For anyone with an interest in hand-built luxury cars, the name Bristol will hold a special place in their hearts. Throughout the 65+ years of its existence from 1945, the company built and maintained a reputation for setting benchmarks in engineering perfection. Always a low-volume manufacturer, the company used to make a little over 100 cars a year; in the last few years, that figure had come down to about 20 cars per year. Perhaps because of this exclusivity, the company let its rather under-stated luxury creations speak for it and relied more on word-of-month and its loyal and enthusiastic clientele to spread the word.
Yet, despite its glorious reputation, the publicity-shy Bristol Cars passed on to the pages of history when it suspended manufacturing in March 2011. This great British motoring institution went into administration and was bought by Kamkorp Autokraft, part of Frazer-Nash, in April 2011.
Bristol Cars was an offshoot of the excess manufacturing capacity of the Bristol Aeroplane Company (BAC) following the World War II. Like many other companies of its time, BAC moved into manufacturing cars to utilise its manufacturing capacity and existing workforce. The name Bristol is indicative of the origins of the company- its headquarters was located in Patchway near Bristol.
Until the early 60s, Bristol cars were built using a six-cylinder BMW engine, that powered several well-known sports and racing cars. In 1961, Bristol moved to using the larger Chrysler V8 engine due to its suitability for the heavier cars. Since then, all Bristol cars have been using Chrysler engines. We list below some of the popular Bristol models in the course of its 65 years of manufacturing luxury cars.
When it stopped manufacturing, Bristol had been 4 models in production: Blenheim, Series 6, Blenheim Roadster/Speedster and Fighter.
Bristol Cars Official Website: http://www.bristolcars.co.uk
Bristol Cars’ Owners forum: http://www.bristolcars.info
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