• Mar 4, 2011
Ultra-exclusive luxury sports car manufacturer Bristol has gone into administration after running into financial trouble. According to the BBC, Tom MacLennan and Trevor Binyon of RSM Tenon have been named joint administrators of the storied English marque, which has been peddling its cars through a single showroom in London since 1946.

The company, famed for its Blenheim and Fighter sports cars, switched from building planes to cars after World War II and gained notoreity as a low-volume builder of bespoke rides for the British upper crust.

The new company administration is reportedly shopping the brand to investors and are confident the brand can be saved, thanks in part to its prestige and history as a uniquely English product. Despite the company's current woes and resulting layoffs, sales and service will continue so customers aren't hung out to dry. Thanks for the tip, Philip!

[Source: BBC]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      They claim to use the Chrysler 5.9 (360) that has been out of production since 2003. They must have a warehouse full of them. Why? When they could be using the 392?
        • 3 Years Ago
        I believe the Blenheim is still using the V-8. The Fighter has the V-10.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not a surprising turn of events. I've been wondering about Bristol and how it's been affected by the economic downturn. I won't mention it's insane business model since everyone here already and in greater detail than I would have. I'll only comment that I'm not even sure that the compnay built any cars at all in the last few years.

      Personally, I think the company would be a good investment for anyone willing to give it a go and make it more profitable. It's brand identity is second to none and it's reputation is something that can't be bought. I think that with a little marketing about how "Not everyone can own a Bristol" would make it THE car to own for the rich and famous. You wouldn't even have to redesign the cars or anything, simply improve build quality, fit and finish, and add some modern accoutrements. Oh, and a decent Hemi engine wouldn't hurt either.

      • 3 Years Ago
      This is a brand whose products are so exclusive, they make Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maybach and Bugatti seem common by comparison. Add to this a single showroom, and a policy which states in so many words: You can only buy or sell your car through us. If you sell to anyone else without our permission, you will be banned from buying another Bristol forever. And until recently, the media were not allowed to test drive or review cars, unless an owner brave enough to weather the wrath of Bristol management (that is, be forever banned from buying another Bristol) let someone borrow his.

      Oh, of course, you have to live in Britain to buy one.

      Sounds like a good recipe to go bankrupt, no matter how long you've been in business.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Probably because Clarkson's review of the Bristol Blenheim 3G was absolutely scathing. It was also one of the funniest things he has ever written.

        I really can't see what all the hype is about. Sure they are rare, but underneath that skin you get an old Chrysler V8
        • 3 Years Ago
        You're right. But, well, DAT ASS.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Also, you cannot buy a Bristol if the owner doesn't like you, or you know people he doesn't like, for example Jeremy Clarkson.

        I'm impressed it's been in business as long as it has.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Normally I could care less about whether exotics live or die, but I

      have to admit that the Bristol pictured above is so incredibly beautiful that it

      would be a shame to let it expire.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "a uniquely English product" should be followed by "using Chrysler powertrains."
      • 3 Years Ago
      The British cottage industry makes some beautiful cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bristol's business model: 2 models on ancient platforms, hand built $416,000 (Fighter S) with shoddy fit and finish. Only published annual production of 104 cars (1982). One show room. Incenstuous client base. Can't get into the showroom with out referrals. Wondered why it failed....
      • 3 Years Ago
      The end of an era. Not that I would ever own one if I had the money, but I had respect for their pervasiveness.
      • 3 Years Ago
      So now only Morgan remains to carry the Union Jack (without diluted international ownership).
        • 3 Years Ago
        there are a few still alive such as Ariel (atom), Ultima ,Radical , Invicta , Westfield ,Ginetta , keating,Noble and a unknown company callled Mclaren
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope they make it. The automotive world needs these quirky marks.
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