Another busy few days for the 410. A few weeks ago I had a phone call from a former work colleague. She’d seen me driving a Bristol round town a few times, and as her partner is mad keen on Bristols, but had never been in one, she tracked me down and asked if I’d be willing to take him out for a drive on his birthday. She’d been trying to hire one, but none of the classic hire companies keep one on their fleet. As far as I can see, part of the responsibility of driving rare and unusual cars is to show them to other interested people, so last Saturday afternoon we surprised him in the supermarket car park and went off for a little run so he could see how a 410 goes. He certainly knew his stuff about Bristols, and hopefully we’ll get to see him in the club one day as an owner too.
The other fun you can see in the photo above. The exhaust mounting brackets on V8 Bristols are not very long lasting, so I treat them as consumables and always carry spares for when they fail. I’ve not had to fit any for over a year now so wasn’t too surprised when the nearside mounts gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. The two on a side always go together – once one’s gone the other can’t possibly take the whole load by itself. I think the part is from a Midget, though it’s common to Jags and many other British classics too, so is possibly a little stressed under a Bristol. This time though the U-brackets were rusted solid too, and it was cold and wet, so I decided the job was best dealt with by Bell Silencers in Swindon and wired the loose exhaust up to secure it until I could get there. I’ve known Roy at Bells for years, and go there for all my tyres, exhausts and so on. He and his team really know their stuff so instead of me spending ages struggling on my back under the car to get the seized bits off, I dropped in first thing this morning and Martin had the job done in 15 minutes flat, including modifying a bracket to get the silencers as high as possible. There’s not a huge amount of ground clearance so an extra inch makes all the difference over sleeping policemen. Excellent work as usual, and should keep me shipshape for a while.