411 | Bristol Specifications and Review
In the language of a typical Bristol owner, the 411 could be described as a fine old beast. It was a rare handmade British thoroughbred with a Chrysler V8 under the hood (bonnet)—like a muscle car for the tweed jacket brigade. It was fast enough to challenge the Ferraris of the day, but across seven years of production, only 600 of them found buyers. Nevertheless, the 411 is still considered a sporting classic and has a cult following.
It was built with vintage engineering, however: the box-section chassis came from the Bristol 400, which was taken from a 1930s BMW design. There was a certain atmosphere about the interior with its fine wooden dashboard looking like a piece of dining room furniture, hand-stitched leather seats, and three-spoked leather-wrapped steering wheel with the Bristol badge in the center.The cars used Chrysler’s three-speed automatic.
Wealthy British gentlemen would buy their Bristol motor at the smart showroom on Kensington High Street in London, but there was nothing glamorous about the low-rise factory at Filton in North Bristol, where the cars were made alongside an aircraft factory.
There were five generations of the 411, some of which were exported to the United States. Later models added clever self-leveling suspension and even proper seat belts. Some derivations used double pairs of headlights at the front.
The Bristol 411 was one of the fastest four-seaters of the day and the fastest Bristol vehicle to date. It is a period piece from an era when certain buyers did not mind punishing fuel consumption, but wanted exclusive sports cars with a certain British macho charm that has all but disappeared today.
1969 • 383 cu in/6,277 cc, V8 • 335 bhp/250 kW •
0-60 mph/97 kph in 7 seconds • 143 mph/230 kph