Bristol Beaufighter and Beaufort (412)
1980 to 1993
V8 5.9 litres
197 in, 500 cm
69.50 in, 177 cm
56.50 in, 144 cm
114 in, 290 cm
3,850 1b, 1,746 kg
The Bristol Beaufighter sometimes referred to as the Bristol 412 S3 Beaufighter was built from 1980 to 1993.
The Bristol Beaufighter was an open sports car produced by the British car manufacturer Bristol Cars Ltd., presented in 1980 and produced until the summer of 1993. The Beaufighter was a development of the Bristol 412 first presented in 1974, which it replaced. The new model differed from its predecessor primarily in terms of drive technology. The name of the vehicle referred to the former fighter-bomber of the parent company Bristol Airplane Company, which had been produced in larger numbers during the Second World War. With this model, Bristol Cars for the first time turned away from the decades-long tradition of individualizing its own vehicles with a number code (400-412, 603).
The Bristol Beaufighter only differed from the 412 in details on the outside, but the car had been heavily modified on the engine side.
The Beaufighter was the first mass-produced British car to have a turbocharged engine. This engine was based on the well-known 5.9-liter eight-cylinder from Chrysler, which Bristol had used in the 603 since 1976 and in the 412 since 1977. The first considerations for a supercharged version of the eight-cylinder engine go back to Chrysler; there, such concepts have been experimented with since the mid-1970s. In the course of the economic problems, Chrysler finally gave up the work. The project was taken over by Bristol, where engineers Dennis Sevier and Eden Holder brought it to series production.
The bodywork of the Beaufighter was very similar to that of the Bristol 412. It was still a "safety cabriolet" with a fixed roll bar and a hardtop over the driver's seats to expand markets that had strict regulations. Unlike the 412, however, the hardtop above the driver's seats was permanently installed and not removable; the soft top over the rear seats, on the other hand, could be folded down as before.
The body design was still the subject of criticism. When the 1980 model was introduced, the Beaufighter was described, among other things, as "distinctive, but certainly not beautiful". The body continued to be manufactured at Maggiora in Turin. Some details had been modified; Zagato claimed the changes were engineered in Italy. The main distinguishing feature were four rectangular twin headlights, which were the previous headlight-indicator unit from the Vauxhall Viceroy (Opel Commodore in Europe). The Beaufighter's turn signals were now located under the front bumper. Unlike the 412, the Beaufighter had a distinct bulge on the bonnet due to the turbocharger. From 1983 onwards, the Beaufighter models had so-called side marker running lights based on the American model at the front and rear as standard, even if they were sold on the European market.
Another special model was the Bristol Beaufort presented in 1984 a full convertible based on the 412, which dispensed with both the roll bar and the Targa roof. The mechanism of the padded top was electrically operated. In addition to the independent roof structure, the Beaufort had some other modifications to the body, such as modified door handles and a covered tank filler neck. The rear seat of the Beaufort was greatly shortened due to the large convertible top compartment and could only be used to a limited extent.The Beaufort had a reinforced windscreen frame to compensate for the absence of a fixed roll bar.
The Beaufort was made on the initiative of company owner Tony Crook. A series production did not materialize. Bristol suffered from economic difficulties in the first half of the 1980s, so that development to series maturity could not be financed. During the 14-year production period, the Beaufighter underwent only minor modifications. In the late 1980's Bristol designed a shorter and lighter sports version of the Beaufighter, intended to be around 4,500mm in length. The plans envisaged a foldable rear seat, which should increase the volume of the luggage compartment. The works did not progress beyond the stage of drawings; the death of the main developer meant the end of the project.
The interior was also changed. Initially, a smoothed dashboard was available, dispensing with the traditional oval surround behind the steering wheel that had been a Bristol feature since the 404. However, this idea did not last long; Bristol quickly reverted to the classic layout. The idea of equipping the Beaufighter with digital instruments was similarly short-lived. Borrowing from the conception of the contemporary Aston Martin Lagonda, Bristol experimented with similar solutions, but also encountered similar problems and decided not to pursue this path any further, since the advantages and disadvantages could not be brought into an appropriate balance.
Deviating from the American base engine, the engines used by Bristol had independent cylinder heads developed in Great Britain. The engines also had a four-barrel carburettor from Carter, which differed in dimensioning from the basic American version. This engine was built at Bristol's Filton factory with a Rotomaster turbocharger. The turbocharger was not permanently activated rather, the engine had a system called "priority valve" that activated or deactivated the turbocharger depending on the position of the accelerator pedal. Bristol claimed the Beaufighter was the first European car to use such technology. The engine block itself was not changed, nor was the compression, although some modifications in the area of the engine were necessary. The turbo engine and drive technology were also used in the Bristol Brigand convertible from October 1982.With stricter emissions Under the name Bristol 412 USA, Bristol sold about 15 vehicles in the 1980s, which combined the body of the Beaufighter with the drive technology of the Bristol 412 S2 and the Bristol Britannia.
The electronic ignition system has been revised; and the American-made Lean Burn System a lean mixture setting that helped Chrysler meet US emissions regulations in the late 1970s was eliminated for the Beaufighter engine along with a high-performance gasoline pump, and the cross-section of the intake ducts was increased. In the course of upgrading the engine. Turbocharging significantly increased the engine's power and torque. As usual, Bristol did not name any specific values. Company owner Tony Crook stated that "more than sufficient power" was available; the increase in output and torque amounts to 30 percent. Later reports put the power of the engine at around 320 hp. Tony Crook described the Beaufighter at his presentation as the fastest accelerating four-seater.
The automatic transmission was also revised, since the version used up until then was not up to the increased torque of the engine. The regular TorqueFlite automatic was mated to a torque converter that Chrysler had developed for the 7.2-liter V8 was upgraded with a stronger, thicker propeller shaft. The clutch was also taken over from this version. The Beaufighter had significantly better driving performance than the Bristol 412 and the Bristol 603 produced at the same time. In a first test, it sprinted from 0 to 96 km/h in 6.7 seconds and reached a top speed of more than 240 km/h. During the first test drives, a consumption of over 30 litres per 100 km was noticed; In the following months, however, Bristol managed to reduce this value to around 25 litres/100 km through fine tuning. However, the driving performance suffered from the aerodynamically comparatively unfavourable body of the Beaufighter. The aerodynamically much better designed Bristol Brigand, which was produced from 1982, was even faster with a comparable curb weight.
Max speeds: (1st) 54 mph, 87 km/h; (2nd) 100 mph, 161 km/h; (3rd) 150 mph, 241 km/h
Fuel consumption: 17-20 m/imp gal, 14-17 m/US gal
The Beaufighter and Brigand were very expensive vehicles. The sales price was roughly on par with the Aston Martin V8. When it went on sale in 1980, the Beaufighter was priced at £37,999. The Beaufighter was in production for 14 years. Manufacture ended in the summer of 1993 just before Bristol switched production to the new Blenheim model. Comparatively few models of both models were made over the years.
Bristol 412 Beaufort & Beaufighter Technical details and specifications (1980-1993)
ENGINE: 5 900 cc turbocharged
Chrysler, location front
8 cylinders, in Vee 360 cu in, 5 900 cc turbocharged
bore and stroke: (4 x 3.58 in, 101.6 x 90.9 mm)
compression ratio: 8: 1
cast iron block and head
5 crankshaft bearings
valves: over-head, hydraulic tappets, push-rods and rockers
camshafts: 1, at centre of Vee, chain-driven
lubrication: rotary pump, full flow filter
1 Carter downdraught 4 barrel carburettor air cleaner
fuel feed: mechanical pump;
water-cooled,2 electric thermo-static fans.
driving wheels: rear
gearbox: Torqueflite automatic transmission, hydraulic torque converter and planetary gears with 3 ratios
max ratio of converter at stall 2.20, possible manual selection
ratios: 1st 2.450, 2nd 1.450, 3rd 1, rev 2.200
gear lever location: central
final drive: hypoid bevel
axle ratio: 3.070
type box-type ladder frame with cross members
front suspension: independent, wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar, adjustable telescopic dampers
rear: rigid axle, longitudinal torsion bars, trailing lower radius arms, upper torque link, transverse Watts linkage, automatic levelling control, adjustable telescopic dampers.
ZF recirculating ball, servo
turns lock to lock: 4.
turning circle: 39.4 ft, 12 m
disc (front diameter 10.91 in, 27.7 cm, rear 10.60 in, 26.9 cm)
dual circuit, servo
brakes swept area: front 224 sq in, 1,445 sq cm
brakes swept area: rear 196 sq in, 1,264 sq cm
brakes swept area: total 420 sq in, 2,709 sq cm
71 Ah battery
62 A alternator
Chrysler electronic ignition
2 halogen headlamps
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
wheel base: 114 in, 290 cm
tracks: 54.50 in, 138 cm front, 55.50 in, 141 cm rear
length: 197 in, 500 cm
width: 69.50 in, 177 cm
height: 56.50 in, 144 cm
ground clearance: 5 in, 13 cm
weight: 3,850 1b, 1,746 kg
weight distribution: 53% front, 47% rear
© Motor car History
Bristol 412 Beaufort & Beaufighter Maintenance and Service Guide (1980-1993)
Service intervals : 10,000 miles
Engine oil: 4 litres plus 0.85 for filter
Gearbox oil : 7.9 litres
Differential oil : 2.0 litres
Cooling system : 16.5 litres plus 2.7 tank
Fuel tank : 136 litres
Tyre size Pressures: 1.9 (28) (2.2 (32)
Hydraulic fluid type: Castrol/Girling Universal
Valve operation: OHV in line valves hydraulic tappets
Valve timing : 18°BT-54°AB-57°BB-15°AT
Spark plugs make/type : Champion RN12Y
Spark plugs Gap : 0.9mm (.035in)
Distributor make/type : Chrysler. electronic
Firing order: 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
Ignition timing—static : 2° BTDC
Ignition coil make: Chrysler
Oil pressure bar : 2.10/5.52 (30/80) at 2000rpm
radiator thermostat opens: 91°
© Motor car History
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