• Jul 5, 2007
Bristol, a little known British builder of expensive luxury and sports cars, opened up its shop this past Monday in Patchway, England to find a rude surprise. Thieves had broken into the factory over the weekend and, instead of stealing cars, ripped off the company's presses that stamp out body panels for its pricey lineup. Ten presses in all were boosted that make body panels for the Blenheim range of coupes. Fortunately, since Bristol only manages to produce about 2 or 3 cars a week, its current inventory of roof, wing and door panels will last for a while, but presses are hard to come by and eventually the company will slow down its snail-pace production to a halt when supplies run out.

The robbers apparently used huge cranes to steal the presses, as well as drove in and out of the complex multiple times to complete the job. No one noticed a thing and they've gotten away scott free for now, but ten presses won't be easy to sell on the black market. Chances are they'll be cut up and sent to China or India to be sold as scrap metal. We can't imagine the criminals will actually start producing Bristols of their own because, quite frankly, they're a bit ugly with a face that only a wealthy Brit could love.

Thanks for the tip, Dylan!

[Source: thisisbristol.co.uk]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't really see much wrong with these cars. They certainly look practical in every single respect which earns just enough Swedish credibility for them to get my vote of confidence. Too bad they're British. And that the circumstances behind this theft seem a bit odd.

      How much does one of these (most likely) cost, anyway?
      • 7 Years Ago
      The picture of said car looks like a Jaguar where the windows,etc have been pushed back a bit.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When they see a picture of the product these molds will produce, they will break-in and return them. Fear not Bristol your molds will come home wagging their tails behind them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This sounds fishy to me. In a country obsessed with CCTV and security guards, Bristol didn't have either on their premises? No-one noticed cranes traipsing around the countryside lugging enormous presses? The thieves wanted the presses for the scrap value but left the inventory of floor pans behind?

      Are we sure this isn't an insurance scam?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sadly, only 3 people in the world want a Bristol.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see a Jensen sedan. Sadly, I'd rather have the 1970s Jensen.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When I first saw that pic I thought I was looking at a 30-year old car. But I guess that's actually their most recent model.

      What the hell? This really smells fishy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apparently, roughly $250,000 in US Dollars. Yeowch. Swede-points retracted.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "insiders believe the presses will be shipped to China or India..."
      Ladies and gentleman, you're looking at the next Chery coupe. Why just shamelessly copy when you can steal the whole production line?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Must be a wealthy Bristol aficionado's sick plan to force Bristol to stop producing chav replicas of '70s Ford Capris and actually design something, you know, modern with the insurance money.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Total agreement; it is a truly bad sign when it's been so long since Bristol redesigned their cars that the manufacturing technology no longer exists to produce them...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The scrap could end up in Roewes, BRilliances, or maybe even Chery-sourced Chryslers, who knows?
      • 7 Years Ago
      HaHa.

      Bristol is a company that should die. On a trip to Europe, my father told me to call up an old college acquaintance of his to have dinner, and I was picked up in a Bristol. My respect for my companion that evening plummeted when I realized that only someone really shockingly stupid would spend Ferrari F430 money to buy such a pathetically designed and produced vehicle. Honestly, it is like paying French Laundry prices for a Big Mac.

      Farago sums the Bristol up nicely here: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1333
        • 7 Years Ago
        Why? Because you don't like the cars and think they're overpriced? What better reason. Shut the doors now. Greg had a ride in one and thinks they suck. Fire the staff, sell the assets.
          • 7 Years Ago
          It isn't that the cars suck... it is that the cars are dangerous, outdated, underperforming pieces of utter tripe. A Kia sucks, but they have a place in the market. Bristol wraps the company in an enigma in order to pray on those who have nostalgic feelings for the venerable old name. Their business model is deceitful and pathetic- yes, they should shut the doors and walk away from this endeavor in shame at what they have allowed to happen to a great brand.

          And yea, that vehicle pictured in the post above? The low end version will run you a cool $250,000.
          • 7 Years Ago
          There is nothing deceitful about it. The people buying Bristols know exactly what they're getting and why. Most of them visit the factory when the car is being constructed and probably have the home phone numbers of everyone who works on their car. Bristols are simply not bought for the same reasons that folks buy any other car. Bristols are bought and driven by people with a different set of values than you and I.
    • Load More Comments