1955 Bristol 405

Drophead Coupe


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Chassis number 
  • Engine number 
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Interior colour 
  • Number of doors 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Gearbox 
  • Drivetrain 
  • Fuel type 


French title

- Just 43 made, including a handful left-hand drivers
- Original engine
- Undeniable aeronautical inspiration
- No reserve

The Bristol Automobiles production division, launched in 1946, was just a branch of the Bristol Airplane Company. Moreover, it is impossible to deny the aeronautical connection when one notices that the design of the vehicle has been refined in the wind tunnel by the aircraft manufacturer. Thus, the model 405 featured a front inspired by the descendant of the "Beaufigher," a combat aircraft built by Bristol during World War II. The brilliant mechanicals, meanwhile, came from the BMW 328, but upgraded by Bristol engineers, with maximum power increased to 125bhp, a remarkable figure for a 2-liter engine from then. The luxurious interior was not to be outdone either, and the dashboard housed all the instrumentation behind the steering wheel, another detail borrowed from aviation. Only 43 cars of this four-seater grand touring convertible were built and even rarer are the left-hand drive versions, with some sources mentioning just three.
The car on offer was purchased by the current owner in 2006, after the car had received an earlier restoration. With a very sound underbody, the body sports an elegant dark green metallic tint. Externally, the car has a homogeneous patina and some details could be refurbished such as the chrome bumpers. The red leather interior with matching carpets is plush and in very good condition. The original instrumentation is complete. As for the mechanicals, matching numbers, it is mated to a manual gearbox and will need a comprehensive overhaul, since it has not been used much in recent years. Rare, original, and very refined, this Bristol in a homogeneous state is a true collectible for the most discerning of enthusiasts.

Full set of pictures available on our online catalogue: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1955-bristol-405-drophead-coupe-no-reserve-4058-29