1 IT WAS JUST ANOTHER NAME FOR THE BEAUFIGHTER
The Beaufort debuted at the 1984 British Motor Show and most people assumed that it was just another version of the four-seat targa-topped Beaufighter. In fact, the Beaufort was an additional model. It used a Beaufighter lower body but, instead of that car’s detachable roof, double rollbar and folding canvas rear roof section, it was a full convertible, with an electrically operated soft-top roof. Rigidity lost by removing the Beaufighter’s rollbar was replaced by using a heavily reinforced windscreen frame.
2 IT WAS PART OF A FOUR-CAR RANGE… THEORETICALLY
The £54,995 Beaufort was meant to join the £45,847 Beaufighter and Brigand/Britannia saloon. One key difference was a huge fuel tank, enlarged from 18 to 30 gallons, for long journeys. Curiously, though, the Beaufort was almost never seen again and, although listed for a few years as a ‘production’ car, only the beige prototype (pictured) and perhaps one other example seem to have been produced. It was theoretically available for customer orders but none were forthcoming. The price was quoted in Sterling but the car was said to be ‘for export only’.
3 IT WASN’T ROAD-LEGAL
The mysterious fate of this roomy four-seater convertible can be attributed to the removal of the rollbar. Without its structure, there was nowhere for the seatbelt mountings to be positioned, so the Beaufort wasn’t road-legal in the UK or continental Europe. It would probably have been fine for Middle Eastern countries lacking some construction regulations; no doubt that was Bristol’s aim, but the Beaufort perhaps lacked the requisite ‘bling’ to tempt any Arab sheikh.
short-lived Beaufort was much better-looking than the Beaufighter.