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Bristol Type 404 2 litre coupé (1953 - 1955)
our thanks to the Bristol owners club


This Type was built on a shorter chassis some 18 inches less than the norm of 114 inches. It was fitted with a striking new Company developed Fixed Head Coupé Body. Thus the Type 404 Fixed Head Coupé was first introduced in 1953. This model came to be called "the Business Man's Express". Its production space was soon to be shared with another, similarly striking design: the much larger Type 405 saloon. Production of the Type 404 ceased in 1955.

This fixed head coupé was a new departure for the company in many ways. It was the first production series built as a Sports car. Barely a 2+2, its passenger cabin was even smaller than the Type 400, which just barely seated 4 persons. New frontal treatment dispenses entirely with the vestigial BMW front grilles, in favour of an air scoop said to be reminiscent of an inverted aircraft engine nacelle. Another air scoop on the bonnet improves the flow to the triple carburettors on the Bristol 100B series engine, which is coupled to a 4 on the floor manual shift gearbox.

The engine in this type was fitted with a single six branch exhaust manifold leading to a single pipe system. The car introduced the principle of front wing stowage for the spare wheel, thus releasing additional boot space. This feature was to be inherited by all future Bristol production Types, up to and including the Bristol Blenheim.

The 404 also introduced a form of dual braking system, being fitted with master and tandem cylinders. Instruments are presented directly to the front of the driver in a binnacle set forward from the fascia panel. As in the Type 403, the hub cap and Bristol body badge ground is coloured red.

Note also the pronounced rear wing top fin styling which was to be carried on to the Type 405 and 405 Drophead.

Wheelbase 2445 mm 96.3 in  
Track front 1330 mm 52.4 in  
rear 1372 mm 54 in  
Length 4350 mm 171.3 in  
Width 1727 mm 68 in  
Height 1416 mm 55.7 in  
Ground clearance 165 mm 6.5 in  
Kerb weight 1040 kg 2293 lb  
Fuel capacity 72.7
UK Gal
US Gal
Type S-6
12 valves total
2 valves per cylinder
Bore × stroke 66.00mm × 96.00mm
2.6 in × 3.78 in
Bore/Stroke ratio 0.69
Displacement 1971 cc
(120.278 cu in)
Unitary capacity 328.5 cc/cylinder
Compression ratio 8.50:1
Fuel system 3 So 32BI carbs
Aspiration Normal
Max. output 106.5 PS (105.0 bhp) (78.3 kW)
@5000 rpm
Max. torque 167.0 Nm (123 lbft) (17 kgm)
@3750 rpm
Coolant Water
Specific output 53.3 bhp/litre
0.87 bhp/cu in
Specific torque 84.73 Nm/litre
Top speed 177 km/h
Power-to-weight 100.96 bhp/ton
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Longitudinal
Steering rack & pinion
Suspension Front I.TL.
Rear TB.
Tyres F 6.00 x 16
Tyres R 6.00 x 16
Brakes F/R Dr/Dr
Brake ∅ F/R 279/279 mm
Transmission 4M
Drive RWD
Top gear ratio 1.00
Final drive ratio 3.90