Bristol Cars is liquidated to repay creditors millions in debt
Bristol Cars, a British brand once known for creating some beautiful and high-quality hand-built luxury performance cars, is now being liquidated after a long period of financial turmoil.
On 5 March this year, it was announced Bristol Cars had officially wound up. This comes after the initial Winding Up Order was made against five group companies on 22 January, which was countered with an application to rescind the order. This application was then dismissed on 28 February.
Court-ordered liquidation is now officially underway, with Frost and Wadsted being appointed as joint liquidators. Jeremy Frost and Patrick Wadsted of Frost Group Ltd (Business insolvency specialists) were appointed on 3rd February.
If you are unfamiliar with Bristol Cars, they’re a British automaker that dates back to 1945. During their 75 years of operation, the company has produced some rather unique cars that have their own identity and style. Many of BC’s cars were praised for having excellent handling, build quality and an unmistakable feeling of luxury.
Ironically, Bristol Cars’ first models stole a lot from some pre-war BMW models. We’re not talking about some overlapping design features or a similar paint colour either. A director of Bristol Aeroplane Company (Bristol Cars before they made cars) gained access to a bombed BMW factory in Munich after the war using his military connections. This director, HJ Aldington, then proceeded to take BMW plans back to Britain and used them to create Bristol Cars’ first model, the Bristol 400.
The Bristol 400 had a grille very similar to pre-war BMW’s and also sat upon a chassis based on BMW’s 326, an engine with a similar design to the one found in the BMW 328 and a body similar to the BMW 327.
Bristol Cars soon ditched the unoriginal kidney grille design and began making their own cars, with more unique styling and components. Cars such as the Bristol 407, Type 603 and the most recent Bristol Fighter all exhibited exemplary build quality and exquisite styling for a very niche clientele. Know best for their bespoke manufacturing and distinguished set of skills found within the company, Bristol Cars became a British icon and one that will be sorely missed.
“It is with regret that we have seen another iconic UK brand failing to deliver in a changing world. We have already received numerous enquires relating to the company’s assets and we are hopeful that we will be able to salvage some value for Creditors as well as allow some memory of a former giant of British Industry to remain.”Jeremy Frost, Director of Frost Group Ltd
Starting off as Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1910 as the first aircraft works in the UK to be organised and financed on an industrial scale, Bristol Cars has come a long way from its beginnings.
The Bristol Bullet was the last car made by the company and was revealed to the public at Goodwood in 2016. Codenamed Project Pinnacle, this cool-looking sports car was powered by a 4.8-litre BMW V8 and was styled as an hommage to the Bristol 405 Drophead coupé. Hand-built production was due to start in Chichester in 2017 but never happened due to financial difficulties.
Although we can expect to never see another new Bristol again, we can still appreciate the ones that do exist and watch them age with grace as the years go by. Their legacy of extreme quality in their building methods and an unusual and unique aesthetic will live on through the ages.
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