Bristol Cars market a stunning 402 ‘Hollywood Special’ just as they prepare to move into a new showroom and launch their first new model since 2003
This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Bristol Cars and at a time just before the company unveils its new showroom in Kensington and launches its first new model since 2003, the firm is also marketing a truly stunning model in the form of a 1949 Bristol 402.
The car on offer, a drophead variant of the Bristol 401, is the sixth out of just twenty-two produced and was first owned by Prince Varnand Dhavah Chudadhu, a famed Spitfire pilot and nephew of King Vajiravudh Rama VI of Thailand. It was kept at his Berkshire residence until 1956 when it was taken to Northern Ireland by a new owner. Returned to England in 1984, the surf blue with cream hide interior car is described as being in a “good usable condition” but capable of undergoing “some sympathetic restoration”. It is priced at £175,000.
Bristol Cars, like most British motor manufacturers, itself is a company that suffered a rocky history in the second half of the twentieth century. The firm, founded in 1945, was originally part of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and produced some stunning hand-built vehicles between the 1940s and 1970s, somewhat lost its way in the 1990s and 2000s and was put into administration in 2011.
With a new owner in the form of Frazer Nash, Bristol is now heralding a new era. Last year, at the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in London, Bristol Cars announced a new model for 2015 dubbed ‘Project Pinnacle’.
At the time, the firm’s chairman, Sir George White, commented:
“2015 will mark Bristol Cars’ 70th year, and these announcements underline today’s very exciting times at the company. Project Pinnacle signifies the re-birth of the brand with a design and character respectful of the company’s rich heritage in Great Britain – in aviation, commercial and luxury automotive – delivered with a modern approach to performance and comfort”.
“This car, along with the investments in Kensington and Brentford, not to mention the advanced development of an all-new super-luxury grand tourer, all make for a very bright and promising future for this company that I hold so dear”.
With notable owners past and present having included President Jimmy Carter, the restaurateur Jeremy King and the designer Paul Smith, Bristol has always been a firm that has attracted what The Telegraph have termed “the wealthy and the discreet”. Now, it seems, it is also a firm that is finally back on track.
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