The Bristol Britannia was a two-door sports car from Bristol Cars, which was manufactured between 1982 and 1993. It was one of the cars that replaced the 603. Occasionally, the Britannia is also known as Bristol 603 S3. It is a twin brother of the Bristol Brigand, who had a turbo engine.

The concept

The Bristol Britannia was based on the 1976 Bristol 603. The car had clear similarities to its predecessor but with aoms more modern styling features, giving a modern appearance.

The clearest differences are at the front and at the rear ends. At the front, two or four rectangular headlights were taken from a Volkswagen Scirocco and installed. In between the lights, there was a black radiator grille. The taillights now came from Bedford CF2. The Britannia had mostly chrome bumpers and a much more modern appearance. Later modelswere fitted with black painted bumpers, and if the vehicle was white, it came with white bumpers.

The Britannia had a flat hood, however some of Britannias were delivered with the curved hood of the Brigand. The standard equipment was significantly improved compared with the Bristol 603. This now included air conditioning, central locking and electric seat adjustment as standard.

The engine of the Britannia was the 5.9-litre eight-cylinder engine from Chrysler. This was still fitted with quad carburettors from Carter. The car had a three-speed automatic Chrysler Torqueflite transmission. From 1986, the Britannia could be fitted with a catalytic converter, this wasmainly for export to other continental European countries.


The Bristol Britannia was produced from October 1982 to September 1993. During this time, little things changed. The phase of rapid modifications that was indicative of Bristol's model policy in the 1960s and 1970s was over. The Bristol Britannia was sold in 1984 at a cost of £46,000, the Brigand was £3,000 more expensive. The conventionally powered Britannia was by far the more successful model.

During this time, reports on the Britannia were rare and most reports were concerned with the technically attractive, but much more expensive and rarer Brigand. The magazine Motor published a report in November 1986. The following data was given:

  • Maximum speed: 135 mph (= 220 km / h)
  • Acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour: 8, 1 seconds.

The testers praised the handling of the Britannia, which was generally regarded as comfortable and relaxing.

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