classic bristol restoration

Going Back Together – 1970 Bristol 411 Reassembly

The workshop at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ have begun the process of getting the interior of the 1970 Bristol 411 following its in-house LHD conversion.

The trim team recently installed the carpet set into the floor of the classic GT car, and from there the workshop team could start to put the seats and all other pieces into the car. Along with that, they can start to align all the panels as part of its aesthetic work and finish off getting the trims and wiring/plumbing routed in the engine bay.

Removal – Stripping the Interior Wiring from the 1971 Bristol 411

The workshop team have been working on removing the wiring harness from the interior of the 1971 Bristol 411.

The wiring harness, which runs all up and inside the dashboard, has been taken out of the car connector by connector in preparation for the rewiring of the entire car. Each switch, gauge and light on the dashboard has been removed and disconnected from the harness for the team to safely remove and evaluate the dash harness on the bench before working in reverse to get the brand new unit in.

Put Back – Dash Reassembled and Hoses Back in the 1970 Bristol 411

The 1970 Bristol 411 which is in with Bridge Classic Cars to have its left-hand drive conversion done has been worked on by the workshop to complete some of the smaller jobs.

The team have reassembled the dashboard with the various dials and switches fitted back into the wooden surround.

In the engine bay, the team have fit up several new hoses to the classic Bristols V8 engine. The first is the new power steering hoses for the PAS system as part of its left-hand drive conversion with a custom-made steering rack. The hoses for this were made by a local specialist company who we have a good relationship with and have all been properly tested before being fit to the car.

Next, the team could route the new radiator hoses. This were changed over as standard procedure and some small changes to routing due to the PAS system.

Finishing Touches – Final Dash Panels on the 1970 Bristol 411

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been fitting up the final trimmed panels onto the dash of the 1970 Bristol 411.

Brian, one of our in-house trimmers, has been up new dash ends and corners to go along with the leather trimmed panels which cap the bottom edge of the dashboard in the classic Bristol. Each of these pieces has been entirely made and trimmed by hand by the in-house team and now installed on the car.

Capped Off – New Dashboard Panels for the 1970 Bristol 411

The 1970 Bristol 411, which is in for a left-hand drive conversion by Bridge Classic Cars, has had its dashboard finished off by the in-house trim team.

The team have made new dashboard caps for the underside of the classic Bristol’s wood and leather dash. These were trimmed and shaped by Brian before being trimmed in matching black leather and fitted to the car. Also, the team have installed the glovebox light back into the car.

From the Inside – Painting the Battery Box on the 1970 Bristol 411

While the 1970 Bristol 411 was in the Bridge Classic Cars paint booth, the team finished off the painting jobs by finishing the battery box, hidden away in the inner wing.

The floor of the battery base had been replaced by the team previously as part of some corrosion repairs. This was then prepared and primed by the paint and body team, before being finished in deep hard wearing black to finish off its look.

Keep a look out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page very soon for more updates on the 1970 Bristol 411 very soon.

Underside – Painting the Sills on the 1970 Bristol 411

The 1970 Bristol 411 had some work done to repair some areas of corrosion on its sills. The Bridge Classic Cars team cut out any of the questionable areas and replaced them with hand-fabricated pieces which were then welded into the car.

Now, the whole car has moved in our in-house Paint Shop for the paint and body team to treat, prime and painted the sills on the classic GT car. The team were careful to mask off any areas where the paint was in perfect condition and only work on the bare metal areas.

Small Details – Fitting Pieces Back into the 1970 Bristol 411

The Bridge Classic Cars workshop have been fitting back and wiring up some of the smaller features in the cabin of the 1970 Bristol 411.

The team have wired up the headlight switch on the floorboard of the classic GT car and all of its wiring carefully routed beneath the carpet set.

Then, the team could fit the beautiful wooden glovebox back into the dashboard

Matched – Finishing the Other Squab Seat on the 1954 Bristol 405

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have completed the 2nd squab seat for the 1954 Bristol 405 which is in for restoration with us at our Suffolk HQ.

The team have made an exact copy of the other squab seat which was completed earlier. Both of these pieces have been carefully wrapped up and stored ready for the cars reassmebly.

Keep a look out on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more on the 1954 Bristol 405 very soon.

Like New – Making the Squab Seats for the 1954 Bristol 405

The 1954 Bristol 405, in for restoration at Bridge Classic Cars, has had the trim team finish off the first off 2 squab seats for the car.

Lydia, one of our trimmers, has made the whole seat by hand using the original as a template to work from. Each individual piece has been made by hand specifically for the car and the results look absolutely incredible.

Resting Place – Remaking the 1954 Bristol 405 Armrest

Our in-house trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have worked meticulously on remaking the armrest of the 1954 Bristol 405 which is in for restoration.

The team completely stripped the old piece down to its base parts in order to assess and refurbish any pieces that require attention. The original wooden bases were cleaned up and reused while the foams were completely remade from scratch and shaped to fit.

Repairs and Remakes – Work on the Seats for the 1954 Bristol 405

The Bristol 405 restoration is on its way with our Trim Shop carrying out several bits of work on both the front and rear seats for the classic 4 door saloon.

The Bridge Classic Cars trim team has remade the elastic webbing which sits beneath the front seats in the classic Bristol. These have been secured onto the refurbished seat bases and the hand-cut foams placed in to check for fitment and alignment.

Next, the team worked on repairing some of the wooden arches of the rear seats in the car. Our trimmer Brian carefully cut out some previous repairs from the piece to securely fix the piece ahead of moving onto to replacing some of the woodwork needed for around the cushion openings.

Reimagined – Repairing the Rear Seat and New Front Seat Foams For the 1954 Bristol 405

The interior technicians at Bridge Classic Cars have recreated several key parts for the interior of the 1954 Bristol 405.

To begin with, the team have made brand new foam pieces for the front seats of the classic Bristol as part of its restoration.

Then, the team could keep stripping down the rear seat base of the car to get to the frame that lay beneath. The next part for the trim shop to look into was the foldable armrest. Stripped back to its core, the hinge and piece itself could be assessed and then remade.

From there, the team could use the baseboard as a template to make a new piece entirely from scratch. Transfering the main shape to new wood, the trim shop soaked the ends in water so as to allow the wood to bend into place without snapping or cracking in any way before being pinned to the framework to rest and dry into the needed shape.

Delicate Work – Teardown of the Rear Seat Bases on the 1954 Bristol 405

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars are continuing their work on the interior of the 1954 Bristol 405 which is in for restoration by the team at our Suffolk HQ.

The trim team have been carefully dismantling the interior of the classic Bristol in order to inspect and assess its condition and a plan for its restoration.

Once the team had stripped back the entire piece, they could see the condition of the framework underneath and support brackets. While the wooden frames will need attention, the metal brackets were in good enough shape for the team to sandblast and paint them in gloss black to renew them for the project. The foam will also be replaced along with the coverings which are being catalogued and stored for reference later in the project.

Deeper Dive – Inspecting the Front Seats of the 1954 Bristol 405

The interior team at Bridge Classic Cars have been inspecting the condition of the front seats from the 1954 Bristol 405 that is in for restoration.

Each seat is broken down to its base parts and each bolt and hinge is inspected along with the various materials found inside the covers to learn more about their shape and form. The team methodically go through the seats inch by inch making note which parts of them will need to be refurbished or replacements handmade by the team.

Stripped Back – Teardown of the 1954 Bristol 405 Interior Begins

The interior team at Bridge Classic Cars is starting the journey of stripping back the interior on the 1954 Bristol 405 as it begins its restoration across our various departments.

Brian, one of our trimmers, has been working on carefully picking apart the hundreds (if not thousands) of small brass tacks which hold the material to the frames of the classic Bristol seats. Inch by inch, the material is freed from its bindings and once it has been completely undone, it is folded and stored ready to be catalogued and stored for reference.

Once each piece is stripped back, the team can assess the condition of the foam and adhesives, also inspecting any of the delicate frameworks which make up the seats for the rare saloon car. Every single piece of the interior is being carefully looked at and noted to build up the best picture for the plan moving forward during the car’s restoration.

Key Points – Progress on the 1970 Bristol 411

The restoration team in the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop at our Suffolk HQ have been making progress on the 1970 Bristol 411 in for its left hand drive conversion.

The team have begun the work by rebuilding and fitting out the modified firewall/bulkhead with the necessary systems moved from one side of the firewall to the other. This has been done for the next stage where the team have fitted up the heater hoses and pipes from the heater box under the dashboard of the classic Bristol.

After this, the team moved to the underside of the car to begin work on several jobs that need to be completed. The first, was to fit the newly fabricated jacking plates onto the car. These could now be fitted after the repairs carried out to the sills of the car and everything being structurally sound.

Next, was a quite badly corroded area in the battery compartment of the classic Bristol. This was cut out with a new plate welded in its place to strengthen the floor of the area.

Whilst under the car, the team noticed some corrosion to boot floor support which had been filled with fibreglass but corroded through to the boot floor on the near side rear of the car. This area was carefully marked and cut out of the car in preparation for the new piece to be templated and welded into the car making the boot floor stronger and sealed.

Finishing Work – Cleaning Up the Welds on the New 1970 Bristol 411

The restoration workshop at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on finishing the welds on the 1970 Bristol 411’s new sills.

The fabrication team have been working alongside the restoration technicians to get the new sills into the classic Bristol. Although as much is done as possible during the process of welding to ensure the pieces sit properly and flush, some finishing is needed to make sure there is no valley between the two pieces. This is achieved with subtle heat and a series of body working tools.

Along with that, the team have started to fabricate the new closing panels underneath the 1970s GT car.

Finishing Up – Finish Welding the Sills of the 1970 Bristol 411

The workshop and fabrication teams at the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop have been working together on the repairs to the 1970 Bristol 411.

After beginning to weld the newly fabricated sill into the classic Bristol, the team have now begun to finish welding the new metal in the car. This needs to be done very carefully so as to not affect the existing metal around it and cause any form of heat warping. So, the fabrication team are systematically welding the panels into the car allowing it time to cool and shrink back into place.

Once this is complete, the team can move on with the work needed to be done on the 1970 Bristol 411.

New Metal – Replacing the Sill of the 1970 Bristol 411

The Bridge Classic Cars restoration team have replaced the sill on the 1970 Bristol 411 after finding corrosion hidden behind and on the sill itself.

The team cut the sill back and treated the solid metal. Then, our in-house fabrication team hand-formed a new sill and patch panel for the inside of the rear arch which had also been removed due to corrosion. These were then carefully trimmed and then welded into position following the original pieces as guidelines.

With this job now completed on the classic Bristol, the team can move on to the next phase of work.

All By Hand – Hand Stitching Dash Pieces for the 1970 Bristol 411

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working alongside the workshop team on the left-hand-drive conversion of the 1970 Bristol 411.

In the last update, we showed you getting the dash panel pieces test fit into the car but our trimmer Lydia took some detailed photos showing the process of hand-cutting and stitching these beautiful black leather pieces together to make the final covers.

Dry Fit – Checking the Fitment of the Dash on the 1970 Bristol 411

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on test fitting the new dash panels of the 1970 Bristol 411 into the car as part of its left-hand-drive conversion by the team at our restoration workshops.

Brian, one of our trimmers, has been working alongside the restoration technicians on the conversion to the classic Bristol. Each piece has been test fit numerous times and refined over the previous weeks to make sure the fit and finish of the dash panels is perfect and flow seamlessly into the shape of the cabin.

Brian will make small tweaks to the bracketry and supports to make sure each individual piece (and the panel as a whole) sits right in the car and works together.

Retrimmed – Dash Panel on the 1970 Bristol 411 Retrimmed

The dash panels of the 1970 Bristol 411 have been completely refurbished and retrimmed by the trim team at Bridge Classic Cars.

These pieces have been trimmed in black to match the original dash pad covering and to work around the new LHD conversion being carried out by the restoration workshop. With these pieces now finished, the team can begin to refit them into the car.

Final Placement – Fitting and Fully Welding the Steering Rack Mounts for the 1970 Bristol 411

The steering rack mounts for the 1970 Bristol 411 have been final welding into the engine bay of the classic GT car.

As part of the left-hand drive conversion that our team are carrying out on the car, new steering rack mounts had to be made to move the rack from one side of the car to the other. Because of the forces put through the piece, the mounts have been welded onto thicker metal plates which have been grafted into the car to strengthen the piece.

This Just In – 1954 Bristol 405 and Parts

The 1954 Bristol 405 and all the accompanying parts have arrived at the Bridge Classic Cars secure storage facility, The Hangar, while it awaits its restoration at our workshops.

The car came straight from Ireland to our storage facility where it will be safely and securely stored. The team also documented several boxes of parts and pieces for the classic Bristol which have been carefully put away in our stores department.

Keep a lookout on the Bridge Classic Cars news page for more updates very soon on the 1954 Bristol 405

Changes – Modifying Dash Trim and Making the Glove Box Insert on the 1970 Bristol 411

The trim team at Bridge Classic Cars have been working on modifying and creating parts for the dash of the 1970 Bristol 411 for a left-hand drive conversion.

The dash cover and panel have been modified and stripped in order to work with the new placement of the ignition barrel and steering column. The ignition barrel also needed several small brackets made to reattach it to the column after the change over from right to left which after this was completed, meaning the whole piece could be recovered.

The team also handmade a new glovebox insert to work around the different bracketry and supports which now lay behind it.

Support and Extend – Progress on the Left-Hand Drive Conversion of the 1970 Bristol 411

The left-hand drive conversion of the 1970 Bristol 411 has been moving forward in the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop at our Suffolk HQ.

Paul has worked on building a new bracket that changes the angle of the steering column. This is needed for the steering column to be at the correct orientation and angle to meet up with the pinion of the new steering rack.

The wiring behind the dash has also been worked on as part of the conversion. Paul has worked on extending several key parts of the dash harness since its move in the car. These have been carefully cut, soldered and protected for future use.

Test Fit – Trial Fitment of the New Steering Rack on the 1970 Bristol 411

The all-new steering rack for the 1970 Bristol 411 has been test fit into the car by the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop.

As part of the cars left-hand drive conversion, the technicians have specced a brand new power-steering rack. Previously, the workshop has been busy making new plates and brackets for this moment.

With the new rack in place, the technicians can take measurements and double check tolerances for any interference which may happen.

Inspection – Inspecting the Carburettors on the 1954 Bristol 405

The workshop at Bridge Classic Cars has begun to inspect the carburettors on the original straight-six destined to be reunited with the 1954 Bristol 405.

Our restoration technicians have been testing the carburettors are clear and all springs and rotating pieces move smoothly, as well as inspecting some of the internals before they’re completely taken apart and inspected further on the workbench.

Changes – Working on the Steering Column of the 1970 Bristol 411

As part of the left-hand drive conversion of the Bristol 411, the Bridge Classic Cars workshop technicians have had to adapt the original column and shrowd to the new orientation.

Whilst the majority of the bulkhead and firewall have been adapted to the new left-hand drive conversion of the car, our restoration technician Paul has turned his attention to the steering column of the car. Especially the ignition barrel.

When the car was right-hand drive, the barrel would sit out at an angle and allow the driver to easily insert the key but, after the shrowd had been moved to the other side of the column as part of the conversion, the key couldn’t be easily put into the ignition. So, Paul worked on reworking the shrowd, column and barrel to get the access to the ignition as easy as possible for the new owner.