1970 Bristol 411 Series I
€50,000 - €70,000
Documents: UK V5
- 6.3-litre Chrysler B-Series big block V-8; three-speed automatic transmission
- An appealing blend of hand-built British luxury and American horsepower
- One of only 287 Bristol 411s produced
- Purchased new by noted aeronautical engineer Harold Roxbee Cox, Lord Kings Norton
- Complete mechanical and cosmetic overhaul completed in 2014, with subtle upgrades throughout
Please note that this lot will need to be collected in Chobham, U.K.
For much of its 75-year history, Bristol Cars was content to keep a very low profile, selling its cars to small but loyal—if largely self-selecting—clientele. Offerings like this 1970 Bristol 411 Series 1 exemplify what the general public was missing: Powerful, well-engineered, and luxurious grand tourers with Bentley-beating speed and degree of exclusivity a Rolls-Royce owner could only dream about.
Introduced in 1969, the 411 was, like all Bristols, hand-built in alloy body in extremely limited numbers; just 287 were produced across five series before production ended in 1976. Bristol had made use of Chrysler V-8 power since the 407, but the 411 marked the first use of the Chrysler B-series big-block V-8, in this case displacing 6.3 liters with an upgraded cam and other modifications supplied by Bristol. Paired with a smooth-shifting three-speed automatic, it was capable of propelling the 411 to a stated top speed of 143 mph.
This car, chassis number 4117534, was purchased new by noted aeronautical engineer Harold Roxbee Cox, Lord Kings Norton. It was in many respects the ideal vehicle for a man of his background: More than just speed and power, the 411 incorporates numerous clever design details—including a spare wheel and tire tucked into a concealed compartment just ahead of the passenger-side door, a Bristol signature. Aerodynamics, too, were a focus of the marque, as much for ensuring a tranquil cabin as for achieving a high top speed.
The car reportedly served as the Lord’s daily driver until his death in 1997; a history file included with the car details his running correspondence with the Bristol factory. The consignor purchased the car from via a Bristol specialist in 2013. Shortly after entering his care, the it underwent a major overhaul undertaken by John Arnold of Brooklands Motorsport.
Cosmetic work included a bare-metal repaint of the 411’s alloy body and new chrome; all interior finishes, including the dark red leather seats, carpets, headlining, and veneers, were renewed or replaced where required. Mechanical and electrical systems were refurbished or replaced, and the car’s mighty Chrysler V-8 was rebuilt; an upgraded carburettor was fitted at this time.
Further upgrades range from a higher-output alternator and replacement of all lighting bulbs with modern equivalents, to a slightly wider Series 2 rear track and wider wheels and tyre, to a Clayton air conditioning system and a full (but discrete) Bluetooth sound system including a sub woofer under the rear seat. All contribute to improved reliability, driveability, and comfort. Extensive documentation attests to the work performed, as well as more recent maintenance.
With power to spare, ample seating for four adults, and plenty of space for luggage in the boot, this 1970 Bristol 411 Series 1 is well-suited to both daily use and comfortable long-distance touring. Its rarity, unique provenance, and recent restoration serve to make it all the more compelling.