New buyer sees rebirth of Bristol Cars at Filton

April 26, 2011 by
Filed under: News 

Bristol Cars

Kamkorp Autokraft, part of the Frazer-Nash group, has acquired the assets and goodwill of Bristol Cars, the luxury car manufacturer, from its administrators. This acquisition will re-establish the connection between Bristol Cars and Frazer-Nash which dates back to Frazer-Nash’s close involvement in the foundation of Bristol Cars 65 years ago.

“Bristol Cars is a British institution and an important part of our national motoring heritage,” said William Chia, the group’s Director of Operations. “Over the next few months we will start to reveal the details of our plans to combine Bristol Cars’ tradition and iconic marque with Frazer-Nash’s pioneering technology to showcase our cutting-edge electric and range-extended powertrains. British engineers are globally recognised for their inventions and the quality of their innovation – and these attributes are inherent in all our systems and products.  Mindful of Bristol Cars’ rich heritage and our responsibility as custodians of the brand, we are certain that our technology will blend seamlessly and successfully with the Bristol Cars tradition of engineering integrity.”

Bristol Cars, which has its factory at Filton, is the only luxury car manufacturer that remains in private British hands, which the company says gives absolute independence of thought and action that is essential. Despite the small production volume it offers four distinct models covering a wide range of styles and functions. The Fighter and Blenheim remain the primary offerings, while the Speedster and its new cousin the Roadster, which offers a folding top and two plus two seating, continue – in very small numbers and to special order.

The Series 6 range is not strictly new as it is based on an older classic donor car but combines a restoration with extensive modifications that incorporate modern electrics and powertrain. Interestingly, although the Series 6 option (using the same technology and running gear as the Blenheim 3) was originally offered only for the 411, the company is producing both 410 and 603 Series 6 variants and expects to build a 412 Series 6.

In order to serve the demand for ‘as new’ versions of classic cars it is currently starting the build of a 405 drop-head with an uprated 6 cylinder engine and with a steel body frame instead of the original wood. This will not only ensure its longevity but ensure that it cannot be confused with a 1950s production version.

The company’s roots are from the end of World War II when the Bristol Aeroplane Company was faced with the problem of how to use its excess capacity and keep its many employees busy.

In 1960 it was persuaded to join with others to form the British Aircraft Corporation (later British Aerospace). At that time the car division (Bristol Cars Ltd) passed into private hands but the staff are still deliberately drawn from an aviation background at Filton.

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