Monday, August 8, 2011

1951 Bristol 401 (Or At Least A Bristol 401 Body)

I can't write much about this car as the seller leaves very little information. What he does leave is pretty disturbing if, like me, you're an automotive "purist".

What we do know is that it started life as a Bristol 401. The seller says his grandfather imported it.

At some point the body was removed from the original Bristol frame and placed on some sort of Chrysler frame. It also received a Chrysler engine. (The original engine in this would have been a BMW "inspired" I-6.) He says the engine is a V6, which would make it a fairly modern engine. (I'm not a Chrysler engine expert, but I don't think they started making a V6 until the early 1990s. The famous slant six - an inline engine - being their only 6 for many years.) It also has a Chrysler automatic transmission and steering column / wheel.

The seller no longer has the original frame and engine. At this point, sadly, you're sort of forced to go ahead and finish this project. The seller claims to have most of the trim and and other miscellaneous parts.

This will not be an easy project to complete and when you're done you'll have, for lack of a better word, a bastard. But, on the plus side, you'll have a Bristol (or at least a Bristol body and interior) that you could drive everyday.

Seeing a 6 cylinder Chrysler powered Bristol 401 driving down the road is better than never seeing one at all, I guess.

Located in "St George, USA" (Utah? Florida? Another St. George?), click here to see the eBay listing.


Blair Russell said...

Well, the linking didn't work, so I looked it up on eBay and here you go. I don't know if that HTML will work or not. By the way, from that search it said it was in St. George, Utah.

Just A Car Geek said...

Link repaired. Thanks for pointing that out!


Melvin Willis said...

The 3.9L V6 based off the LA318 debuted in '87. A few possibilities come to mind:

1) Time line is wrong and the conversion was done in the early 90s.

2) Actually has a /6. Seller sounds clueless so it's possible they don't know that the V in V6 means something. I've seen this before on several occasions. The /6 is fairly long but it is also fairly short air cleaner to oil pan wise. So depending on how long that the original inline 6 is a slant might fit under the hood.

3) Donor vehicle was a Ram D50 with 3L V6 Mitsubishi engine. Again the time line would have to be wrong (3.0L only in 90-93) however wheel base and width are both within a couple inches. This possibility does address the lack of frames in Chrysler cars as Chrysler has been unibody only since 1960 with the exception of Imperial (last year '66). And not only did Imperials never come with a 6 of any sort an Imperial frame would be crazy huge compared to a Bristol body.

4) It's not actually a Chrysler engine or frame but features something like a Chrysler stickered air cleaner on top of a different manufacturer engine.

I dropped the seller some questions via eBay. Hopefully he can provide at least a picture or two of the engine compartment.

yogieb123 said...

I am the owner and you people are not only clueless but obviously have nothing better to do with your time!