1981 Bristol Beaufighter (412 Series 3)


  • One of only 29 units produced
  • Class winner at the Bristol Owners' Club Concours d'Elegance in 2004 and 2016
  • Comprehensive restoration in 2004, with additional work carried out by subsequent owners. 
  • £15,000 worth of structural repairs carried out to rear and centre sections of car in 2016-17 to restore to factory standard
  • Recent work to refurbish carburettor and fit newer improved starter motor

The Appeal

The Bristol 412 is a distinctly eccentric convertible. With its angular bodywork, designed and built by Zagato before being fitted to a Filton-built Bristol chassis,  these cars are very nearly as rare and unusual as they come, largely thanks to Bristol's ever-enduring run of bafflingly low production numbers. There are a lot of numbers published online, but what is known for certain is that no more than 29 of these remarkable, V8-powered cars were ever built. 

This particular model, a 1981 Beaufighter, showcases the craftsmanship and quality of Bristol cars. By now, the cars were being fully constructed at Bristol's workshop. They had managed to gain a Rotomaster Turbocharger - which meant these somewhat unlikely-looking vehicles could haul speeds of 150mph. In this guise, the cars continued production up until 1993.

This Beaufighter has been carefully restored and maintained, with a comprehensive restoration having being undertaken in 2004. It has won its class at the Bristol Owners' Club Concours d'Elegance twice, in 2004 and 2016, and underwent £15,000 worth of structural repairs to the rear and centre sections in 2016-17, restoring it to factory standard.

If you're after a rare addition to your collection, you'll have trouble finding rarer than this - a magnificent spot of sheer eccentricity that seems to defy convention with every inch.


The History and Paperwork

  • Registered in 1981
  • No history before restoration in 2004, which included being repainted in its current Jaguar Windsor Blue
  • Purchased by current owner in July 2015
  • 9 former registered keepers
  • Large file of invoices from 2004 to present
  • Class winner at the Bristol Owners' Club Concours d'Elegance in September 2004
  • Additional restoration work carried out by next two owners up to 2015
  • Class winner again in August 2016 at the last BOC Concours that was attended
  • Last MOT was in 2021, now MOT exempt
  • Indicates 26,381 miles on a five-figure odometer


The Condition

  • Described as a "convertible-saloon" with a rigid roof incorporating a tiltable/removable glass sunroof over the front seats
  • Rear section can be removed and replaced with a canvas rear hood
  • £15,000 worth of structural repairs carried out to the rear and centre sections in 2016-17
  • High standard of repaint with a deep scratch to the nearside front wing and a few other minor chips and scratches
  • Glasswork and brightwork looks in fine fettle
  • Original Bristol alloys, with plenty of tread in the tyres
  • Comes with both the hard top and the soft top
  • Leatherwork appears in smart condition for its age, except for a small tear to the handbrake surround
  • Carpets replaced by the previous owner
  • Dashboard restored in 2013
  • All instruments are clean and legible
  • Fully refurbished Air conditioning system in 2013


The Mechanics

  • Features a 5.9 litre Chrysler V8 and a Rotomaster turbocharger
  • Automatic transmission with 3 gears
  • Recorded 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds and 0-100mph in 17.6 seconds in 1980 road test
  • Replacement of non-standard manual choke fitted in earlier restoration to original automatic choke mechanism
  • Gearbox and torque converter rebuilt in 2018
  • Radiator re-cored and new cooler fans fitted in 2019
  • Power steering pump rebuilt in 2021
  • Recent work (2023/2024) includes a carb refurbishment and fitting of a newer, improved starter motor
  • Everything appears in fine mechanical order
  • We're informed that the car drives smoothly with barely noticeable gear changes


This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following:
If the seller is registered as a private seller, consumer rights stemming from EU consumer protection law do not apply. Car & Classic’s return policy applies.
A non-refundable deposit will be payable if you are the winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for details.
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is, Where Is’ basis and without warranty. A full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase and bidding is highly recommended. Photos and descriptions are for guidance purposes only.
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing.
UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check, to verify that they show no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and have no finance owing.
Whilst ****Car & Classic check whether vehicles are recorded as being written off as part of an insurance total loss claim at the time an advert is placed and we provide write-off category labels (Cat C/D/S/N) for your assistance, the presence or absence of a label does not guarantee the vehicle’s status and so you are strongly advised to obtain a full vehicle history check before making an offer on a vehicle.
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1981
  • Make Bristol
  • Model Beaufighter
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 26,381 Miles
  • Engine size 5900
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Radstock
  • Location Somerset
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
28 bids
  • ai•••• £30,000 22/04/24
  • ro•••• £27,250 22/04/24
  • ai•••• £27,000 22/04/24
  • ro•••• £26,750 22/04/24
  • ai•••• £26,500 22/04/24
  • ro•••• £26,250 22/04/24
  • ai•••• £26,000 22/04/24
  • ro•••• £25,250 22/04/24
  • ai•••• £25,000 22/04/24
  • ro•••• £23,000 22/04/24
Message C&C Auction Team

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