classic car left hand drive conversion

In Place – Fitting the Oil Filter, Power Steering Pump and Servicing the Brakes on the 1970 Bristol 411

The workshop team have completed the next round of jobs on the classic Bristol 411 in for a left-hand drive conversion at Bridge Classic Cars.

The first stage was to mount the oil filter housing to the opposite side of the engine bay after the conversion. The team have made sure that each component will not interfere with each other and also have enough space to be able to be safely worked on during the service of the car in the future.

Then, the team have carried out the final test fit of the power steering pump to the engine of the classic Bristol using the specially fabricated brackets. These will be taken off the car and finished in matching black to the other bracketry in the engine bay.

Next up, the team will be performing a full brake service on the classic GT car with a full inspection of seals, lines and pistons.

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.

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.

Handmade – New Glovebox for the 1970 Bristol 411

The 1970 Bristol 411, which is having a LHD conversion carried out, has had a brand new glovebox insert made by our incredible trim shop.

Because of the change around in placement, the original insert conflicts with several brackets behind the glovebox itself. So, Brian has made one entirely from scratch built specifically for the car by hand. He took measurements from the car in our workshop to get the best fit possible and also keep it the same volume inside as the original.

It’s a beautiful piece for this unique and special project.

Fabrication – Brackets and Mounts Fabricated for the 1970 Bristol 411

The Bristol 411 left-hand drive conversion is moving forward with new mounts and brackets being fabricated by the restoration team in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop.

Paul has made new glovebox brackets to reinforce behind the dashboard now the dash has rotated.

The biggest change has been underneath the car. Paul has made new plates that will be used to attach the all-new steering rack for the conversion. The pieces were cut to shape and then carefully refined to fit into the car.

Progress – Brake Lines, Wiring Harness, Steering Locks and Brake Reservoirs on the 1970 Bristol 411

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

Paul has been working on getting several key pieces of the conversion completed. Firstly he has made all new brake lines for the car since the master cylinder and reservoir have been moved in the engine bay. Each of these was handmade and flared to the exact needs of the car.

Next up was the wiring harness for the dashboard. Each of the wires will need to be precisely lengthened with the change in position for several key components.

In preparation for the new steering rack for the car, the existing lock stops on the steering box had to be removed for space to fit the new system into the classic Bristol.

Finally, with everything in the correct place orientation, Paul could lengthen the wires which go to and from the brake reservoir.

Making Room – New Throttle Pedal on the 1970 Bristol 411

As part of the left-hand drive conversion on the 1970 Bristol 411 currently in the Bridge Classic Cars workshop, the team have had to make a new throttle pedal for the car.

The conversion to the classic Bristol is moving along quickly, but part of the changeover is relocating the throttle pedal of the classic car. Paul has had to remanufacturer a throttle pedal to get the new set up to work correctly. Along with this, the routing of the wiring loom has also had to be changed to allow the throttle mechanism and the pedal itself free movement without risk of being caught on any part of the loom.

Changes – Modifying the Dash Surround of the 1970 Bristol 411 Left Hand Drive Conversion

The trim shop at the Bridge Classic Cars HQ in Suffolk have been working alongside the restoration workshop to convert the 1970 Bristol 411 to left-hand drive.

Part of that is modifying the dashboard of the car to the correct orientation in the cabin. With everything on the dash being moved from right to left, the instrument cluster needed to be reworked to line up with the existing woodwork and supports.

Referencing the car and the original dash pieces, Brian could make the precise and crucial cuts in the cluster to not only allow the wooden panel to sit in place but so that the existing material could be fitted back into the new cut with a perfect fit.

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.

Revisions – Modifying the Heater box of the 1970 Bristol 411

The 1970 Bristol 411 which is in the Bridge Classic Cars restoration workshop to be converted to left-hand drive has to have several important pieces in the engine bay modified to fit the application.

One of these pieces is the heater box of the classic Bristol. The inlets and outlets of the heater box, once it has been rotated during its relocation across the firewall, were in entirely the wrong orientation. This means that our restoration technicians have had to modify and relocate each of the individual outlets. Along with that, other openings in the heater box has had to be blanked off and reopened 180 degrees out.