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Bristol Type 603
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Bristol Type 603 E & S
our thanks to the Bristol owners club


Types 603 E and S

When the Type 603 was first unveiled, it was available in two versions, 603 S (Sports) or 603 E (Economy), both having the same body style, which was once more designed in house. The ground clearance was somewhat better than that of the 411, and the pillars at front and rear slimmed to give unparalleled all-round vision. As in the 411, the cabin was vented at the rear via two grilles in the rear parcel shelf. Unlike the 411, however, these led into a void above the boot lid and were exhausted via a series of holes just above the boot lid seal. To prevent ingress of water, the holes were covered on the outside by a soft rubber flap that acted as a valve, and was held in place with an aluminium strip. Another new feature was the ventilation intake, inset into the bonnet just in front of the windscreen. The cabin had become still more luxurious, with the provision of electric seats and air conditioning as standard. Two levers mounted on the gearstick console operated solenoids to release the boot lid and fuel filler flap, just behind the left rear quarterlight.

Type 603 s2

When the S2 was introduced, the alternate performance specifications were dropped and the engine performance package standardized. One of the most obvious differences is that the rear cabin venting scheme reverted to the 411 formula, i.e. the two rear exhaust grilles were ducted down to the rear wing flanks where they issued in vents fitted with attractive matt black vanes.

Series 3: the Britannia & Brigand

The third series marked a more radical departure. Not only was there a new body treatment: two performance specifications were once more on offer, each now bearing the name of one of the Bristol Aeroplane Company products. The standard version, using the 360 cu. in. engine of the Series 2, was known as the Britannia, while the performance model, the Brigand, was equipped with a Rotomaster turbocharger its presence being betrayed by the distinctive bonnet hump and the single exhaust.



Wheelbase 2896 mm 114 in  
Track front 1384 mm 54.5 in  
rear 1397 mm 55 in  
Length 4910 mm 193.3 in  
Width 1770 mm 69.7 in  
Height 1440 mm 56.7 in  
Kerb weight 1785 kg 3935 lb  
Fuel capacity 81.8
UK Gal
US Gal
Manufacturer Chrysler
Type V-8
16 valves total
2 valves per cylinder
Main bearings 5
Bore stroke 101.60mm 90.93mm
4 in 3.58 in
Bore/Stroke ratio 1.12
Displacement 5898 cc
(359.918 cu in)
Unitary capacity 737.25 cc/cylinder
Compression ratio 8.00:1
Fuel system 1 Ca carb
Aspiration Normal
Max. output 174.4 PS (172.0 bhp) (128.3 kW)
@4000 rpm
Max. torque 366.0 Nm (270 lbft) (37.3 kgm)
@2000 rpm
Maximum rpm  
Coolant Water
Specific output 29.2 bhp/litre
0.48 bhp/cu in
Specific torque 62.05 Nm/litre
0-60mph 8.60s
0-Quarter-mile 16.50s 
Top speed 225 km/h
Power-to-weight 96.36 bhp/ton
Engine location Front
Engine alignment Longitudinal
Steering recirculating ball PAS
Suspension Front I.W.CS.
Rear LA.TB.
Brakes F/R Di/Di
Transmission 3A
Drive RWD
Top gear ratio 1.00
Final drive ratio 2.88