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Back to back: Big Bristol vs baby-saloons


Back to back: Bristol vs baby-saloons
Who doesn’t like a two for the price of one offer? In this case it is even perhaps two for the price of a half one, as the Bristol seen above is incomplete but still estimated to make more than the two small four-door saloons together… All three of them will be sold at Brightwells Bicester sale this Saturday.

The Bristol is a 401 of 1951 with its signature Superleggera bodywork. Perfectly understated as the car itself, The Motor magazine wrote at the time of its launch: “It will comfortably carry four people and all their luggage. It will sustain 80-90mph from dawn until the cows come home, and it is built with all the painstaking care and thoroughness which have made the products of the City of Bristol famous throughout the world.” This example, however, misses its two-litre straight-six engine. Well, one such engine is in the sale but not in the car to be more precise. And it will need a bit more than just its engine too. Still, it’s estimated to make £28,500 - £32,500.

Compare that to the 1942 (or 1948 – Brightwells isn’t too sure) Lancia Ardea, all complete including its original 903cc V4 engine and beautiful baby-Aprillia-looks, which was imported from Italy not so long ago. An engine rebuild followed, the wiring and suspension were sorted and the car is now said to perform ever so reliably. Estimated at £10- to £12,000 it seems not expensive to us. Perhaps that leaves room for another baby-saloon? Enter the 1959 Austin A35 with its 948 engine and adorable looks. This one had just two Birmingham owners between the day it was new and 2011. Now with just 66,000 miles on its clock, it comes with MOT certificates that go back to 1981 (by which time it had driven 62,867 miles). It seems like a time-warp car to us. And estimated to make £3,500 - £4,500 it’s yet another steal? You might even pick out a third car from Brightwells catalogue..?

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures courtesy Brightwells)

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