So much for the standard production models. It is often forgotten however, that this company also produced the Type 450 road race car. These models competed as Factory Team Cars in the successive years of 1953, 1954 and 1955 at Le Mans in the 24 hour race and also at Rheims in the 12 hour road race. The body style was a closed coupé in 1953/54 and an open two seater in 1955.
With a chassis based on the "G" type E.R.A. and after a poor beginning in 1953, the package of the car and the engine developed into a design soon proved to be fast and very reliable. It won its class in the 1954 Le Mans and also the team prize. In the following year it not only won its class but also the 2 litre Team prize. It also did well at Rheims in 1953/54. After the terrible Levegh crash at the 1955 Le Mans, the Company withdrew from racing, having gained much valuable experience in both engine and chassis development.
At that period, Bristol engines and gearboxes continued to be fitted as standard and also used and raced by such makes as AC, Cooper, Frazer-Nash, Kieft, Lister, Lotus, Tojeiro and Warrior. Many successes were gained in road racing by the Frazer-Nash cars and by Cooper, Lister and Lotus in the more specialized track events.
Whether it be a 2 litre or a 2.2 litre Bristol, or one of the Chrysler-engined models, Bristol cars are renowned for their quality and performance. There is a steady demand from experienced motorists who prefer to buy a good example, even if the earlier models might be considered “ancient” by contemporary standards. They know they will have many years of satisfactory motoring, with moderate running costs and the satisfaction of owning a real thoroughbred.