The Hollywood Special: Bristol Cars – Back on track

Bristol Cars market a stunning 402 ‘Hollywood Special’ just as they prepare to move into a new showroom and launch their first new model since 2003


This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Bristol Cars and at a time just before the company unveils its new showroom in Kensington and launches its first new model since 2003, the firm is also marketing a truly stunning model in the form of a 1949 Bristol 402.


Bristol Cars
The Bristol 402 gained the nickname the ‘Hollywood Special’ after a pair of the early cars was ordered by film star Stewart Granger and his actress wife Jean Simmons

Bristol Cars
The interior of the car

Bristol Cars
The car from the rear


The car on offer, a drophead variant of the Bristol 401, is the sixth out of just twenty-two produced and was first owned by Prince Varnand Dhavah Chudadhu, a famed Spitfire pilot and nephew of King Vajiravudh Rama VI of Thailand. It was kept at his Berkshire residence until 1956 when it was taken to Northern Ireland by a new owner. Returned to England in 1984, the surf blue with cream hide interior car is described as being in a “good usable condition” but capable of undergoing “some sympathetic restoration”. It is priced at £175,000.


Bristol Cars, like most British motor manufacturers, itself is a company that suffered a rocky history in the second half of the twentieth century. The firm, founded in 1945, was originally part of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and produced some stunning hand-built vehicles between the 1940s and 1970s, somewhat lost its way in the 1990s and 2000s and was put into administration in 2011.


With a new owner in the form of Frazer Nash, Bristol is now heralding a new era. Last year, at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in London, Bristol Cars announced a new model for 2015 dubbed ‘Project Pinnacle’.


At the time, the firm’s chairman, Sir George White, commented:


“2015 will mark Bristol Cars’ 70th year, and these announcements underline today’s very exciting times at the company. Project Pinnacle signifies the re-birth of the brand with a design and character respectful of the company’s rich heritage in Great Britain – in aviation, commercial and luxury automotive – delivered with a modern approach to performance and comfort”.


“This car, along with the investments in Kensington and Brentford, not to mention the advanced development of an all-new super-luxury grand tourer, all make for a very bright and promising future for this company that I hold so dear”.


With notable owners past and present having included President Jimmy Carter, the restaurateur Jeremy King and the designer Paul Smith, Bristol has always been a firm that has attracted what The Telegraph have termed “the wealthy and the discreet”. Now, it seems, it is also a firm that is finally back on track.



Subscribe to our free once daily email newsletter here:[wysija_form id=”1″]



  1. My first job as a messenger boy and trainee ‘ Account exec ‘ in a Cardiff Advertising Agency in 1962, included bombing off to see clients in my Old Harrovian 28 year old boss’s BRG fixed head one of these beauties

    People say that things aren’t like they were in the old days…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz cough………

  2. I think their original slogan was that a Bristol could take four gentlemen and their luggage on a trip round Europe Sadly I never knew more than two other gentlemen so I could never test this claim. I’ve seen one being restored. Their construction was pure craftsmanship.

  3. The build quality of Bristol cars is truly third rate-even the lamps come from a Ford. Not surprised they went bust.
    Why would you spend £140,000 plus on a car whose engine is American? I prefer a large Lexus myself

    • Well, you can’t buy class. The build quality of a Bristol is actually first class, each one individually built by hand, by craftsmen, not machines. A relatively tiny component like a “ford lamp” is the most sensible approach for a small manufacturer, as Ford would have spent the necessary millions getting such an ancillary component perfect, while the small bespoke manufacturer, in this case Bristol, concentrate on crafting the rest of the car. As for the engines, they weren’t some bog standard unit that you would find in a yank tank, they were commissioned specifically for Bristol with certain modifications to suit their own requirements. I know this as I am rebuilding a 1959 model 406 as we speak, I don’t see too many other “third rate” cars surviving for nearly 60 years…

  4. British cars my favourites – not necessarily a pus-basin at hand when looking into a 50 year old British car with leather interior.

  5. […] Tatsächlich gibt es wieder ein Lebenszeichen von Bristol. Der Konzern Frazer-Nash – selbst mit einer interessanten Automobiltradition – hat die Reste von Bristol bereits 2011 übernommen und hat die erste Neuentwicklung seit 2003 angekündigt. Quasi als Reklameaktion hat der neue Besitzer Anfang 2015 einen seltenen und geschichtsträchtigen Bristol 402 von 1949 zum Verkauf angeboten. Mehr dazu hier. […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

A Mucky Affair

As allegations of Bill Clinton having had an affair with mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell resurface, further documents should quite rightly be released

Moaning MeGain

In describing ‘Finding Freedom’ as a “whole sorry saga” Richard Kay is spot on suggests Matthew Steeples; moaning ‘MeGain’ should simply now shut up.

Grosvenor Grabs The Ground Rent

Vast Belgravia artists’ studio goes on sale for just £1.3 million, but of course, there is a catch and that is the extortionate ground rent

Ghastly Ghislaine

Ghastly mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell is not doing herself any favours in moaning about her new living arrangements in prison.

A £1 Million Shooting Brake

Quirky 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage shooting brake with coachwork by Harold Radford goes to auction with a reserve of just under £1 million.

Reasonable Stunt

EXCLUSIVE – James Stunt responds to offensive media reports about himself rationally and reasonably If you’d believe the Mirror and The...

Was Melania Trump Trafficked?

Matthew Steeples examines allegations that Melania Trump was originally trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.

Rich Covidiot Superspreaders

As the ‘silly season’ begins, the überwealthy are getting out-of-hand in terms of behaving ridiculously; rich covidiots must learn to behave.

Good Wishes Ghislaine

As Donald Trump repeats his good wishes to Ghislaine Maxwell and associates jump to justify why they chose to be connected, it becomes clear these people happily ignored what was so obviously in front of them.

A Grand Greek Revival

Grand Greek Revival mini-mansion in Illinois goes on sale for just £35 per square foot in spite of having been mostly renovated; it is situated within an area colonised by utopian Swedish Janssonists.

Speak Up Now Randy Andy

As a new witness comes forward, it is time for the Duke of York to finally be truly honest; if ‘Randy Andy’ is genuinely innocent, it would be his best move.

Locking Up Boris

Petronella Wyatt takes to Twitter to suggest Boris Johnson “locks himself down” given he is “57 years old, and obese.”

A Tory Whip Shocker!

Matthew Steeples finds himself in shock and agreeing with Jess Phillips MP after she calls out Tory hypocrisy over their failure to withdraw the whip from an unnamed MP arrested for alleged sex crimes.

Hero of the Hour – Tobias Weller (AKA ‘Captain Tobias’)

Nine-year-old Tobias Weller has raised £145,000 for good causes by walking two marathons in spite of having cerebral palsy and autism.

MeGain Must Stop

This morning’s revelations from Thomas Markle Jnr. are proof that the Duchess of Sussex must put a stop the almighty mess she created with her family.

Titles for the Boys and Girls – Elevation of Sir Philip May

Giving a knighthood to Philip May for “political services” is absolutely preposterous given his firm’s dubious connections; instead Count Binface would have been a better recipient.

Weather Now

overcast clouds
17.8 ° C
18.9 °
17.2 °
93 %
90 %
25 °
25 °
27 °
23 °
23 °