We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 5 Oct 2016 04:52 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Re-introducing: The Bristol Bullet

The Bristol Aeroplane Company helped win helped win two world wars. Now, it wants to win back its customers after 10-years in bankruptcy

Re-introducing: The Bristol Bullet

The Bristol Aeroplane Company helped win helped win two world wars. Now, it wants to win back its customers after 10-years in bankruptcy

The Bristol Aeroplane Company started in 1910. It was a pioneer in the flying game (the Wright brothers had only just sustained flight in 1903) which made it uniquely suited to supply aircraft to the British when the First World War broke out. But when the firing stopped, so did the orders for warplanes. Bristol was forced to diversify to stay in business, taking work making chassis for a variety of cars and buses.

Having managed to stay afloat through the interwar years, the Second World War ushered in a whole new level of aerial conflict. While the Bristol Aeroplane Company hurriedly churned out fighter planes and engines, plans were underway for the eventual launch of Bristol Cars in the peacetime.

The idea was to put together powerful motors with the same attention to detail as its aircraft.

 

In 1946 Bristol Cars was born, and quickly gained a reputation for performance. Within its first decade, it had earned first, second and third place finishes at Le Mans.

But the late 1950s saw its parent company merge with British Aerospace, leaving the car business behind. Without its guidance, it was no longer able to produce its own engines (instead, buying specially-built Chrysler V8s) and production went down. It still made a select few cars – with names like Blenheim and Beaufighter, a nod to the company's fighter aircraft heritage – but only in very small numbers. Until, the Bullet.

The car takes its name from a 1920s biplane – and is the first to be produced by Bristol Cars since it was rescued from administration by investors in 2011. Again, Bristol has had to buy in an engine, a BMW V8 (but when it's powerful enough to hit speeds of 100-kilometres-per-hour in under four seconds, who's complaining?).

 

The car is being officially launched this month, with first models going on sale in 2017. Only 70 are being built – a nod to the company's 70th birthday this year – and will cost around US$330,000.

 

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.
arw 3 years ago

love it