Derek Hughes Obituary

I met Derek around 2000 at one of his club evenings and another member found my 411 for me. Derek bought his 400 around 1970 but was doing more important things such as bringing up his family with Heather and working very hard for the great North East company Head Wrightson as an electrical engineer.

His best job was in New Zealand building a steel works. The family was there a long time so he learned to sail, which he continued in Yorkshire and typically helped to run the club.

Derek retired early with ill health. This meant he dived in to Bristol matters. Derek never did anything by half. He ran a strong North East section organising meetings, lunches, outings etc. There is a very big car show at Newby Hall near Ripon. He ran a Bristol display for years, one year he persuaded nearly 20 Bristol car owners to show their cars.

Derek wrote many articles for Bristol owners and sourced many difficult to find parts some of which he had made at his own expense. He is best known for his overdrive conversion for early Bristol cars. He was the first to do it spending long periods working out the shape of the casting so the conversion could be fitted with hardly any alteration to the car. He had to organise patterns, castings and machining then doing any extra work himself. He did of course make all the electrical bits himself at home. He made over 110 conversions.

Derek helped so many owners but liked things doing his way.

He was a true friend and is sadly missed.

Bill Lawson. 16th March 2023

“Munich Masterpiece”

For the historically interested amongst us, there is an interesting article in June 2021 issue of The Automobile magazine. Delwyn Mallett relates the story behind the development of the BMW 328 including its remarkable engine which of course eventually went on the power the Bristol 2-litre cars. The author eventually fulfils his dream of getting to drive a 1939 example.

Well worth reading!

Brian Marelli is back!

Colemann Classic Cars has just announced on their Instagram page that Brian Marelli will be back working from 4 May and open for consultations!

Good news for Bristol owners

Recently two new companies supplying spare parts and services for Bristol cars have been established. Both companies are very active on Instagram so check them out.

  • The ‘Classic Bristol Car Parts Company Ltd‘ is offering replacement parts for Bristol cars and have obtained the former parts stock of Bristol Cars Services.
    The company has been established by the BOC and is managed by Graeme Payne ex. BCL Parts Manager who is teamed with Bristol cars specialist repairer John Tullett. Both John and Graeme are also BODA members.
    The company and parts are currently based in Warminster but are looking for new premises somewhere near Windlesham where Bristol Cars was previously located.
    Enquiries should be addressed to Graeme at or by telephone between 10 am and 5pm on 020 4542 7782. Email enquiries are preferred. Their website is


  • Coleman Classic Cars Ltd has been established by Mark Coleman who worked together with Brian Marelli for many years at Bristol Cars Services until it’s sad liquidation in 2020.
    The company offers maintenance, servicing, repairs, upgrades and advice for your Bristol.
    They are located near Maidenhead and can be contacted by telephone on 020 39873812 or email
    Their website is

Information Release regarding a new service to Bristol owners and aficianados

The last few weeks has seen a flurry of news releases from Jason Wharton. He has announced plans for the production of a continuation series of cars based on the designs of the Fighter and 411.

Sid Lovesy – a sad loss