Bristol Fighter, 2004
Bristol Fighter, year 2004. Colour blue metallic with a cognac leather interior. This magnificent and scarce Bristol Fighter is one of the last prototypes built by the factory. The last known sales price was 235.000 GBP. This magnificent Bristol Fighter is powered by a Chrysler V10 engine and the car sports a manual 6-speed gearbox and 'limited slip' differential.
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The firm Bristol was founded in the year 1910 by the name Bristol aero plane company. The company built amongst others the famous Bristol Blenheim bomber airplane which was used during world war two. In the years during the second world war the managing board at Bristol decided to branch out to building automobiles once the war had ended. In 1944 the first prototype was ready and in 1947 the first Bristol automobile saw the light of day; the Bristol 400. The 400 was mechanically based upon the prewar BMW two litre. The BMW six cylinder engines were built under license by Bristol and the engines were also sold to Cooper, Frazer Nash and AC.
All Bristol automobiles which would follow over the years were constructed with an aluminium "Super Leggera" bodywork which was mounted on a separate steel chassis. The six cylinder models succeeding the Bristol 400 were the 403 en 404 in 1953, de 405 in 1955, de 406 in 1958 (the 406 was the first Bristol with disk brakes all round).
Starting with the Bristol 407, which was introduced in the year 1961, Bristol fitted American Chrysler V8 "big block" engines to their cars. These very powerful and reliable engines formed a perfect combination with the large, heavy and very luxurious Bristol automobiles and gave them sports car performance.
People who can afford a Bristol are humans who can buy the most expensive Rolls Royce, Bentley or Maybach. They prefer the very exclusive but modest Bristol because they treasure the craftsmanship, quality and potential of the Bristol. They treasure and enjoy where and what they are in life and they do not need an external symbol to show that.
Following bankruptcy in the year 2011 Bristol Cars was taken over by a industrial investment group of which also the renown make of Frazer Nash is part. Since the take over Bristol is in business again. Bristol owners can fall back on the Service Department in London and the parts inventory from the factory.
The Bristol Fighter is extensively described in the book 'BRISTOL CARS/a very British story' by Christopher Balfour and published by Haynes Publishing. In this book the concept, the design, the construction as well as the driving experience of the Fighter is described.
In the book one of the long test drives by Toby Silverton (the owner of Bristol cars - and also the initiator of the Fighter) is described as following:
“Mr. Silverton had left early from Monaco and headed north. Partly on account of size - those sparse 1795 mm of width - the drive through the Alps was a delight. By the time he had reached Stuttgart he had traversed seven countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland) and then it was all the way on often unrestricted autobahns to Hamburg, Where traffic was light he would be cruising at 180 mph with occasional bursts on a clear road above 200 mph. He reckoned that for the last three hours or so he was averaging 140 mph”.
Chrysler V10 engine
cylinder capacity: 7996 cc.
capacity: 525 bhp. at 5600 rpm.
gearbox: 6-speed, manual
top-speed: 340 km/h.
acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4 seconds
Chassis: steel 'box chassis'
bodywork: aluminium/carbon fiber composite
dimensions: L 4.42 x B 1.79 x H 1.34 meter
weight: 1500 kg.