Bristol Cars Ltd. is the last British luxury car manufacturer to still remain in British ownership.
History of the Company
The company started life as a way for the Bristol Aeroplane Company
to make use of it's excess production capacity
after the Second World War
. Rights were acquired to BMW
's pre-war engines and car designs as war reparation
, and by Autumn 1946
, the Bristol Type 400 Saloon
was launched. This car set new standards in luxury
, and gained a respectable slice of the luxury car market. In 1956
, the Car Division
became a wholly owned subsiduary
of the parent company, and in 1960
, when the Bristol Aeroplane Company was forced by the government
to become part of British Aircraft Corporation
, (later British Aerospace
) the late Sir George White
and Mr Anthony Crook
formed a new company, Bristol Cars Ltd. being determined not to let British Aircraft Corporation cease production of the Bristol car. When Sir George White retired in 1973
, Mr Anthony Crook bought out his share and became the sole proprietor and Managing Director
. He retained his sole ownership until the mid-nineties, when he appointed some new management associates, but remained at the helm.
The 6 Cylinder Cars
The 8 Cylinder Cars
The Ethos of Bristol
The philosophy behind Bristol cars is one of cost is no object, the finest materials and workmanship will be used to make a car that lasts for a lifetime. They do not use a production line environment, each part of each car gets the time and attention to detail it deserves from individual craftsman. This means that the although the cars take four or five times as long to complete compared to other luxury cars, this is accepted as the cost of perfection. Only about 100 cars are made each year. Equally, the price does not compare well to other luxury cars (the cost of a standard Bristol Blenheim 3 is 139,825 GBP), but reflects the fact that the car will last a lifetime.
Bristol cars are something of an anachronism in today's world, the company refuse to divulge the horsepower specifications of the cars, saying only that the power is satisfactory for making the cars feel powerful. They also refuse to release updated designs every year, calling their current model quietly understated and having an elegant simplicity. But, the cars are designed to convey four six-foot tall people and their luggage in sumptuous luxury.
Bristol's cars, although their complete antithesis to most other cars on the road today, provide the most luxurious way to travel by road.
Bristol fashion is a world apart. Why follow trends when trendsetters follow you.