Driving out of Market Harborough this week I chanced upon a stunning shiny black motor car climbing quickly up Gallow Hill. I can't tell you how much I lust after this car (and its stable mates- Inspector Lynley drives one), and I'm only surprised that a) I didn't drive into the ditch in some kind of respectful homage, or b) that I haven't gone on about them on the blog before. This is a Bristol 403, pictured here some years ago in deep cherry red at a location I've forgotten. Charles Oxley in his Bristol: The Quiet Survivor calls it the 'definitive' Bristol, and you can see it on the Bristol Owners Club website. Here you can find out all about Bristols old and new, and on Bristol's own web pages (yes, they still make them, but not like this one). The 403 was made between 1953-5, possibly only 275 models costing £2,976.2s.6d. each. I expect the 2s.6d. was for one of the aeroplane-style push-button door openers. Bristol still have a showroom on Kensington High Street, and when I worked on the same street a few years ago I continually stared through the plate glass windows like a 12 year-old. I did go in once, and was told by the septuagenarian salesman that every secondhand Bristol sold by them had to be brought back to ex-works standard. Dear God, I know I haven't been very good lately, but please, if you can find your way to letting me have just one, any model, I'd be eternally grateful. Thanks.
St John's Wood, London
2 days ago