To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' The
Elkhart Collection event, 23 - 24 October 2020.
$80,000 - $120,000
- A hand-built Bentley competitor with BMW 328-derived
- Quality restoration in a striking color scheme
- Still fitted with original engine and data tag
- Features a four-speed floor-shift transmission
- One of only 287 built; very rare in the United States
- An opportunity to acquire a wonderful and different
Following World War II, British airplane manufacturer Bristol
received the designs of BMW's 328 racing engine, among the most
successful of the pre-war era, as war reparations. Bristol took the
engine, with its unusual dual pushrod-operated exhaust valves, and
improved it for durability and reliability, then installed it in a
new grand tourer with sensuously streamlined coachwork. The
original model, the 400, would spawn four further series with
steadily improved chassis engineering and refined styling. The 403,
of 1953-55, featured an engine with larger valves and main bearings
for 100 bhp and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 13.4 seconds
and reach a top speed of 104 mph. Its chassis featured an anti-roll
bar and improved Alfin drum brakes.
These luxurious, streamlined saloons were hand-built for the
wealthy few and were thus always few in number. Just 287 503s were
made in the three seasons of production, and very few have made
their way to the United States.
The example offered here is a high-quality restoration in black
with rich plum-red leather upholstery; this color scheme is
especially attractive on the 403's lines, and the bodywork on this
example is very well finished and properly fit. Even the
push-button door handles work correctly, and the interior shows
scarcely any wear or use, reflective of the good cosmetic
maintenance the car has enjoyed. Under the hood shows more use of
driving enjoyment, but is still overall quite presentable.
Significantly, the original engine is still in place, with its
number stampings matching the original data tag, though it has been
fitted with aftermarket air filters. At the time of cataloguing,
the car had recorded 45,577 miles.
This is a beautiful Bristol and will be a thrill for highway
touring.To view this car and others currently consigned to this
auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/el20