The Bristol brand can be described as the modern odd fellow. Little-known and elite, imperceptible, but constant, small, but nevertheless surprisingly powerful, self-proclaimed last completely British car maker shared some aspects of genesis and development with other producers of cars.
Bristol cars were result of the joint post-war venture of 1945 between the Bristol Aeroplane (BAC) and AFN Ltd company., producer of Frazer Nash cars. The end of World War II resulted in shortage of planes and ammunition, having forced a set of plants to be closed or transform their assembly lines for satisfaction of new requirements. Being amazed with bombardment and unplanned delays of pre-war projects, many producers of cars very slowly "recovered", involuntarily occupying other market niches.
Watching closely new opportunities in use of the excessive labor acquired during war, BAC opened own division of cars in cooperation with AFN. Brothers of Aldington, HJ and AD, were deprived of the privilege of the full management of the company after Reginald Verdon-Smith and George Middleton White became board members. Both were sons of directors of BAC. HJ Aldington eventually lost Reginald which was elected by the chairman while the first was appointed the new managing director of the company.
At that time Aldington didn't dump from itself shoulder straps of the British army yet and, using the military position, it visited strongly destroyed BMW plants, from where it took away drawings and plans of engines which I used in production of the Bristol brand later. The former engineer of BMW Fritz Fiedler also "was taken aboard" to the Bristol company.
Though everything was ready to start development and production of models under the Bristol brand, both parties went in the different ways as a result of the disturbing disagreements. 1947 marked emergence of the first Bristol car, the Bristol 400 model, unconditional embodiment of skill of BMW. Imitating earlier BMW 327, the car represented mix from 3 various BMW models, with the engine and a forward suspension bracket, taken from model 328, and a back suspension bracket from model 326. Actually, Bristol 400 practically didn't differ from original design of BMW, having created its invariable double front grille.
The British producer continued to derive inspiration from the BMW models till 1961 when 6-cylinder BMW engines were replaced with big Chrysler V8 engines. Changes were made not because samples of equipment of BMW already bothered, most likely, it turned out to be consequence of the growing need for big engines which could accelerate larger cars. Since then all Bristol cars were equipped with Chrysler engines, including latest models, such as Blenheim and Fighter.1 - 49
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