What goes in, Who puts it there, and What comes out
As is well known to established members, the Club maintains a database containing the entire history (well, nearly!) of every Bristol car known to it. Quite apart from its value as an interesting document, many members have had cause to be grateful for information that has saved them money, or allowed them to restore their car in an authentic fashion.
This database was originally undertaken by a dedicated team of member volunteers, to all of whom a Club memorial will surely be built one day, and on (or in) which the name of JR "Bob" Charlton will have pride of place, for it was he who finally tied the whole enterprise together into a coherent database and produced our first printed Chassis List, 400 to Blenheim (now available in electronic form on the BOC Heritage Trust web site).
Now, the database is maintained online by the Club officers and its members are able to view and update their personal records.
What goes In
Naturally enough, what goes into the Database is information. Over the years, members have worked to pool information about their cars — information that can be particularly valuable when buying a new Bristol.
In more detail, a record is kept of the history of each car's registration, colour, trim colour and engine number, its ownership and work done. Obviously, some of this information is held in confidence.
Who puts it there
The database originated in a mountain of paperwork compiled by a team of Registrars, each of whom specialized in one Type. Gradually, the record has become more complete and only a relative trickle of information now comes in each year. Consequently, the bulk of the work of database maintenance now falls upon our Registrar.
Of course, everything depends upon Owners' contributing information about their Bristol cars to the Registrar. (If you are a Bristol owner, and have any information to impart that you think we may not know about your car, please do send it to us. This information is available only to the owner, the Registrar and certain Club officers. If you are a member, you can review your data online.)
What comes out?
Part of the way in which the database helps members is that it sometimes makes it possible for owners to trace the original registration of their vehicle — see below. Other enquiries have related to the date of first registration, which can be quite critical for some 411s, as it affects whether they are subject to road fund duty. Only the kind of cumulative picture built up by decades of information-gathering makes this possible.
The car database is now available online to members, who can see their cars' full history.
Recovery of Original Registration
In certain circumstances the club can help with the recovery of an original registration. This service is available to members who can find more information in the library section of the members area.