Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,380 pages of information and 219,138 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Bristol Cars: 401

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1950. From British Motor Cars 1950/51.
1950. From British Motor Cars 1950/51.
1950. From British Motor Cars 1950/51.


The Bristol Type 401 two-door saloon, developed from the Type 400 of 1947, has been brought to its present state of perfection in a comparatively short space of time, mainly because it was possible to utilize the vast engineering resources of the Bristol Aeroplane Co in the necessary research and experimental work involved.

The saloon, which has a folding arm-rest in the back of the rear seat, gives very comfortable accommodation for four or five persons, while the exterior shape of the car, as will be seen from the accompanying photographs, has been inspired by the Company's extensive experience in the realm of aerodynamics.

Apart from the obvious luxury of all-weather upholstery, washable hood linings, inter-axle seating and torsion-bar springing, the Type 401 has very rapid acceleration and can reach a top speed of 100 miles per hour if required.

ENGINE. Type: 2-litre. Cylinders: 6. Bore X Stroke: 66 mm. X 96 mm. Compression ratio: 7.5 to 1. Maximum b.h.p.: 85 at 4,500 r.p.m. Rating: 16.2 h.p.

PERFORMANCE. Maximum speed: 98-100 m.p.h. Fuel consumption: 26 m.p.g. approx.

DIMENSIONS. Length: 15 ft. 11.5 ins. Height: 5 ft. Width: 5 ft. 7 ins. Wheelbase: 9 ft. 6 ins. Track: 4 ft. 4.75 ins. (front); 4 ft. 6 ins. (rear). Weight (dry): 2,630 lbs. Fuel capacity: 17 gallons. Tyre size: 5.50 X 16.

BRAKES. Lockheed Hydraulic.

PRICE. £1,925 plus £535.9.5 Purchase Tax. Total: £2,460.9.5.

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