Bristol 412

Bristol 412

Infobox Automobile
name = Bristol 412

manufacturer = Bristol Cars
production = 1975–1993 "no production figures published"
class = Convertible
layout=FR layout
engine= OHV V8
predecessor = Bristol 411
related = Bristol 603
successor = sibling Bristol 603 production continues

The Bristol 412 is a car which was built by British manufacturer Bristol Cars.

Along with the Bristol 603, it was one of two concurrent successors to the long-serving 411 that had carried Bristol Cars through from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. The 412 was the last in the continuously numbered series of Bristols beginning with 400; "i.e." there was never a "Bristol 413".

Whereas the 603 was a dramatically restyled version of the characteristic Bristol two-door saloon, the 412 was different in that it was a Targa-type convertible with a removable roof that could be placed in the large luggage compartment. The earliest versions of the 412 were also very unusual for a post-World War II car in that the body was made by Zagato in Italy and attached to a chassis built by Bristol Cars in Filton, England. This chassis was almost exactly the same as that of the Bristol 603, but the earliest 412s retained the Chrysler B series petrol engines that had been used in the 411. However, the second series of 412 changed to the same 5,899cc (361 cubic inch) petrol engine used in the Bristol 603 and later in its successor, the Bristol Britannia.

In an effort to move into the United States market, Bristol designed a 412USA that complied with the extremely strict emissions and safety regulations of the US, with a catalytic converter and a much stronger roll bar than on the first 412. However, the company's specialist status made exporting very difficult and most of these modified 412s were actually exported to Europe and markets such as West Germany and Switzerland. One 412USA is known to exist in Canada.

Bristol Beaufighter

The Bristol Beaufighter, still designed by Zagato but now fully factory-bodied at Filton, had very similar styling to the original 412 except for the four-headlamp layout.

However, the 5,899 cc V8 engine was upgraded by the addition of a Rotomaster turbocharger which gave the Beaufighter a maximum speed of 241 km/h (150 mph). To cope with the extra torque, the Torqueflite automatic gearbox that had been a constant in every Bristol since the 407, was upgraded with a stronger, thicker propeller shaft and a torque converter taken from the 7.2 litre (440 cubic inch) engine found in Chrysler's top-of-the-line models during the 1970s.

The Beaufighter was first built in 1982 and continued until 1993.

Bristol Beaufort

For export only, primarily to continental Europe, the Bristol Beaufort was the last development of the 412 to appear. It used the same turbocharged 5,899 cc V8 found in the Beaufighter. Unlike other versions of the 412, the Beaufort was a true convertible, with a powered roof.

The Beaufort had a reinforced windscreen frame to compensate for the absence of a fixed roll bar. To allow for the greater range between fill-ups with petrol necessary for touring beyond the short distances found in the British Isles, the Beaufort possessed a greatly enlarged fuel tank of convert|136|L|0|abbr=on as opposed to the mere convert|82|L|0|abbr=on tank of other Bristols of the time. This allowed a range from one fill-up to the next of around 800 kilometres (500 miles) whereas the Brittania, Brigand and Beaufighter could typically only go for 480 kilometres (300 miles) without refuelling. It was produced in very small numbers until 1994.

External links

* [ 412 models]

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