After more than 60 years of car production, Bristol Cars Limited has fallen into administration. Tom MacLennan and Trevor Binyon from RSM Tenon have been appointed as Administrators and have told the BBC: ‘While there have been a number of immediate redundancies due to the financial position of the company, we are maintaining the sales and service operations so customers will continue to be supported. We would urge any interested parties to make contact with us as quickly as possible and are confident that we can secure the future of this iconic British brand.’
The company was formed immediately after World War Two when the Bristol Aeroplane Company Limited decided to enter the car-making business and acquired the rights to the various pre-war BMW models. By 1948, it was building the streamlined, fast and luxurious 403 using aviation principles of construction.
The prestige machines continued thereafter, being expensively handmade in small numbers for well-heeled customers. Chrysler V8 engines were introduced with the 407 of 1961. All Bristols are known for being somewhat eccentric: the 412, Beaufighter and Beaufort had breeze block styling and were built from 1975 to 1994 – 1976’s 603 was still nominally in production today as the Blenheim, alongside the Fighter sold through the company’s Kensington showroom.
Bristol enthusiast, Andrew Elphick, recalls: ‘During a chance conversation I had in their showrooms about three years ago I awkwardly asked “Has the credit crunch affected you?” The polite, but firm reply was “Not at Bristol Cars, sir…”‘
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