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1951 Bristol 401 Beutler Convertible

1951 Bristol 401 Beutler Convertible

1951 Bristol 401 Beutler Convertible

Built from 1948 onwards, the Bristol 401 provided an ideal chassis to support custom coachwork. Powered by BMW’s solid straight-6 and supported by a steel tubular chassis, many different body designs could be used on the 401.

For the Geneva Motor Show, Beutler of Thun prepared a magnificent cabriolet. This one-of, chassis 401 893, was auctioned by the Sportscar Auction Company at the 2007 Geneva Classics show but failed to meet the reserve price. Below is an excerpt of the auction catalogue:

Though hardly known for innovation, the Swiss company Beutler of Thun had established a solid reputation for quality, which led Porsche to commission the first 356 Cabrios from them. They had a loyal customer base, and like other Swiss coachbuilders, they had experience with BMW from pre-war years. So it made sense for Bristol to add them to the list.

This car is a special exercise for the 1951 Geneva motor show. The subsequent history is not currently known, though it remained in Switzerland. Between 1979 and 1987 it was totally dismantled and rebuilt. As can be seen the work was finished to a very high standard. All the badges, instruments etc., are present and the car has been immaculately maintained. It comes with a Swiss title and as a unique show car would certainly be welcome at any discerning concours d’elegance or classic event.

Story by & Sportscar Auction Company Ltd.

In Detail

production 605
engine BMW Inline-6
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
displacement 1971 cc / 120.3 in³
bore 66 mm / 2.6 in
stroke 96 mm / 3.78 in
compression 7.5:1
power 63.4 kw / 85 bhp @ 4500 rpm
specific output 43.13 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 162.84 bhp per tonne
torque 145.07 nm / 107 ft lbs @ 3500 rpm
body / frame Aluminum over Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
front brakes Drums
f brake size mm / in
rear brakes Drums
r brake size mm / in
f suspension Wishbones w/Transverse Leaf Springs
r suspension Live Axle w/Torsion Bar
transmission Inline-4
gear ratios :1
top speed ~156.1 kph / 97 mph
0 – 60 mph ~14.1 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~19.9 seconds