XCAR Reviews The Bristol Fighter: Video
Bristol being the company that it is, the fact that this brand new video is a review for a car that debuted in 2004 isn’t actually all that surprising. Bristols are rare, very, very rare, even if you go by the official figures, which are widely believed to hilariously optimistic. According to conservative estimates, there are a total of nine Bristol Fighters in existence, and Bristol has never been one to talk to the press. So it would take a while to track down one that you could review even if you devoted all of your time to it.
Even though the car is old, this is not an entirely irrelevant review, as Bristol is supposedly still making them. It does look pretty dated though, and Bristol’s habit of “borrowing” from the Germans is apparent in the big helpings of Mercedes-Benz 300SL slathered all over the bodywork. There are still things to like though, and the reviewer sings the car’s praises right from the start, particularly about the V-10 Viper-sourced engine, which certainly is worthy of praise. What he doesn’t mention is the price, but you can bet that it’s somewhere well above what nearly anyone would be willing to pay.
Even for a boutique British sportscar maker, Bristol is an exceedingly strange entity, as if Vector had been British and somehow stayed in business for decades. The company started off building airplanes, which worked well as a business model when there was a World War going on, but after WWII, a decision was made to transition into cars. With some help from the War Reparations Board, Bristol managed to get the rights to three BMW models, and then mixed them all together to make a new-ish car. The company would eventually move into designing its own cars, as well as cultivating an air of mystery about the company that helped justify the high prices. Not just anybody could buy a Bristol, you had to be referred by a friend, and the owner of the company still had final say on if you were worthy.
That sense of mystery can only work so well in the internet age, and Bristol went into receivership in 2011. It was back up and running before the end of the year, and is now said to be working on “Project Pinnacle,” the first new Bristol since the Fighter. It’s supposed to debut later this year, so look for reviews of it to pop up in about 11 more years.
You can read more about the Bristol Fighter here,