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How I came to buy a Bristol

I joined Bristol Aircraft Ltd in Sept 1959 as a Student Apprentice studying Mechanical Engineering  but about one year prior to that I had received a glossy brochure on Apprenticeship at the Bristol Aeroplane Company. In this brochure the first picture in colour was of Old Filton House with a bright (Arabian) red 405 parked in front. I can't decipher the registration but I guess it was the car used by Sir Reginald Verdon-Smith. I have never seen this picture published elsewhere and I have never forgotten it, it was so impressive. So I thought you might like to see it.

During my apprenticeship I often saw the cars being driven on the internal works roads on their way to be tested on the runway later to be used by Concorde. I guess at the time they must have been 406's or 407's and the predominant colour scheme seemed to be silver over blue, at least that is what I remember.

In the early 1960's there was not a lot of work at Filton and the financial situation was difficult. However just in time the British Aircraft Corporation merger came along and Filton won the SST contract with the Bristol 223 which then became Concorde. This was perfect timing for me so that as a young design engineer I could start work on this exciting project.

Back to the cars and on my retirement 45 years later I decided to buy a Bristol and of course it had to be a 405 albeit in Bordeaux red rather than Arabian red!

So that is how I came to buy my Bristol, a long time in gestation but I got there in the end.


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My first Bristol I owed was a 401 more luck than judgment After running a old Mk 1 Jaguar I decided I needed a change so at that time looking through Exchange &mart found three cars that  I was interested in a Allard j2  Aston martin db2 Bristol 401 after seeing all cars could not make my mind up so just put the 3 names in a hat and drew out the Bristol so that was that often think what if ? one of the others kame out ?still remember the first No    LXB123 wonder if its still about had a couple of others since then including a 400 now building a 401 special to how I want one to be .