Bristol Type 404 - 2 litre Coupé
Production: 1953 - 1955
This Type, first introduced in 1953, was built on a chassis some 18 inches shorter than the normal 114 inches. Fitted with a striking new Company developed fixed head coupé body, it came to be called "the Businessman's Express". Its production space was soon to be shared with another, similarly striking design: the much larger Type 405 saloon. Production of the Type 404 ceased in 1955.
This fixed head coupé was a new departure for the company in many ways. It was the first production series built as a Sports car. Barely a 2+2, its passenger cabin was even smaller than the Type 400, which just barely seated 4 persons. New frontal treatment dispenses entirely with the vestigial BMW front grilles, in favour of an air scoop said to be reminiscent of an inverted aircraft engine nacelle. Another air scoop on the bonnet improves the flow to the triple carburettors on the Bristol 100B series engine, which is coupled to a 4 on the floor manual shift gearbox.
The engine in this type was fitted with a single six branch exhaust manifold leading to a single pipe system. The car introduced the principle of front wing stowage for the spare wheel, thus releasing additional boot space. This feature was to be inherited by all future Bristol production Types, up to and including the Bristol Blenheim.
The 404 also introduced a form of dual braking system, being fitted with master and tandem cylinders. Instruments are presented directly to the front of the driver in a binnacle set forward from the fascia panel. As in the Type 403, the hub cap and Bristol body badge ground is coloured red.