1949 Bristol 400 - with valid Mille Miglia Registration Certificate to 2026 - FOR SALE

Transmission: Manual

Chassis Number: 400/1/492

Engine Number: 85A/1400

1949 Bristol 400 - with valid Mille Miglia Registration Certificate to 2026

We are both pleased and saddened to be offering this prestige saloon again - uprated since we were last asked to market this car in 2017.


The present owner's late husband prepared this car especially for the 2018 Mille Miglia and indeed drove this car all the way to the start of the Mille Miglia in Brescia, northern Italy. Although Mille Miglia registered and therefore now known to the Mille Miglia event committee - after all the effort in preparation to compete - his car was not selected to participate this time. Maybe 2024 for you?

COMES COMPLETE with £1700 Gauge Pilot Farina application advanced table-driven plumbed in RALLY COMPUTER - designed for complex car events such as the Mille Miglia. During the event stage elements are displayed in a format representative of that used in the Mille Miglia, which may be edited on-the-fly during an event if elements are modified during a stage. The unique Farina application allows pre-entry of stage information and controls the driver’s dedicated information display (included) reducing the stress in the cockpit and improving results.

VIDEO :- See our 2 minute aerial video of this car in the move - just copy and paste this link in your browser. (For some reason clicking on it does not work!) :- https://vimeo.com/239436340 

Original bill of sale 18th October 1949 from Bristol Agents University Motors (Mayfair) for one Maroon Bristol 400 Chassis no 400/1/492 invoiced to Eustace Watkins Ltd, 12 Berkeley Street London W1 shows a very expensive car for the times at £1750 plus Purchase Tax of £973 /14/6d = £2723.75 total

In the present family ownership, recent work includes £2520 for completion of leather front seats renovation, seat frame restoration and door cards, £540 for front and rear bumper repairs with painting to offside and nearside chassis legs, and £1920 to repair and paint all four wings. Total £4980

Optional heater is fitted

Optional opening rear window which transforms the car's ventilation on a long hot run across country -

Discreet modern indicators fitted under the bumpers (to avoid confusion on the roads today from the original trafficators)

Becker Europa Radio fitted, with Long Wave, AM, Short Wave and FM channels

The previous to the present family drove this car to the Swiss Alps and back in 2011 & he also went to Ireland on tour in 2014 and 2016. According to Thornfalcon Garage, the previous vendors, this particular example has had a competition history - including the West Anatolia Rally in Turkey in 2001 and 2002. This car has also toured Europe and South Africa.

Mechanical modifications include alternator, oil cooler, Alfin-type alloy front brake drums and Kenlowe fan.

This car appears on the outside front cover of Charles Oxley's “Bristol, The Quiet Survivor” as illustrated

Correct matching number Type 85A Bristol 2-litre six cylinder engine with triple S.U carburettors, 85A-1400.

According to the Bristol Owners Club, at one point this car was fitted with the more powerful 100 engine, engine no. 100A 3008

A truly good looking car in readily usable condition with lovely patina. Owned 5 years


THE BRISTOL AEROPLANE CO. LTD 's original brochure states:

ABRIDGED SPECIFICATION : Close coupled four-seat fixed head saloon, with framework welded to the chassis, making it a strong one-piece unit. Inter-axle seating. The main body panels are in sheet steel, the door and bonnet panels are in light alloy. Doors have sliding windows and are recessed to increase interior width. Fixed, two-panel “Vee” windscreen in laminated safety glass with electric wipers, self-parking. Windows of toughened glass with quick operation. Hinged quarter lights for draught free ventilation. Large curved rear window. Commodious luggage locker at rear with spare wheel housed in the lid. Two point jacking system. “One shot” chassis lubrication system by foot-operated pump.

SEATING AND INTERIOR FITTINGS : The individual front seats have normal to-and-fro adjustment and independent adjustment for the angle of the back rests. The natural position of the driving seat is enhanced by the wide , V-shaped and well-raked windscreen. The rear seating is deep and comfortable, with a high back rest, and is positioned well forward of the rear axle. Distinctive upholstery covering is in a combination of first quality beige hide and wool fabric, with brown piping. Ashtrays are fitted to each door and to each side of rear seat. Generous sized windows, providing maximum clear vision for all occupants and providing good ventilation in conjunction with large-size scuttle ventilators. Glove box incorporated in the well-appointed instrument panel. Three spoke adjustable steering wheel. A Radiomobile radio receiver is part of the standard equipment. Heating system is an optional extra.




1949 Bristol 400 2-litre Saloon

Wheelbase 9’6”

Track front 4’3 ¾”

Track rear 4’6”

Turning circle left to right 37’6”

Overall length 15’3”

Overall height 4’11”

Overall width 5’4”

Luggage boot capacity 9.1 cu.ft

Kerb weight 23 cwt

Minimum ground clearance 7”


A luxury car from the outset - made to aircraft standard by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. They formed the Bristol Car Company after WWII and based the 400 on the BMW 328 engine and the BMW 326 frame. The bodywork was then inspired by the BMW 327. With a top speed of around 92mph, the 400 has impressive acceleration even today.

The curvaceous 400 was the only Bristol to be fitted with a steel body, but it had flat glass all-round, making use of the vee-screen arrangement for the windscreen. With independent front suspension with a transverse front spring, the live rear axle was located by an A-shaped bracket at the differential casing with longitudinal torsion bars and transverse arms and brackets at the rear.

Launched the same year as the Jaguar XK120 at the 1948 London Motor Show, the Bristol 400 found just under 600 customers. Rarer, and with such style - the Bristol has 4-seats and a large boot for 4 people too

Please enquire


Although we attempt to ensure accuracy of any statement or detail, the customer must make his or her own judgement in purchasing this car. The purchaser of the above car understands that he or she is purchasing a historic motor car with components that are up to 74 years old and sold as a collector item. There is no warranty given or implied due to the age of the car.




Call 07973 731508