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    Robert Baurdoux

    Dear Bristol Owners and Drivers,

    I am new to this forum and have recently become the new custodian of 400/339.
    #339 was delivered to its first owner in July 1948 and is fitted with an 85A engine and a “smooth” bootlid.
    If I’m not mistaken, the changeover from the “smooth” bootlid to the “spare wheel” lid took place sometime in 1948, however does anyone know when and/or at which chassis number the changover took place? How many 400’s were fitted with a smooth bootlid?

    I’m curious to understand why there seem to be few first series cars around, despite the relatively high number of my own car.
    Any insights much appreciated.

    Kind regards, Robert Baurdoux


    Hi Robert,
    Welcome to forum, I can’t answer the question regarding the chassis number at which the change occurred, I thought I had seen it somewhere in the past but could not find it, the new Palawan book contains the ledgers for all the early cars but under the data for the 400’s there is no indication of the first car to be fitted with the later style of boot lid, the chassis numbering sequence however may explain why there are so few of the first series cars around.
    After the first four prototypes the first batch of numbers allocated to 400 production were 101 to 200, the numbers 201 to 300 were allocated to 401 production and the numbers 300 to 670 were allocated to the remaining 400’s, there is a photograph in the book taken in early 48 of a car with the boot mounted spare but a later factory shot from the same year showing both types still under construction, I have seen a photograph from another source of chassis number 340 and that has the boot mounted spare.
    Could the answer have been during the transitional period customers had a choice.
    When you consider that including the four prototypes your 400 was number 143 it goes some way to explaining why the series one cars are thin on the ground now as are the early 401’s.

    Robert Baurdoux

    Hi Geoff,
    Many thanks for sharing this. I was unaware of the chassis number allocation method, or that, for a period of time, both bootlid styles seem to have been constructed side-by-side. That may also explain why #339 has the lower boot floor, rather than having the “recess” that carries the spare wheel. The Palawan book sounds like a must. Thanks for referring to it.

    Keith Ardley

    welcome to the forum Happy Christmas

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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