autoevolution

BRISTOL 407 1961-1963

Body style: Coupé (two-door)
Segment: Exotic
Production years: 1961, 1962, 1963

The Bristol 407 was the first of its breed to sports a Chrysler V-8 engine under the hood, which gave the light coupe the power it deserved.

In 1960, the former racing driver Tony Crook took the helm of Bristol Cars Ltd. He took the 406 model, installed a bigger engine under its hood, and resulted in the 1961 407 model.

The 407 resembled the 406 model design and didn't give a clue about its performance. Its front fascia featured a distinct engine compartment with an oddly-shaped grille, which sported a trim that resembled an airplane viewed from the front. Bristol's designers installed the headlights on the upper side of the front fenders and the parking lights underneath them. A fat, chromed-metallic bumper with two vertical reinforcements completed the car's front. Its three-box sedan shape with two doors was very advanced for those times. It featured flush fenders and body panels without flamboyant curves or trims. It was a keep-it-simple design that worked. At the back, the round taillights mounted at the end of the quarter panels formed a wide V-shape above the chromed bumper.

Inside, the carmaker kept its traditional, helm-inspired, two-spoke steering wheel. Moreover, Bristol installed an aviation-inspired instrument panel with seven dials, where the speedometer and tachometer took the outer sides, grouping the gauges in the center. Unlike most cars of its era, the carmaker installed buttons on the right side of the steering wheel, controlling the automatic transmission. Its walnut veneer on the dashboard matched the luxurious leather seats. The carmaker installed a bench for two at the back, with a folding armrest in the middle.

Under the hood, Bristol mounted a 5.1-liter V-8 supplied by Chrysler and paired it with a three-speed automatic transmission. The carmaker built only 88 407's until 1963 when Bristol replaced it with the 408.

BRISTOL 407 1961-1963
BRISTOL 407 (1961-1963)
BRISTOL 407 1961, 1962, 1963
  1 gasoline engine
  • 5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)
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BRISTOL 407 5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)

ENGINE SPECS  –  5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)
Cylinders
V8
Displacement
5130 cm3
Power
186 KW @ 4400 RPM
253 HP @ 4400 RPM
249 BHP @ 4400 RPM
Torque
339 lb-ft @ 2800 RPM
460 Nm @ 2800 RPM
Fuel System
Carburetor
Fuel
Gasoline
PERFORMANCE SPECS
Top Speed
124.3 mph (200 km/h)
TRANSMISSION SPECS
Drive Type
Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox
3-speed automatic
BRAKES SPECS
Front
Discs
Rear
Discs
TIRES SPECS
Tire Size
6.00x16
DIMENSIONS
Length
192 in (4877 mm)
Width
68 in (1727 mm)
Height
60 in (1524 mm)
Front/rear Track
53/54.5 in (1,346/1,384 mm)
Wheelbase
114 in (2896 mm)
Ground Clearance
6.5 in (165 mm)
WEIGHT SPECS
Unladen Weight
3637.6 lbs (1650 kg)
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