1953 Bristol 403 - Reader Ride

By: Guy Allen - Words & Photos

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bristol 403 bristol 403

Rob & Pamela Mann travelled here from the UK to be part of the Bristol International Rally


Rob & Pamela Mann's 1953 Bristol 403

"I came by it because I fell in love with the design of the car, but could not come anywhere near the price, when it was a 10 or 15-year-old car. This went on for years.

"I thought I was coming up for retirement soon and had waited long enough, if I don’t do something now I’m going to kick myself and will be too old.

"Around 11 years ago I had to look around for six to nine months as they don’t come up every week, and was very lucky to get one in good shape. I did not want a restoration job – I have done that on other cars.


"What’s it like to drive? It’s hard work at low speeds, but on the highway it’s very similar to a modern car except it hasn’t got the oomph – so you have to use the gears. It’s got an overdrive that’s been fitted since new, at 100km/h it’s only doing about 2500rpm, so it’s very relaxed.

"I keep telling people this car has done more miles over water than on land, as this is the fourth time it’s been to Australia. We got the bug about 10 years ago. My wife and I had had holidays here (on the Queensland sunshine coast) when we were children and we thought it would be brilliant to go there again and meet up with some fellow ‘Bristoleers’, as I call them."


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