Bristols in the Media — and in Book form

Subject Publication Location Notes
400 article The Automobile September 2009 Good feature on the 400 and the early years of the Company
Only 409 in Germany Autobild Klassik 18/06/2009 Story of 409 purchase by Rolf Klein, Editor of Autobild Klassik
Fighter Road Test Octane Magazine Sept 2009 Complimentary
"411 Series 6" Review Octane Magazine May 2009 Enthusiastic review & road test of 411 sold with new car warranty after total remanufacture/upgrade
410 Review Classic Car Weekly No. 975, 14/05/2009
Fighter Review Evo Magazine 1 Mar 2007 Interesting, fairly enthusiastic, review by David Vivian.
Announcing the Fighter "T" The Telegraph 9 Nov 2006 Martin English reacts to the Bristol announcement. See also the link to editorial and public comment.
Article by Bill Boddy Motor Sport Oct 2006 p94-5 Bill Boddy originally road tested the 402, 404, 405 and 411S4.
The Viotti 407/10 Motoring Telegraph 2006-09-02 Article by Martin Buckley recounting the history of Peter Sellers, Britt Ecklund and the Viotti 407/10
Bristols in the Cinema Internet Movie Cars Database Eagle-eyed car fans are building a database of cars featured in film; as well as a quantity of Bristol (BLMC) buses, the Bristol page includes some rare appearances of Bristol cars — not always correctly identified.
410 Inspector Lynley Mysteries BBC Television The red 410 featured frequently as Inspector Lynley's car.
60 years of Bristol Cars Classic & Sportscar Jul 2006 p132 Extended article containing previously unpublished information.
The Mitchell Special Motoring Telegraph 25 Mar 2006 Article & Interview by Martin Gurdon, gives a good account of the car and how it was made.
Interview with Toby Silverton Octane Magazine Mar 2006 p142-147 Features passenger impressions of Blenheim and uprated 411.
603 Classics Monthly Feb 2006 p36 5-page article including road test. CPK Smithies's car is used to illustrate the article. Appearance of the car disparaged, but everything else very much approved.
411 Octane Magazine Feb 2006 p10-12 Fifth in the “top ten bargains for 2006”, described as “better than a Bentley”.
401 Folio Magazine (Bath / Bristol / Cheltenham) Jan 2006 p12 4-page article citing Charles Russell and attributing to him the Monnereau 403. Garnished with photos of the Tour de Maroc — one wonders how they got hold of them.
Fighter road test Motoring Independent 31 Jan 2006 Knowledgeable road test by Martin Buckley
403 The Independent 5 Jul 2005 Article by Brian Sewell on the beauty of the 401/3 design
401-403 Classic Car Jan 2004 4-page buyers' guide. Written by Malcolm McKay, it gives excellent advice on the pitfalls to avoid. Kevin Jones's car is used to illustrate the article.
450 Model Classic & Sportscar Dec 2003 p10 Short news item about a 1:12 model of the 1953 version Bristol 450. The model is made by Jeff Luff who apparently intends to produce a limited production run. The item features a presentation of a model to Tony Crook. From the photographs the model looks good.
Salvage Squad 407 Channel 4 TV Feb 2002 Bristol 407 featured being restored by TV celebrities
Blenheim 3 Review Evo Magazine Dec 2001 Knowledgeable road test
Blenheim 3 Review Prova 27 Dec 2001 Article in German
Blenheim Speedster Sunday Herald 2001-11-04 Allan Donald describes the new Blenheim Speedster and how it came about.
401 The Prince, the Showgirl and Me BBC TV 2004 A 401 appeared in one scene.
405 Peak Practice VUB 405 featured in a number of early episodes.
Blenheim 2 Review Top Gear 01 Jul 1998 Generally favourable review & road test
Blenheim Review 01 Apr 1996
Nic Raine's 603 LPG conversion Classic & Sportscar Jun 2001 p144 Article
Want to be a Fighter pilot? Sunday Herald 2001-04-29 Allan Donald reports on the new Fighter project.
AC Ace-Bristol British Car Magazine Feb/Mar 2001 p44 Feature
History & ownership of John Hamshere's Type 406 Zagato Classic Cars Magazine Issue 310, Jul 1999 p140-141 by Mick Walsh
Comparison of Type 400 Saloon and BMW 327 Cabriolet Drophead Classic Cars Magazine Issue 308, May 1999 p92 BMW is 400lb lighter and faster
Tony Crook reminisces about the 1951 Motor Sport Trophy Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 2, May 1999 p47 Titled Bristol Thoughts, in Tony Crook's letter he reminisces about his fight for the Motor Sport Trophy at Goodwood in 1951. Having given Mike Hawthorn's Riley Special a 17-second handicap lead, he only just failed to beat him to the line in his trusty Frazer-Nash Le Mans replica model, with which he had campaigned to great and good effect that season. There is a small picture of him giving Archie Scott Brown a lift — presumably back to the pits.
Restoration of 406 Practical Classics Magazine Apr 1999 p63-4 This article shows what a cracking good job was made of this black-painted 406's restoration. No wonder it took the "Most Improved Car" trophy when it appeared at the Concours that year. This article seems to have been printed several years after it was actually written — drawn to our attention by the current owner, who confirmed that it had changed hands quite some time ago.
Bristol choosing engines from the USA Classic Cars Magazine Apr 1999 p91  
Bristol engine design & specification Apr 1999 p98
Potted History of Richard Mead, Coachbuilder Classic Cars Magazine Apr 1999 p82 Did some special Bristol builds
400 entered in Monte Challenge Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 1 p22 Illustration of Hugh Porter's and Derek Jones White's Type 400, TGB 35, entered as number 39 in Monte Challenge. Text mentions "The Banks" (Father racing the KON 1 registration) and Son competing in the 60s.
Lotus Mk X with Bristol engine Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 1 p27 ex Cliff Davis 1955
Palawan Press book Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 1 p39 Pictured with examples of six pages from The Image volume
Taylors' Bristol 400 (Ill.) Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 1 p123 Regn DVH 902, entered in the Monte Challenge as no. 41, gingerly? descending on of the alpine passes in birght sunshine on packed snow and slush.
Auction comments: 400 and 406 sold Classic & Sportscar Vol 18 No. 1 p191 The "very tidy" 406 fetched £7,704 at BCA; the 400, described as "excellent/restored condition", £14,365 — which wouldn't cover a decent trim and paint job!
Evaluation of 412 as Practical Classic Classic Cars Magazine Issue 306, Mar 1999 p86
Appraisal of Palawan Press book Classic Cars Magazine Issue 306, Mar 1999 p102-3 David Lillywhite expresses dislike of layout, author's use of Latin and separation of pictures from text in two heavy volumes.
Review of Ace Bristol Racing by John Mclellan & Tony Bancroft Classic Cars Magazine Issue 306, Mar 1999 p104 Favourable. Cost £34.95; publ. Sixteen Ninety Press, tel. +44 (0) 1235 522561; ISBN 0-9534680-0-3
Ernie Cooper's 401 Classic & Sportscar Vol 17 No. 12, Mar 1999 p112-3 Double-page spread of Ernie's very early 400 (or more accurately 400/106) chassis no. 6.
Long-snout Cooper Bristol Classic & Sportscar Vol 17 No. 12, Mar 1999 p23 belonging to Mike Hawthorn
Review of Ace Bristol Racing by John Mclellan & Tony Bancroft Classic & Sportscar Vol 17 No. 12, Mar 1999 p36 Cost £34.95; publ. Sixteen Ninety Press, tel. +44 (0) 1235 522561; ISBN 0-9534680-0-3
Palawan Press Book Saturday Telegraph (Week End Motoring Supplement) 30 Jan 1999 Profiles of Palawan Press owner/publisher S Draper and author LJK Setright
409 restoration project Practical Classics Magazine Issue 2 No. 233, p62 ex-Setright late 409 reported still with Minilite wheels fitted by LJKS.
Comparison of RR Silver Shadow and 411s4 Classic & Sportscar Vol 17 no. 10 p112 Gerry Acher's 411s4 was the preferred vehicle from the driving point of view.
Farina 400 Classic Cars Magazine Nov 1998 p86-92 Spencer Lane-Jones's restoration of a Farina-bodied 400. Good pictures.
"Group Test" including a 409 Oct 1998 p88-9
Frazer-Nash Le Mans replica Oct 1998 p151
Brian May, purveyor of Bristol Cars and parts Classic Cars Magazine Jul 1998 p98-102 Under the heading "Admirable Eccentric", account of Brian's 30-year career. Reportedly also covered by Daily Telegraph Motoring Section.
Alexa Scott-Plummer competing in the 1st Classic Malts Rally Classic Cars magazine Jul 1998 p14 Alexa, with navigator Sue Shoosmith, competed in her early Type 400, where she won
  • Silver Medallion for being second overall
  • Ladies' Team Prize
  • National Team Prize (as part of Scottish Team)
  • Personal best time at Knockhill Race Track.
Road 50/50% Test Autocar Magazine Jun 1998 p62-7 Many monochrome pictures; thumbnail history and verdict of tester Steve Cropley.
401 news picture Sunday Post 24 May 1998 Manager of Heart of Midlothian Football Club holding up the newly-won League Championship Cup whilst seated on the wing of his cherished 401.
Life history of a 400 BBC TV Channel 2 14 May 1998 2220-2230 Short program in series History of a Motor Car: after a number of somewhat foolhardy rebuild attempts, the car is resurrected by a former owner who intends to keep it as a permanent reminder of his youth.
Royal Forest of Dean Treasure Hunt Telegraph 25-6 Apr Motoring Section RFD Section's annual Treasure Hunt, half-page feature
Company, Britannia Practical Classics Jan 1998 p50-55 6-page article about the Company, the cars and a test drive in a Britannia. Also a mention of this site.
603 impression Autocar 13 Aug 1977 p36 Brief impression
General with sidebar on 407 Zagato European Car magazine Jan 1998 Illustrated article by Matt Stone
411 Classic Cars Magazine Issue 290, Nov 1997 p64-5 A 411 appears in its selection of 50 great cars to buy for under £10,000. Colour illustrations of the 411 cornering at speed.
Blenheim & General Sub-Contractor 1997/08, back page This Swedish trade paper carried an article about Bristol Cars and its products, with pictures of a Blenheim and its aircraft namesake, and also one of a gold-painted 408. Links for Club and Company.
450 Racing in 1954-5 Jaguar at Le Mans 1954-5 (1-hour video) Distribution by Duke Video.
Amusing Anecdote Classic & Sportscar Vol 16 no. 4 p250 Titled Limitless Class, by Clarissa Dickson
Restoring 401/403 Practical Classics Mar 1997 p136-7 Evaluation of 401/3 as restoration projects with panels covering spares, expert comment, consumables, club contact, Spot the Rot, what to pay, specifications.
Best British Sports Saloon Ever (401) Classic Cars Magazine Supplement Apr 1997 supplement p20 The 70s section compares 411s3 with Ford Escort RS2000, Jaguar XJ6 4.2, Rover 3500S and Triumph Dolomite Sprint. Bristol is voted best.
Apr 1997 supplement p39 Composite test of all sections, 50s to 80s, against Ford Sierra Cosworth, Jaguar Mk2 and Jowett Javelin. The Bristol 411s3 comes third to the Mk2 Jaguar and the Jowett Javelin respectively.
400 Classic Cars Magazine Mar 1997 p29 Why Col GB McLean of NSW Australia settled for a 400.
403 road test Mar 1997 p163
Spencer Lane-Jones Classic & Sportscar Vol 15 no. 12, Mar 1997 p137 Full-page article on Spencer's specialist company in Warminster, Wiltshire
Blenheim for Noel Gallagher Snippet on delivery of specially prepared Blenheim, produced apparently to order of Patsy Kensit for her partner Noël Gallagher (member of pop group Oasis).
Blenheim for Noel Gallagher Esquire Magazine Feb 1997 2-page spread on the Blenheim with specification and Gallagher's comments. Article aptly titled Patsy's Bristols.
General Forum TV Great Westerner WV 0013 — 30-minute Video Entitled The Bristol Car (never more than three per week), this is a professional collation of interviews, pictures and cars in action, including some shots of the Factory 450 Racing Team at the 1955 Le Mans 24-hour race. Curently available from Chaters Motoring Books.
Comparison of AC Ace with BMW 328 Classic Cars Magazine Dec 1996 p62-71 Comparison of Bristol-engined AC Ace with a number of other classic soft tops including a Bristol-engined BMW 328
Misc Top Gear commemorative insert N/A Filming of this BBC TV programme was cancelled. Top Gear's office delcined to comment. It had been planned to use footage of the Bristol Freighter; perhaps its crashing on takeoff at Heathrow Airport did not help matters.
General Daily Telegraph (motoring section) 21 Sep 1996 p C5 Illustrated feature by Philip Porter celebrating the Marque, its enthusiasts and Anthony Crook. Good monochrome photographs from Silverstone.
General Classic & Sportscar May 1996 Article with many illustrations to commemorate the 50th year of production. Featured a 400, 403, 404, 405, 406, two 410s, 411s3 and Beaufighter. Featured many club members with their cars and many illustrations.
General and 402 Top Gear Magazine May 1996 Marked 50th anniversary of production wth several articles including interview with Tony Crook, road test of 402 by Quentin Wilson, visit to Brian May, and many illustrations in over 8 pages.
401 Automobile Magazine Mar 1996 Article with pictures
410 Classic & Sportscar Jun 1994 p122 "Case History" on David Crownshaw's 410
405 Classic & Sportscar Jan 1992 p194 My Classic and I — 405 saloon
V8 Profile Classic & Sportscar May 1986 p34 by Martin Buckley
Jensen C-V8 -v- 408 Classic & Sportscar Dec 1984, p46 Comparison by Mark Hughes
Brigand test Motorsport Magazine Jan 1984 p62 Test

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Bristol Books

Bristol Cars – a Portfolio by Brooklands Books

A revised edition, containing a number of new colour plates and more data, was issued in the 55th year of Bristol Cars Ltd. It was reviewed in Classic Cars, June 2001 Issue 7.

  • ISBN 1-884-10452-7
  • Compiled by RM Clarke
  • Available from the Regalia Officer.

Bristol: a Private Car

Special Edition

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This definitive history of the Bristol Marque was published in two volumes, entitled The Image and The Text — the latter authored by the renowned automotive savant LJK Setright.

Of this limited edition of 1000 copies, 100 were bound for the Special Edition in Nubuk dark green finished leather and installed in a matching Nubuk slip case. With the Special edition the purchaser can request one of the illustrations as a separate quality print. It also features a genuine current style Bristol titled hub cap badge mounted on the slip case as well as an engraved edition number plate.

Standard Edition

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The remaining 900 copies are bound in suitably coloured cotton cloth, The Image in yellow and The Text in silver. These are installed in a dark blue finished heavy card slip case. The slip case bears an illustration of the yellow hub cap badge.

The press and public launch took place on 20 Jan 1999 at Bernard Shapero Rare Books, 32 George Street, London W1.

For further information, contact Palawan Press

Data Book of All Bristols

40 pages in total dated October 1966. Black mast on header, A4 size.


  • Foreword by Anthony Crook
  • Specifications tables 400 to 409
  • Collage article "Motor Racing with Bristol engined Cars"
  • Reprint of Motor 19 May 1948 "The Bristol 2-litre saloon"
  • The Bristol 401 by J.Eason Gibson
  • Louis Klementaski Photo of Simmons & Granger 402s
  • Cutaway drawing of 401
  • Extract from Bristol News re TV line up
  • Reprint of "The Bristol 403", The Light Car December 1953
  • Reprint of "The Bristol 404", The Light Car February 1955
  • Photo of 404 onwards tyre valance box
  • Reprint of "A four Door Saloon from Bristol" Motor 6 October 1954
  • Reprint of "The New Bristol 406" Motor 27 August 1958
  • 1 page article "The Famous Bristol 2 litre engine"
  • "Bristol built — but air inspired" Sporting Motorist October 1962
  • Collage re 407
  • Reprint of "Bristol 407" John Bolster Autosport 4 January 1963
  • Reprint of "Brstol 408" Cars Illustrated December 1964
  • 1 page article Miss Carole Crook with 408 at Motor Show
  • Britt Eklund with 409 2 photos
  • Reprint of "The New Bristol 409" press article
  • Reprint of "Bristol Cars – a racing history" Leonard Setright