1963 Bristol 408 Photos, engines & full specs

Body style: Coupé (two-door)
Segment: Exotic
Production years: 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

BRISTOL 408 1963-1966
BRISTOL 408 (1963-1966)

The British automaker Bristol introduced the 408 model as a successor to the 407 series in 1963, followed by the 408 Mark II in 1965.

While facelifts were not an exact science in those times, the British carmaker understood that refreshed models could lead to more significant sales. Moreover, the introduction of a new nameplate, even if it sported most of the previous model's features, was also healthy for its budget.

Unlike the 407, the 408 lineup featured flatter body panels, which were more attractive and cheaper to build. In addition to the car's main headlights, the automaker included a pair of lamps on the redesigned flat radiator grille. Another improvement over the 407 was the introduction of rectangular blinkers and parking lights. These were placed on the front's sides, above the chromed bumper. However, the car's profile still resembled its predecessor, with a two-door sedan shape and generous rear windows. At the back, the long trunk allowed occupants to carry enough luggage for longer trips.

The cabin was just as luxurious as expected from a Bristol. Its leather-wrapped and comfortable front bucket seats were highly appreciated on long travels. In addition, the drivers praised the instrument panel, which sported a design inspired by former fighter bombers from WWII. The bench was fit for two passengers at the back, even for longer trips. Yet, the legroom was not exactly generous.

Under the hood, Bristol installed the same 5.2-liter V8 previously installed in the 407. It was a modified version of a Chrysler powerplant. It was paired with a three-speed automatic transmission known as TorqueFlite.

BRISTOL 408 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966
  1 gasoline engine
  • 5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)
brochures (download)
BRISTOL 408 Brochure (UK)

5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)

ENGINE SPECS - 5.1L V8 3AT (253 HP)
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
Top Speed:126.8 mph (204 km/h)
Acceleration 0-62 Mph (0-100 kph):10.2 s
Drive Type:Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox:3-Speed automatic
Tire Size:6.00x16
Length:193.5 in (4915 mm)
Width:68 in (1727 mm)
Height:59.1 in (1501 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)
Cargo Volume:19 cuFT (538 L)
Aerodynamics (Cd):0.4
Unladen Weight:3527.4 lbs (1600 kg)
Gross Weight Limit:4409 lbs (2000 kg)
Combined:11.6 mpg US (20.3 L/100Km)
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