Bristol 406 (1958 – 1961) Review

Bristol 406 (1958 – 1961) At A Glance


+The modern Bristol style begins here and is almost impossibly elegant in its unadultered form

-Most people would prefer the 407 which looks the same but boasts Chrysler V8 power

The Bristol 406 will probably be remembered by most people for being the last of its kind to be powered by the excellent pre-war BMW straight-six engine. But it was hugely significant for being the first in a long line of Bristol cars to use essentially the same body two-door body that would underpin 25 years' worth of output from the factory.

It was powered by the same straight-six ex-BMW engine was the 405, now enlarged to 2.2 litres. There was no more power and only slightly more torque available, so performance with this large body was unchanged. The brakes were improved, though, featuring discs front and rear, and the back suspension got a Watt linkage. More would come with the arrival of the V8-powered cars.