Bristol Type 450

Production: 1953 - 1955

The Company Team Racing cars were fabricated for the seasons of 1953 to 1955 inclusive, and contested top ranking endurance events in the 2 litre class – at the Le Mans (24 hours) race and at the Rheims (12 hours) race, often achieving wins in their Class and also winning Team prizes.

19531953
In 1953 the first series was introduced – a rather ungainly twin-finned fixed head coupé style, with lights attached almost as an afterthought to the surface of the body....
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19541954
During the winter, Kemish worked on the air intake, mainly to improve carburation and exhaust efficiency. He experimented with large trumpets, not wishing to increase the overall height. To increase the air speed, and collect any petrol spray, he fitted inverted internal cones which became known as Kemish Straighteners. This modification was so successful that it was fitted to all the team cars....
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19551955
Perhaps because of misting-up in the atrocious 1954 weather, for 1955 the cars were fitted out with open 2-seater bodies of an entirely new design, not unlike the Jaguar D-type. Their shape was "determined by eye". The most notable feature was the substantial single asymmetric fin just behind the driver's head....
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AftermathAftermath
As the results became known, the world resiled from motor racing. The 12-hour Rheims event was cancelled. Switzerland, among others, banned the sport outright. The Bristol Aeroplane Company donated its prize money to the disaster fund. Perhaps this was not the right image to be associated with Bristol cars....
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The SurvivorThe Survivor
It seems that after the racing project was killed, the senior apprentices at the factory were indeed set to dismantle the three team cars. However, that was not the end: the best of the parts were then selected and reassembled into a single exemplar, built to a standard that would be worthy of the memory of Bristol's brief but glorious racing history....
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