Type 405 D

405 Drophead Line drawing

Type 405 Drophead

As can be seen from the above sketch, the body is an attractive two door drophead coupé. This was a limited production of special coachwork commissioned by Bristol and 43 cars were constructed by the coachbuilder E.D. Abbott Ltd of Farnham, making we believe 44 Bristol chassised cars finished by Abbott, since an earlier design exercise had already been produced on the shorter 404 chassis. This car was mentioned previously under the heading 404 Special. It was also a drophead. The correct name to call this type is the “405 Drophead Coupé” or “Type 405 D”.

The owner of E.D. Abbott Ltd at the time of this contracted work, Gordon Sutherland, has stated unequivocally that the cars were delivered as driven chassis with body only from the scuttle or engine bulkhead forward, and bodies were new from there back. As the person whose company was contracted to do the work he ought to know. Despite this it has been reported that the position of construction welds which have been exposed on at least three cars under major restoration suggests that these 405 drophead cars might have been delivered with saloon bodies, then modified. It is inconceivable that two such approaches were executed on such a small production run.

As a point of interest, Gordon had followed his father in the ownership of Aston Martin in 1932, only relinquishing control in 1947 to David Brown. He stayed on the board as a technical director of the newly formed Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd until 1949. The Abbott company was sold in the early sixties to a property company, P.T. Jones Ltd, which ran it down. It no longer exists.

Mechanically, this version of the 405 is almost identical to the saloon version, including the options and body colours, but it does differ in some respects.

Badges curve across their diameter and read BRISTOL 2 LITRE in chrome on black, with decals and inlay to the coat of arms yellow in colour. This was the last production series bodied outside Filton to wear the by then familiar emblem of the Bristol city coat of arms in the roundel format.

405 in fine scenery

One of those rare fine summer days, in equally fine scenery, with the top of course down

405 with hood up

One of those wet concours days, with of course the top up