The real killer however, is the chassis rot. When it was first raised on the lift, there was apparently quite a lurch as the little remaining good metal buckled under one of the front lift arms of the two-column lift as it took the weight. Looking at it, you can see where the box-section has bent inwards and is deformed. The rear cross-member is also rusting away nicely. However, although a few of the common rot spots are not too bad (relatively), most of the usual places are very bad – the sills, in front and behind the rear wheels especially, boot floor, wing bay and inner wing structure are all full of holes and crumble to the touch. Despite this, the bodywork is actually very good, with little or no bubbling on any arch, and generally straight panels. This is presumably because the rot has set in through spending several years in a field, and not while being used and having water and salt thrown up under it. Once through the rot, there are some useful things to remove, and although some will obviously need overhauling, some parts are in excellent condition and ready to bolt straight onto other cars. I’ll post an advert soon of what I have available, once I’m sure what’s needed for the 410. Do drop me a line if there’s anything you need though.
In theory of course, this 411 could have been restored if someone was keen enough, but with a complete retrim required, new woodwork, paint, some chroming and enough welding to keep a skilled person busy from now until the end of time, you’d face an enormous bill, massively exceeding the car’s restored value. Instead, its front wings will keep my 410 on the road, the rear axle and suspension assembly has been found a willing home and will get another Bristol back on the road, and the engine is keeping yet another 411 alive. Other useful parts will go to other cars I’m sure, helping their owners keep mobile too. While it’s not ideal to have to dismantle a rare car like a Bristol, in this case the car had become less than the sum of its parts, but in giving those parts will live on.