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Monday, September 13, 2010

1947 Bristol 401 Sports Saloon Prototype


Registration Number: TML 165 Chassis Number: 401/217 H.J Aldingtons admiration for Italian coach building skills was such, that he persuaded the joint board of AFN Ltd to place short run contracts with both Pininfarina and Touring, to build bodies on Bristol chassis. In Italy, a short run would consist of a total of six complete cars, this number being the minimum to make the project viable. Bristol has invested a great deal of time and money in this project, matching Touring’s light weight "Superleggera” concept with Bristol’s own experience in aerodynamics. Unfortunately the original idea for commissioning Touring to build 200 cars fell through; it was a design way ahead of its time and is regarded as a Bristol masterpiece. In the end and only six were produced with one dismantled by Bristol in order to observe the construction technique. TML 165 is one of the six Touring bodied cars produced and was first registered on 11th February 1949 as stated by its former owner Stefan Cembrowicz in Bristol Cars. TML 165 was beautifully hand crafted by artisans using hand tools in a complete contrast to the Bristol production models which were built and designed to aircraft standards. TML 165 has fallen into disrepair over the years but is the perfect project which will offer the buyer an up close and rare insight into the Superleggera construction methods that have made Touring such a famous carrozzeria. Most of the body work is complete and finding a Superleggera body in a condition ready to be restored is not to be missed. With a total of 12 Pininfarina Bristol’s produced, anyone seeking a practical and yet very rare Bristol, this Touring would be well worth considering.


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