1960 Bristol 406
Year of manufacture1960
Number of seats2
The Earls Court Motor Show
1960 Bristol 406 Zagato Sports Saloon
Registration no. 120 NPK
Chassis no. 406-1-5299
Engine no. 110-5098S
'The Bristol Zagato Grand Touring model is designed to cater for those who desire an even faster car than the standard type 406 saloon. The Bristol Zagato is lighter and smaller with a tuned version of the 406 Bristol engine. The lightweight two-door coachwork has been built to the requirements of Anthony Crook Motors Limited by Zagato of Milan, Italy, who have been famous coachbuilders for half a century mainly in the field of high performance cars. The emphasis has been placed on providing extra speed without impairing reliability or flexibility and whilst still retaining reasonable rear seat accommodation - a feature normally lacking in Grand Touring saloons.' Anthony Crook Motors.
Last of the six-cylinder Bristols, the 406 was made between 1958 and 1961 only, though the basic steel-framed alloy-panelled superstructure was carried over to its V8-engined 407 successor. Bristol's BMW-based engine was extensively revised and enlarged to 2.2 litres for the 406. As a result, power went up to 130bhp and flexibility increased, while other improvements included servo-assisted Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels and self-cancelling overdrive as standard.
Bristol had commissioned Carrozzeria Zagato to build a limited series of lightweight four-seater cars on the 406 chassis in October 1959, six of which, plus a solitary two-seater, had been completed by the time production ceased. Weighing 2,436lbs, the Zagato was a whopping 574lbs lighter than the stock 406 as well as 11" shorter and 5" lower, with commensurate gains in both acceleration and top speed.
One of five four-seater Bristol 406 Zagatos known to survive, chassis number '5299', registered 'NPK 120', was displayed at the 1960 Earls Court Motor Show and sold new by Anthony Crook Motors to Richard Robinson in May 1961. Mr Robinson was an active member of the Bristol Owners' Club and his 406 Zagato was a regular sight at Club events. He kept the Bristol until 1991 and then sold it to Jonas Liden of Sweden. After some ten years of ownership, Mr Liden commissioned a major restoration, which was undertaken by Jaye Engineering of Ravenstone, Olney, Buckinghamshire over the period 2002 to 2005 (see bills totalling £138,910 on file). Its first owner had fitted Minilite alloy wheels in the 1960s and these were replaced during the rebuild with correct original items. The current owner purchased the car in January 2010 from Bristol Motors, Kensington, who were selling it on Mr Liden's behalf, and since his acquisition has had seat belts and door mirrors fitted.
Finished in silver-grey with cream leather interior, '120 NPK' is described as in generally excellent condition and at time of writing is taxed and MoT'd. Offered with sundry restoration and earlier invoices, old-style logbook, original instruction manual and copies of related articles, this beautiful Zagato-bodied 406 represents an exciting opportunity to acquire one of the rarest of Bristol motor cars, boasting continuous history from new.