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Bristol Reviews

The Bristol Aeroplane Company decided to move into the car-making business after WW2 following a drop in demand for its 'planes, and finding itself with ample spare production capacity. It acquired the rights to the various pre-war BMW models, and was soon building the streamlined, fast and luxurious 403 using aviation principles of construction.

The prestige machines continued, being expensively handmade in small numbers for well-heeled customers. Chrysler V8 engines were introduced with the 407 of 1961. 1970s, '80s and '90s saw less new model development, although Bristol was an early adopter of both turbochargers and LPG fuel. The 200mph Fighter was a sensational development in 2007. Rescued from administration by Frazer-Nash Engineering group in 2011.

Good: Beautiful build quality, fast and refined for its modest six-cylinder engine, parts commonality with pre-war BMWs
Bad: Not the easiest car to work on or restore - although the factory is very obliging
Good: Elegant and capable high speed tourer
Bad: Lack of shoulder room, challenging gearchange
Good: Sweet coupe that majored on handling and high speed cruising over all-out pace
Bad: Still a lack of performance compared with contemporaries such as the Jaguar XK120
Good: It was a four-door coupe 50 years before the Germans claimed this market sector as their own
Bad: Not as roomy as you would hope
Good: The modern Bristol style begins here and is almost impossibly elegant in its unadultered form
Bad: Most people would prefer the 407 which looks the same but boasts Chrysler V8 power
Good: V8 muscle completely transforms the character of the Bristol without taking away any of its identity, still as well-built and silent as speed as ever
Bad: It's not a cheap car to fuel
Good: Roomy, supremely comfortable, commanding driving position, beautful build quality, woofling V8
Bad: The looks aren't to everyone's taste
Good: Open-topped motoring, V8 soundtrack, Beaufighter's turbocharged urge
Bad: Most people would say it looks like a breeze block
Good: Massively fast and effortless, masses of road present, wonderful build quality
Bad: Huge thirst, challenging styling