from Chrysler. The 8.0: 1 very low density engine had a four -barrel carburetor, which helped him to about 200 hp. Although called Bristol no exact performance; but a comparison with Monteverdi leads to the conclusion to appropriate values ​​. What is certain is that the performance over previous models reduced noticeably. For the 603S Bristol gave to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in the range of 7.6 seconds for the magazine Motor Road determined during a test in 1978, however, a value of 8.4 seconds, a good second more than the aerodynamic unfortunate 412 with the 6.6 - liter engine. The maximum speed of the 603S was loud " motor road " at 140 mph or 225 km / h Bristol 603S is the most widely used version of the model.
  • In addition was the Bristol 603E ( for Economy ) available. He was equipped with a 5.2 - liter version of the eight-cylinder engine and was only a twin carburettor. With regard to the freely available performance data of the corresponding motorized Monteverdi Sierra 5.2 a power of about 160 hp might be incurred. For the 603E the factory brochure from 1976 gave an acceleration value of 10.9 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour. A test of this model by means of a journal is not known. The 603E was produced only in small numbers.

In terms of price was the 603 with 30,000 pounds in 1978 between the Aston Martin V8, which was available for 21,000 pounds, and the Rolls- Royce Corniche, which was 38,000 pounds in the price list.

1982 built the plant on the basis of a 1977 made ​​603 S1 the first prototype of the Bristol Brigand.

The 603 S2

In 1978, the 603 in a second series ( 603S2 ). Externally, the new model was to be recognized by lateral vents in the rear fenders. From a technical point Bristol restricted now to the 5.9 -liter variant; the previous model 603E accounted for. The purchase price for a 603S2 amounted in 1980 to 21,000 pounds.

In October 1982, the Bristol 603 was replaced by the Bristol Britannia and its twin Bristol Brigand.