Putting right the 400’s main failing, its ungainly body, the 401 was introduced initially for export markets only. Its handsome styling was the result of extensive wind tunnel work, after a basic design was submitted by Superleggera Touring. It was a design way ahead of its time, merely let down by a lack of power. This shortcoming was put right five years later, with the appearance of the 403 – and a welcome upgrade to 100bhp. Bristols were expensive and well crafted – the latter trait keeps them surprisingly usable today.
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Information from Octane Magazine.