1949' Bristol 402
One of only 26 examples, this Bristol 402 cabriolet was built using the Superleggera method of body construction that overlaid alloy panels on a lightweight tubular steel framework, paired to the renowned BMW based 2 litre 6 cylinder engine. Post war, the Bristol aeroplane company found itself with surplus capacity and skills and entered into the production of luxury cars. Aircraft industry disciplines were unsurprisingly costly when applied to car construction and the Bristol was a hugely expensive and desirable motor car.
Chassis 402706 was sold new in April 1950 to a Thai Prince living in England. HRH Prince Varananda Dhavaj Chudadhuj had enlisted in the Royal AIr Force in 1942 under the name Nicky Varanand and two years later he was one of 12 spitfire pilots to patrol Utah beach during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The Prince kept the Bristol until the late 50s when it was sold to Northern Ireland, remaining with a handful of owners until 2012 whereupon it returned to England. The current owner acquired the car in 2016 and has carried out an all-embracing restoration with no expense spared. These works included refinishing the bodywork, rebuilding the engine, retrimming the interior and all the necessary chassis work too. Since the completion of works, the Bristol has enjoyed being exhibited at the world's most prestigious events including Pebble Beach and the Quail. Not just a pretty face, it has also competed in the Californian Mille aswell! Complete with interesting period photos, and the original buff logbook the 402 is a wonderfully rare and glamorous model.
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- 26 May 2020