1976 Bristol 600 Series

A contribution by Matthias Zabel from Hamburg, Germany

The 1976 Bristol 600 Series

The Bristol 600 Series brochure from 1976 deals with the car that is commonly known as Bristol 603. This car was introduced
in October 1976 on the International Motor Exhibition in Earls Court, and this particular brochure was first published there.

There´s a nice story on the name of the car.
This is the 14th model from Bristol Cars, starting with model 400 in 1946. So this car should have designated as Bristol 413. For obvious reasons,
Bristol wanted to avoid using the figure 13. Instead of skipping that number, they started a completely new system of counting, the “600 series”.
This is the designation that´s used in this brochure. In fact, very soon after the presentation, the name was changed to “Bristol 603”. It´s doubtful
if the designation 600 has been used on any production car. Reportedly, the figure 603 refers to the city of Bristol which became a county of its own
in 1373. And that was 603 years before the new Bristol saloon was presented. Wheather it´s true or not, it’s a nice story.

Model 603 was built from October 1976 to October 1982, Series I from 1976 to 1978, Series II (which has a slightly different exterior and no 5,2 Litre V8 option)
from 1978 to 1982. All in all, about 80 cars were made. The car was followed by some heavily restyled twins called Britannia (5,9 Litre standard engine) and Brigand
(5,9 Litre turbo-charged engine) that remained in production until September 1993. In October 1993, the new Blenheim was introduced which is still offered now (2009).
The Blenheim still uses the basic body shape of the 603: Roofline, doors, glasses are unchanged. Reportedly, in Summer 2008 the pressing machine that made the roof
section of the car had been stolen. Obviously, that did not prevent Bristol from continuing Blenheim production.