Retailers of the finest historic thoroughbred cars across a range of marques

Bristol 412

Reference: 412/SV

Model: Bristol 412

Year: 1978

Colour: Silver

Price: £34,500.00

Tags: Classic, Bristol

26 YEARS WITH MY BRISTOL 412s2   Peter Kent

On a lovely sunny day in the early autumn of 1978 I was walking along the Strand when I spied a 412. It was silver and was rolling along with four gentlemen enjoying the sunshine with the roof off. The chap behind the driver was smoking a big cigar. 

Over 20 years later I had changed jobs from one that required high mileages. I decided I wanted a classic and a Bristol was first choice.

I found a Bristol 412 for sale in Somerset.

In December 1993 I went to see it. Not many were produced and I think mine may be the only silver one. Further, in the rear seat squab there is a 5mm circular hole which I believe to have been burnt by the gentleman’s cigar all those years before!

The original paperwork shows that the car was originally sold to an advertising company in London in September 1978. It was later acquired by Reg Willan, (of the construction group). He had personalised number plates and some of the glass is still etched RMW 1. I think it then passed into the hands of a classic car dealer and it went to Germany for a short time. (Under the bonnet is the German type approval plate.) When I acquired it, it still had the headlamps dipping the “wrong way”. I managed to trace the Bosch headlamp units which were from an Opel Rekord;  replacements therefore off the shelf.

 In 1996 it became obvious that all was not well in the targa section. The first sign was that the seal “came off in my hand” with a chunk of rust. See Bulletin 112 for my account of the repair. 23 years later it’s still looking perfect.


The carburettor became progressively more difficult. It was a Carter Thermoquad. It was part of what passed at Chrysler as state of the art emission control. Auto choke, and a solid state “computer” all required attention.  Bristol fettled it and on a trip to Germany it was returning 24mpg or so. But it would only start with the greatest difficulty. I think it was far too weak and this hastened the demise of the engine.

In July 1998 oil pressure dropped away and then it began knocking. Engine rebuild. I was in touch with Martin Barnes and the engine was upgraded.

The motor now has

Tubular exhaust manifolds

ss system

Ally inlet and big valves.

Modern carb. Edelbrock. 4 chokes. (Runs on 2 only until you put your foot down.)

Modern ignition system.

Modern starter 

About 5 years ago the 3 speed auto packed up. ACCS fitted a modern 4 speed and overdrive. Note: as fitted it was prone to turning back into a 3 speed when it got really warm. What looks like an oil cooler within the nice newish rad. is in fact there to warm the oil in extreme cold start conditions in Oregon or wherever (the gearbox is probably as fitted as standard to a Dodge Ram). I have disconnected that and installed an oil cooler behind the front bumper. It now works as it should with nearly 40mph per 1000rpm in top. Really relaxed at high speed and the mpg is improved. With the new bigger radiator, hot running is not as problem at all.

Body/ Interior

In 1996 it became obvious that all was not well in the targa section. The first sign was that the seal “came off in my hand” with a chunk of rust. See Bulletin 112 for my account of the repair. 23 years later it’s still looking perfect.

The front seats are now electric assisted sports seats. Excellent comfort but can be reverse engineered if originality is needed.

Fitted modern wiper controls. Note that the wipers now park on the near side (which I prefer).

Avon wheels have been refurbished recently.

Good carpets and the boot has been re-lined.

MOT from July.

Not concours: there are always a few little jobs to do!

Bristol 412 s2 – Brief Details

One owner from 1993.

Many mechanical upgrades including:

4 speed gearbox. (2000rpm = 80mph.)

Stainless tubular exhaust. Weber/ Edelbroke carb. Ally inlet and big valves.

Brakes and suspension: Fairly recent matched set of shockers from ACCS. Rides and stops well.


Nice carpets. Dark blue leather. Sports seats. Boot well finished.


Targa section rebuilt and looking good (see bulletin 112).

Newly refurbished Avon wheels.

Drives really well: just needs to be enjoyed.



Contact SLJ Hackett

Mobile Telephone; 07867782402

Office; 01985219551


Please correct the errors and try again.

Interested In This Car?

Please complete the form below to let us know of your interest in this car and we will get in touch with you as soon as we can.

Personal Details
Enquiry Details
We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. To accept cookies continue browsing, or view our privacy statement to find out more.