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Old 12th February 2017, 12:43   #61
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by cbatrody View Post
For a moment I couldn’t believe that it was the same car when I saw the before and after images. It looks nothing more than a pile of badly rusted metal pieces when you look at the initial pictures. To get it back to its former glory from its current sordid state is really commendable, time consuming and rather demanding job. It requires a lot of dedication in terms of mechanical and body work transformation. Just brilliant!
Well, one way of looking at it is that it is NOT really the same car; It's kind of a shame someone hadn't picked it up in '99, when judging by the photos it was clearly still more a motor vehicle than scrap metal. As far as it had degraded, in truth this might be as easily regarded a reproduction as a restoration.

Having said that, the end result is simply amazing, and it couldn't have been done upon a more beautiful design. I was largely unfamiliar with the Bristol name, but what a car! The body is just perfectly proportioned, and a 2L I-6 can only run smooth as silk! Highly desirable!

What I quoted above included words like "glory" "sordid state", "transformation" and "brilliant" which gets me thinking of this project in terms of spiritual analogy: For there too, considering the messed up state we humans are all in, a little "fixing up" is just not going to cut it; What's needed are some entirely fresh, new components that bring us back to our original design. "Rust never sleeps" is a saying common among car restorers - you leave the corruption hidden there someplace, it always grows back/re-surfaces. But taking this other approach, the end result will be a thing of stunning, lasting beauty.

Awesome.
-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 12th February 2017 at 12:45.
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Old 12th February 2017, 14:53   #62
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
Well, one way of looking at it is that it is NOT really the same car; It's kind of a shame someone hadn't picked it up in '99, when judging by the photos it was clearly still more a motor vehicle than scrap metal. As far as it had degraded, in truth this might be as easily regarded a reproduction as a restoration.
I think this is why it is billed as a "resurrection" rather than a restoration.

It would be interesting to know what percentage is "original." The engine (block at least) and parts of the body shell, I think.

I giggled, after reading that they had to "dig up" documentation and went on to see, from the photos, that they had to literally dig up the car!
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Old 13th February 2017, 17:41   #63
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

Commendable efforts.

A true "Rising like a phoenix from the Ashes" case.

If this does not win the Resurrection Cup, I do not know what else can. Rightly deserved and very very worthy of it.

Kudos to the entire team.

Thread rated 5 golden stars!
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Old 7th March 2017, 01:36   #64
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Default 1948 Bristol 400

Few images of the beautiful Bristol 400.

1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-dscf1601.jpg

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1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-dscf1605bristol-400.jpg

1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-dscf1606bristol-400.jpg

1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-dscf1604bristol-400.jpg

Last edited by aah78 : 30th January 2018 at 19:20. Reason: Pictures inserted in-line.
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Old 14th March 2017, 13:20   #65
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I think this is why it is billed as a "resurrection" rather than a restoration.

It would be interesting to know what percentage is "original." The engine (block at least) and parts of the body shell, I think.

I giggled, after reading that they had to "dig up" documentation and went on to see, from the photos, that they had to literally dig up the car!
Truly. Besides the engine, they did mention the semaphores, around which I mentally pictured the rest of the car utterly disintegrating (that's where I had my own giggle)!!!

In more divine terms "resurrection" can refer to the renewal of bodies that will have literally returned to dust... as is just about the case here. So the terminology isn't far off. However, that process is truly miraculous, while this marvel, amazing as it is, was essentially mechanical in nature and AFAIK did conform to natural laws . And it required an immense amount of commitment and hard work - nothing supernatural here!

I think of reproduction A/C Cobras which are pretty well identical to the originals, but actually use NONE of the original parts; and get the feeling in this case that what was left of the original was more of a rare, tattered vintage roadmap, an inspiration for the course of this re-creation (or to avoid theology in favor of common resto-language, "re-production").

I don't know what it should be called (such a process itself being almost unprecedented), and for most, it wouldn't have been "worth" the expense and effort - but there's no confusion about its end result being stunningly beautiful. The Divine operator doubtless views his own efforts / successes on behalf of the utterly hopeless in the same way.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 14th March 2017 at 13:39.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 14:47   #66
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

Just amazing!!
'Many happy returns to the incredible comeback of a rare car that was left for dead' rightly quoted by this month's Topgear India where this beauty is featured.
Thanks @karlosdeville for the revival story of the beauty.
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Old 20th May 2017, 18:01   #67
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

The story of the Bristol is a lovely story which has gone all round.

The existence of the car was always known to some, I remember a friend telling me many years ago that the Bristol was often seen in Fort area ages ago, presumably the owner at that time took it regularly to office. Anyhow, at some point in time it disappeared, vanished without a trace and no one knew where it had gone nor who the last owners were.
At one stage a photo did circulate, a broker was trying to sell the car. The photo was unclear, and one could see some serious damage to the roof.

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This photo is of the rear of the car, the roof crushed by the tree that fell on it and the rear windshield frame broken. The asking price at that time was very high, and the matter died down, car lost to the community. Fortunately not for ever.

One fine day at a Mercedes Club meet in Mumbai Gautam, Amit and myself were sitting at a table. Gautam was telling Amit about a Bristol, and when I heard that name I immediately turned around and listened as well. It seems that Gautam was keenly pursuing the car over a couple of decades, then he gave up. In fact he has almost exited the hobby entirely. And told us the story giving the details. Turns out that the car was trapped in a court case and no one had access. As the story unfurled, I realized that Amit had the necessary connections to get to the car and encouraged him to get it, described it, its provenance, its uniqueness and all. Amit had never heard of a Bristol before and must have also checked on the net about details of this car and finally he went for it.

After a week all preparations were made and Amit went to exhume the car. There were some other cars like Amby’s, Mazda all junk, but these also had to be cleared. It turned out that the plot where these cars were standing was submerged during the heavy floods of Mumbai and a lot of muck got dumped on the plot submerging all the cars. Anyway, while the excavations were going on I also went to see the place and had taken Bhavesh along. It was he who found that chassis plate and we gave it to Amit in his hand. It was amazing find, could have been very easily lost forever. The car was excavated and came out in bits, the mudguards are seen here in a pile.

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After a little drama the car was taken out and off it went.

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This is another angle of the chassis before this was also lifted off.

It was my knowledge which brought Amit together with the Bristol and him becoming the owner of this car. I wish he would have acknowledged this fact in all the stories and write-ups which were published.

When I came to know who the original owner was, I realized that he has another very worthy roadster and looking at the past history of the roadster, my guess is that the Bristol has been lying idle and exposed to the elements since about 1980. Fortunately the roadster is safe.

Cheers harit
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Old 21st May 2017, 00:35   #68
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An absolutely fabulous job on the Resurrection of this car. Total respect.

It's a testimony to the ingenuity, integrity, knowledge, skill ,attitude and workmanship of the people involved in this project which was worth all this effort.

I am very sure that this car is safe now and will easily last another 100yrs.

Cheers
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Old 29th January 2018, 19:41   #69
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

Its been over a year since the car was restored, its history pieced together, and displayed with much fanfare all over the country. You'd think all surprises were over, but nope, there was much more in store

Now that the car was back home in Pune, everyone was keen to take the car to the previous owners' to show it to them for the first time in decades. One of the previous keepers, Maj. Z K Wadia, had kindly shared some priceless old photos earlier on, the first time we met. He is in his 90s, and remembers every last detail of his beloved Bristol. After a short spin in the car yesterday, memories came flooding back. A casual mention was made of their family holiday in 1962 - the route? Kashmir to Kanyakumari! I couldn't believe it... It was one of many long distance drives they took during their ownership. They sold the car as late as 1981, which I was surprised to learn.

Here we see everyone excitedly pouring over old albums.
1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-3.jpg
1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-4.jpg

Another happy discovery was a newspaper clipping and trophy awarded in 1955 for the Twelve Hours Endurance Trials organised in Juhu by the Redex Car Club. They covered 212 laps of the 2.3 mile track at the Juhu airport, covering 487.6 miles in 12 hours, with only 1 driver change!

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1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-1.jpg
1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-2.jpg

As if that wasn't enough, another period photo was found, even older than the ones we saw, showing the car in a dark blue colour as bought, and bearing registration number MBK 2406, which I assumed was assigned during the ownership of Holkar. Cedric has kindly confirmed it to be a Madhya Bharat registration number.

1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-5.jpg

Below is a photo taken at Benares on the Kashmir to Kanyakumari trip - the caption? "The car that made it possible" - I couldn't agree more!
1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-img_20180129_195348.jpg

And before parting, we just had to recreate this shot of father and daughter with their beloved Bristol...
1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!-bri-9.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th January 2018 at 18:00. Reason: small typo
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Old 29th January 2018, 22:37   #70
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

A true resurrection indeed.. restoring the car to it's former glory from the grave, tracing the history and recreating the memories. Hats off to you all
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Old 30th January 2018, 11:17   #71
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

Karl,

I was delighted to read your post.
One of the best stories I have read on this forum. Imagine finding the previous owner and getting access to a treasure trove of pictures, trophy, and first hand information from a ninety year young Parsi

You are fast becoming a research historian

This post just made my day, Thanks.
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Old 30th January 2018, 11:55   #72
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Its been over a year since the car was restored, its history pieced together, and displayed with much fanfare all over the country. You'd think all surprises were over, but nope, there was much more in store
Truly outstanding Karl. One my favourite threads has got even better with this post of yours!

Thanks for sharing

Cheers

KPS
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Old 30th January 2018, 14:05   #73
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

Hats off, You guys can do anything.
Today, I understood the meaning of perseverance.
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Old 30th January 2018, 22:23   #74
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
And before parting, we just had to recreate this shot of father and daughter with their beloved Bristol...
Wow! I just went through the story of the resurrection; goes to show that in the face of unyielding determination, sheer dedication, and true, heartfelt passion, just about anything is possible!

And that last picture just brought a tear to my eye. It would have been akin to reuniting with an old, dear friend, thought to have been lost to the sands of time !

@karlosdeville: Thank you sir, for sharing this story. It sure has been truly inspirational.

Cheers!
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Old 31st January 2018, 09:49   #75
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Default Re: 1948 Bristol 400 - Resurrection against all odds!

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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post

And before parting, we just had to recreate this shot of father and daughter with their beloved Bristol...
This picture of 'now and then' is icing on the cake. Thanks for sharing. Speechless as to how a car lives its life with multiple owners and generations, wonder how many untold stories are there at each stage! Hats-off to the restorers who keep the legacy alive with such precision and perfection. Cheers
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