A fairly quiet couple of weeks, but I had a trip to Torquay and back yesterday for work. My work mileage rate doesn’t really cover the 18mpg the 410 gives (roughly – I keep records but haven’t actually done the calculations for ages), but I took the Bristol anyway because sometimes the car needs a run and I quite enjoy longish cross country trips in it, especially by myself, because you can really concentrate on the drive and get into tune with the car, how it’s working and how it’s feeling that day. Yesterday it was great again. I avoided the motorways and headed across the smaller roads over Salisbury Plain to Mere and joined the A303 there. The constant drone of motorway cruising gets so boring, and the M4/M5 trip is not my favourite at the best of times. I always feel the car is happier too, accelerating and braking, changing the loads on the engine instead of a the sustained high revs that you get on the motorway. As with so many cars of it’s era, a taller top gear or overdrive would really help. I like the thought of the current Blenheims, which are turning less than 2000rpm at 80mph.
On the way back I stopped in Ottery St Mary to visit friends, and when I returned to the car park I found, not unusually, a chap inspecting the the car. Turned out he’d had a 1956 Bristol for many years, and was very pleased to see one again. He pointed out that the 410 was always the nicest one, which I would agree with obviously. It’s not the first time I’ve bumped into people who used to be Bristol owners, and I they always look wistfully at the 410 and always seem to regret parting with their car. Hopefully it will be a long time, or ideally never, before I know how they feel!