Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I was just reading their website and what fantastically british cars they make, although eek, the Fighter is up to £256,000! Still with up to 660 BHP, I guess its worth it - I wonder when Jezza will take one of these round the Top Gear test track. Maybe they wont let him have one, might spoil the company image!

Now I know what I will be saving up for atleast :)
Bristol Cars - SjB {P}
The Fighter looks like it took the rear styling queues directly from Marcos.
Bristol Cars - SjB {P}
queues = cues.

Jeez that was BAD!

Time for a beer! :-)
Bristol Cars - Citroënian {P}
They don't like Mr Clarkson, I don't think the Stig will be driving it anytime soon
Lee -- There\'s no place like
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Why dont they like him?
Bristol Cars - Citroënian {P}
On new Top Gear he claimed it was for making a comment that the cord that opens the glovebox was like that of a 1920s phone.

I rather suspect he gave a very bad review for the car overall.

That said, I don't imagine anyone buying a Bristol would take too much notice of JC
Lee -- There\'s no place like
Bristol Cars - blue_haddock
i really don't know how this company survives - the Bristol 3 model starts at £150k and looks like a dodgy kit car from the 1980's and well whilst the fighter does look more modern i think a quarter of a million is just stupid.

The website even looks like it's been knocked up by a school kid in his lunch break.
Bristol Cars - JH
Perhaps if we all held hamds LJKS would do a review for us.
Bristol Cars - Altea Ego
Lets hope not. Anyone who claims Bristols (the cars that is) are the finest automtive engineering is, well, off his trolley, even from the grave.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Bristol Cars - mare
Check out what they mean by hybrid engineering!

Bristol Cars - Happy Blue!
I think it was in the middle 1970s that LJKS reckoned the 412 was the 'best car in the world'. It looked fine for the period, but the modern ones look awful. Give me an MG with rubber bumpers instead!
Espada III - well if you have a family and need a Lamborghini, what else do you drive?
Bristol Cars - Lud
Grand, discreet, highly individual, very rare, handmade, fast and safe, narrow, good steering lock, reliable, repairable by any competent moror engineer, modifiable, thirsty and very, very expensive. Another advantage: no chav would be seen dead in one (they like nice narrow shutlines).

You'd have to have the bread, baby. I think the company's very snooty. If you want to try one they probably refer discreetly to the pre-owned examples some of which are almost affordable except for the thirst.
Bristol Cars - Altea Ego
Not that fast, not that safe, not that well handling, not that reliable, not that good looking (ever), in fact not much good for anything.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Bristol Cars - Lud
Yeah, well, we've had this conversation before more or less, quit bitching TVM and leave the op and me to our naive schoolboy enthusiasm... Cor! What'll she do mister?
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I used to know a rather wealthy gentleman who owned three cars:
1974 Rolls-Royce Corniche Coupe, Bristol Brigand and a Facel Vega.
He swore by the Bristol having had several over 40 years and when I asked him what he thought of the Rolls he had, he said it was okay but not well built enough for the money and too complex for a car that didnt have the highest standards of build.

He didnt have anything polite to say about the Facel other than it looked nice!

What you have to consider is that if the company is still afloat where all others have gone under, maybe whatever they do, they are doing it right?

And I read an article on Bristol featuring the current owner - his comments were of a man with petrol running through his veins so he gets my vote as how many car makers are run by petrolheads these days?
Bristol Cars - Peter C
I trip to the one showroom owned by Bristol and staffed by the MD is a wonderful experience. The Fighter looks amazing but of course not £250,000 worth. The Brigand is a charming concept. 2 Doors but still spacious. However it does need a through make over. The countless small changes over the last 40 years have not enhanced the design. The need a completely new model but what would be the cost? Anyone every seen a late model Bristol on the road ? I do wonder if there are any Fighters have been built beyond the prototype.


Bristol Cars - Lud
Friend of mine bought a Corniche once, apparently it broke down on the way to Cannes or somewhere, you had to have a good one. Last I saw he had a Mercedes 280.

That Chrysler V8, tweaked by Bristol in some cases, is an American thing lightly loaded. Goes on and on.

And for those who thgink it's slow, this is usable speed, quickly attainable, 135 or so unless you have a tweaked example. Bimmers and things may be able to wind out faster but how usable is it?

Bristol Cars - stevied
I think they're brilliant, how many companies could get away with charging that amount of money for a car with Vauxhall Senator rear lights? : ) Easy battery and spare wheel access too.

Inyterestingly, Noel Gallagher has one! Now, he's not a chav, but certainly not your average Bristol owner...

Richard Branson has them too.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I think the whole point of Bristols is restraint - its fast enough but not so fast that its unruly - if they make it a performance car, then it becomes common.

If they are good enough for Branson, they are good enough for me!

As for the styling, Bristols follow the same idea as Morgan, evolution rather than revolution - if it aint broke...

If I saw a Bristol in the street, I would know what it is so its brand identity isnt tainted by those rear lights!

Its like anything, style. How many people buy those awful Bangle BMW's that look like they have been in a car crusher? I like the traditional style of the Bristol and obviously enough people do to keep the company going.
Its an aquired taste for sure, but im 26 and ive aquired it - now ive got something to save up for in my retirement!
Bristol Cars - mrmender
hear hear stunorthants
and long may they continue
Bristol Cars - Lud
You see, stunorthants? We are not alone... Back among us and relaxing I trust mm?
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
If anyone sinterested I noticed that in the July edition of Classic Car & Sportscar, they are doing an feature on Bristol, driving all the models from the first ones, to present day and also interviewing the cuurent owner - should be an interesting article :) its out on the 6th of July.
Bristol Cars - stevied
I want one now... why are they so expensive?

Incidentally, on the subject of rear lights, starter for 10 what car are the rear lights on an Invicta from?

Split infinitives a go go. I'm tired, excuse me.
Bristol Cars - mare
Incidentally, on the subject of rear lights, starter for 10 what
car are the rear lights on an Invicta from?

I looked on Invicta's website - hardly any photo's of the rear. But from the one i found, i reckon they're last model VW Passat lights on their side.
Bristol Cars - stevied
10 points for mare!
Bristol Cars - local yokel
I had a boss many years ago who was the epitome of ex-public school, probably liked being spanked by matron etc. He had an idea that Bristol cars were underpriced, and appreciating classics, so bought some with the company's profits. Bristol prices reolutely failed to rise, yet the garaging and servicing costs went up by RPI x3. Sold at a loss in the end!

ISTR that the reason that it was not much wanted was that the 60s-70s era Bristol cars had Chevy lumps in them, and purist collectors wanted cars that were entirely the product of one factory/badge, not a kit/parts bin assembly job.
Bristol Cars - Dipstick
I'm concurring open-mouthed about the earlier website comment. It's utterly inconceivable to me how such a company can have such an appalling website.

To begin with, if I were spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on a car my confidence is unlikely to be boosted significantly by the inability of the provider to even spell the word satellite correctly.

Bristol Cars - mare
I'm concurring open-mouthed about the earlier website comment. It's utterly inconceivable
to me how such a company can have such an appalling

That's nothing: the RICS site is horrendous and looks like it was the first ever prototype site. Membership of 100,000 plus and income c£40m.

But that's not motoring. Sorry. The Bristol site is really rubbish isn't it.

The other thing that puzzled me is that the cars are made in Filton, Bristol, but servicing is in London. Fair enough is you're in the south east, but what a pain from everywhere else.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I think you will probobly find that like Rolls-Royce/Bentley, they will collect the car from your house or your work place and probobly provide you with a courtesy car ( I used to work for a Rolls main dealer and they laid it on thick for their customers as a small service was still best part of £1000 and they could afford to ).
The dealer I worked for collected cars from hundreds of miles away via transporter, covered if it was requested. So the main dealer being in London wouldnt be an issue. I would also doubt that they service the cars at the London showroom - usually with the smaller companies they do it at the factory although i could be wrong on this so dont shoot me :). They may even have a more centrally located servicing workshop.

I think Rolls customers used to get either a Lexus LS or an Audi A8 from memory.

I too think that website is shameful, especially given how lovely the cars are and the minimal cost of setting up a good site.

Ah well, maybe we should all email Bristol and see what happens - its the kind of company that is small enough that someone of significance may take note atleast.
Bristol Cars - Altea Ego
The cars are as bad as the web site.

Its a real case of Emperor's new clothes going on here.

Case in point - Go to this web page
Look at the picture on this page (remembering this is an advertising picture, the best they do) Now cast your eyes along the styling crease along the side where it meets the door. (now I am not sure where they go this door from but I think its from another car?)

HELLO - KNOCK KNOCK wake up and smell the coffee guys - this, by any stretch of the imagination, is a picture of a BADLY MADE SHED

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Bristol Cars - Dipstick
I generally know better than to voice an opinion on here - but in this case...yep. They are horrid horrid horrid.

In MY opinion.

Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Well thats what it comes down to really, its a matter of opinion.

I can never understand why anyone would ever want to buy a Ford Ka - its the most ridiculous car I have ever seen - it looks like Reebok designed a trainer and Ford bought the design and put wheels on it, yet people buy them. And they rust. But thats just my opinion.

That new Honda Civic on the otherhand, now that catches my eye everytime I see one.

On the matter of taste, I have two customers with Jaguar XK's, both female. One has the standard 4.2 covertible in blue with gold wheels ( Jaguar ones ) with pink jaguar symbols on the centre caps. The other has a slightly later special edition XKR in dark grey metallic with multispoke silver polished alloys.

Basically the same car but one looks like it belongs to a nightclub owner and one outside a country house - point being that even a lovely car like the XK can be spolit with taste, or lack of it but its in the eye of the beholder.
Bristol Cars - Altea Ego
No No you miss the point. Its not a matter of opinion. Look at that door and the way the lines dont match up. Its shoddy shoddy shoddy

Reliant Roibins had beeter fit and finish.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Bristol Cars - bell boy
Case in point - Go to this web page

HELLO - KNOCK KNOCK wake up and smell the coffee guys - this, by any stretch of the imagination, is a picture of a BADLY MADE SHED


yes that picture is diabolical,im going to look at the website now...............wish me look............

Bristol Cars - bell boy
well ive looked at the "official website" and ive got to say its a time warp its like jasper carrot said "its so bad its brilliant.
Love the speedsters looks ..........
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Im not sure about that picture - if the door was that badly fitted, they wouldnt have taken a photo of it. Personally, I think its a trick of the light and background reflecting on the car.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I just looked at another picture of the same car and that same door looks straight as it should be from that angle so I think its mearly a trick of the light in the other photo.
Bristol Cars - nick
Agreed, a trick of the light. Poor show to use such a bad photo though.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I think that fact that you dont like the car is why you see shoddy workmanship in a poor photo. You werent one of those people who saw WMD in photos of Iraq were you? lol
Bristol Cars - Altea Ego
And your glasses are what shade of rose?

Trick of the light my whatsit
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Bristol Cars - blue_haddock
Im not sure about that picture - if the door was
that badly fitted, they wouldnt have taken a photo of it.

But when you look at the quality of their website i wouldn't be suprised. I also wouldn't be suprised if the brochure was just a black and white A4 photocopy.
Bristol Cars - bell boy
a photocopy of a photocopy maybe?
Bristol Cars - Lud
Some of you guys remind me of people who look offended if one's shirt collar isn't neatly spread outside one's v-neck sweater.

Hey, don't worry about it. Ugly old Bristols churning slowly around with idiots at the wheel. Why should you worry as you cruise around at or slightly below the speed limit in your two-year-old wine gums? It's obvious who's in the majority.

Thousands and thousands of kings of the road.
Bristol Cars - Lud
And my dear, have you SEEN the website? Sooooooo seventies!
Bristol Cars - Xileno {P}
Long live Bristol, Bristols and Bristolians (and their lingo)
Bristol Cars - mare
Gert lush my babba
Bristol Cars - Mudguts
This subject came up a while ago.

I've pretty much set my heart on an LS 400 in a year or so but should I come into enough money, I would consider a Bristol above a Bentley, which I was also thinking of.

At least they are British, although having said that, a Lexus is Japanese and Bentley is German.

These cars aren't about value for money, if you want that you should get a Ford.

If you want to feel like one of the 'Thousands and thousands of kings of the road.' ... get an Audi or VW.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Id have a Hispano-Suiza V12 if I could afford one, but then I have a thing for 1930's luxury cars :)

Prob why I have a thing for handbuilt luxury cars :)
Bristol Cars - blue_haddock
Actually the more i think about things if i get 6 numbers up tomorrow i might buy a couple of them.

You can't beat a nice pair of bristols......

I'll get my coat.
Bristol Cars - Group B
This link wouldnt work the other day, but seems to work now:

This Blenheim review is a bit more forgiving:

I know they're the last British owned luxury car maker and all that, and long may they continue, but why oh why can't they get someone to do a decent job of styling them? Reminds me of that Ssangyong Rodius where someone said (might have been Top Gear), "It was styled by a Brit, looks like he designed it over the phone!"...

If I had enough money for a Bristol I think I'd buy a late '60's yank (similar chassis technology, engine size and rarity in the UK?), have it converted to right hand drive, then buy a villa in France with the change.

All IMHO of course, I know I'm a prole and I'm missing the point entirely!..
Bristol Cars - barchettaman
The picture on the C4 link makes it look like a booted Capri.
Bristol Cars - mike hannon
My bank manager had a Bristol - the guy who sold me the 'can't go wrong' endowment mortgage. (You know who you are...)
At least LJK Setright must be in Honda Prelude heaven.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I think the conclusion is that it is a car that you either love or loath.
The older Bristols are far better looking than the current ones and by older I mean 1960's. Thats what id have if I was going to buy one. Good ones are about £12-15k, so not any more expensive than their contempory rivals of the day.
Bristol Cars - Lud
Stu: you are spot on. But the best ones are the 401 and 403, both fifties I think. Among the most beautiful looking cars ever made, and they went well as well as lasting well, although of course they weren't super-fast. However they could keep up with most things and after 20 hours flat out the driver might be in a better state than he or she would have been in many other cars.

However to get a good one now, with shell bearings, 140bhp and ideally disc brakes, along with new suspension and the chassis to hang it on, wd cost quite a lot, more than 15K unless you were an engineer and did it yourself...
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
I think you will find that the 401-403 had a 2-litre 85-105 BHP engine, built 1948-55. These have a guide price of £20-35k.
I prefer the more modern looking 407-411 which were the first of the V8's with 250 BHP, built 1961-1976. The best ones are in the £15-17k area - i think the earlier ones are a little too vintage for me.
The square 412 is hideous ( 1976-82 ) although I saw a low mileage one in immaculate condition at a dealer for £13k and it looked better in the flesh than in pictures.

Interestingly, the chassis on the current cars is much the same as the 1940's ones - atleast Morgan know they are not alone!
Bristol Cars - johncyprus
My mother's uncle bought a Bristol the 405 Zagato new in circa 1955 ( one of only six made if I remember correctly ). He sold it in 1972 to none other than LJK Setright for not much more than the price of a new BMW 2002 which was his next vehicle.I could have had it but at 17 years old a Austin Healey Sprite was more desirable at the time. If only.............
Bristol Cars - Mudguts
I'm interested in the quality of these cars. When you hear about Aston Martins not being so good in this area you wonder what the attraction is when you could have a MB or whatever.

I know they are good but are they actually that good?

...and how well do they last and wear? I've brought this point up before but If you take depreciation (compared to other luxury cars) out of the equation and just examine running costs are they a good buy?

Sadly it seeems to me that the more I look, the more I would see what they don't have in the way of safety, etc.
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Bristols are certainly not mainstream cars - ask yourself this - does a Morgan buyer worry more about side impact safety or the fact that they have got the car they always wanted - these type of cars are bought with the heart, not the head, thats why there is such a divide of opinion on them.

If you want the latest technology, you buy a eurobox.

There is a certain type of person out there, who is willing to forego modern features in a car that they are passionate about - look at the classic car movement - id not want to have an accident in an E-Type, but it wouldnt stop me buying one if I wanted one - there are many risks in life and its what your willing to accept.
If you frequently have accidents, perhaps its something to consider more important than those of us who dont ( not you personally but there are people out there who do seem to attract bent metal situations! )
Bristol Cars - Lud
I think you will find that the 401-403 had a 2-litre
85-105 BHP engine, built 1948-55.

An engine stolen from prewar BMW design, with long thin inclined pushrods... But could be tweaked to put out up to 140bhp in such cars as AC Ace-Bristol and Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica (a fabulous vintage-looking post-war car like the Healey Silverstone which used a Riley 4-cyl 2.5 litre engine). Obviously if you cd afford a fully restored 401 for modern road conditions you might choose a bit of added urge too, as well as putting on radial tyres and doing a disc brake conversion. Not for real purists of course.
Bristol Cars - Adam {P}

I'm sorry - but there is no way, no way whatsoever that I could pay so much for a car that had Vauxhall Senator rear lights.

Bristol Cars - stunorthants
So you wouldnt buy an Aston Martin either then? If you judge cars by the parts bin raiding? Mondeo drivers are quite at home in an Aston lol
Bristol Cars - Adam {P}
It would depend how blatent the parts bin raiding was. I mean, if they decided to put Scorpio lights on it, then no. I wouldn't.

I wouldn't by a Noble either because it has Mondeo rear lights.

(I'm never going to be faced with this problem though.)
Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Beauty is many times skin deep with cars as with women lol

Still, I rather liked the Senator!
Bristol Cars - Adam {P}
My Dad's mate used to buy Senators all the time before Omegas became cheap. Quick comfy cars. But they don't (and didn't!) cost more than a house!
Bristol Cars - Lud
Adam, why on earth not?

Setting aside the fact that you have to be some kind of anorak to recognise the things, do you think they look worse on a Bristol than a Senator? Or wd you be afraid some of your millionaire pals (in this positive situation in which you would be able to afford a new Bristol) might jeer at you, e.g. 'My Bentley has special rear light mouldings cost a grand each to go with its VW engine'?

If you think they look carp, well and good They look fine to me given the overall slightly don't-give-a-damn bland styling of the Bristol. But if your objection is based on their being made for a Vauxhall I have no sympathy. Pure snobbery. Unworthy of you my dear fellow.
Bristol Cars - Lud
Oh my god, the dread filter strikes again. What I didn't mean was prostitutative.
Bristol Cars - Adam {P}
At the risk of sounding anoraky (?);

Lud old boy - the Senator rear lights were alright. I don't mind them apart from them looking a little dated now but on anything other than early nineties saloon, they look rubbish.

If I had the money to buy a Blenheim or whatever it is, I'm ashamed to say, I'd be unhappy showing my pals what is, effectively, a Senator. But if I had that much money, I could afford to be a snob!

>.Pure snobbery. Unworthy of you my dear fellow.<<

Very kind of you to say so sir!

Bristol Cars - Group B
Lud old boy - the Senator rear lights were alright. I
don't mind them apart from them looking a little dated now

I agree with what you're saying Adam. Its like the TVR Griffith was a good looking car with a monster V8 engine, but it had Cavalier hatchback rear lights mounted upside down.

Nothing wrong with the fact they were made by Vauxhall, but for me they didnt suit a little 2 seat sports car. They got their act together with the Chimaera though, a better looking car IMO.
Bristol Cars - henry k
TVR Griffith was a good looking car ...but it had Cavalier hatchback rear lights mounted upside down.
Nothing wrong with the fact they were made by Vauxhall, but
for me they didnt suit a little 2 seat sports car.

Or even older, what do I spy here?
Bristol Cars - Group B
Or even older, what do I spy here?

Mark 1 Cortina on the right, and are they Mark 2 Cortina on the left? They'd be better off with some basic individual dome lights like the maroon thing in the bottom right corner, IMHO.

yours anorakily,
Bristol Cars - Lud
I agree Rich. The Mk 1 Cortina lights look seriously carp on the TVR. Might be better with the chrome painted, but really they're too big and the wrong shape.

I still think the Vauxhall lights look fine on the Bristol though.
Bristol Cars - mrmender
Well stunorthants hornets nest and stirring are the words that spring to mind!
I think a lot of of what has been said here is a bit of a sad reflection on A) the brish people and B) the once great British motor industry
I'm certain on a similar french motoring forum they would NOT be critisising a similar french car
If i had the money i'd buy one for the very fact they exisit, and are still made all be it with American mechanicals in the UK.
A interesting point was made on radio 4 this morning with a reporter standing in Trafalgar Sq counting all the england world cup flags on cars going past. He then stated the make of cars. BMW, VW, Mutsubishi etc. He then suggested that if us Brits were a bit more patriotic in our motoring choices we would still have a home motor industry!
He then went onto interview a distinguished chap who owned a Bristol, he stated that a Bristol owner would NEVER show a England flag as driving one was good enough!
Before anybody starts i DO NOT want to start a argument about the fall of the British motor industry!
Bristol Cars - Lud
I'm not arguing mm, but surely it was the management and workers in the car industry who were lacking in patriotism, not the buyers? We don't need to repeat everything to remind ourselves that badly designed and badly made products will be rejected by buyers if something more up-to-date and performing is available from abroad. Sad but true. Obsessed with themselves and each other, bean-counting managers and rather spoilt (by world standards at the time) workers shouldered proper engineers and the actual consumers on whom they depended off the stage. One thing sort of led to another.

Of course wages in Europe are on the high side for profitable tin-bashing these days. That has been a factor more recently.

Bristol Cars - stunorthants
Im actually pleased that such a little known make of car can stir up such interest and discussion!
I think that the British car industry is likely to become specialist only manufacturers, but they do come out with some fantastic cars once in a while, and how many countries can boast that they have a car maker who still churns out cars which have been sparingly developed since the 1950's ( Morgan ) and they still sell well.
Its what we are good at so the least we can do is support those that are left and the new ones that crop up like Noble who seem to be very well regarded.
Bristol will always be there I think - the reason the cars are so expensive is that the cars are handbuilt which is labour intensive and the type of person who buys them really doesnt care about the cost - its that old saying ' if you need to ask, you cant afford it'.
I should imagine the customer service is not quite what a Ford customer would be used to, if even remotely similar. As I understand it, many Bristols are bought as long term purchases and this is bourne out by how few are on the secondhand market at any one time - plus as Im sure some of you will point out, they dont develop the cars much so theres little gain in buying a newer model!
Bristol Cars - Mudguts
I wonder how the lifetime running costs compare to that of a Mondeo or Vectra for example, that is changed every 3 years to keep up with the Joneses.

The only problem would be finding the £100K + in the first place. After that though, other than higher fuel and servicing costs and bearing in mind the resale value, I bet they make more sense than at first it seems.
Bristol Cars - Lud
I wonder how the lifetime running costs compare to that of
a Mondeo or Vectra for example, that is changed every 3
years to keep up with the Joneses.
The only problem would be finding the £100K + in the
first place. After that though, other than higher fuel and servicing
costs and bearing in mind the resale value, I bet they
make more sense than at first it seems.

That's what Bristol, and owners, say. It can be kept going for ever. It's a well-heeled person's car though, no doubt about it, although Bristol sells second-hand approved examples for, I believe, quite a lot less than 100k, and will then look after them for you.

Of course here we are talking about V8 Bristols, not the much more exquisite 2-litre ones.

Ask Honest John

Value my car