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Monday 6th January 2003


BLENHEIM SPEEDSTER

Bristol polish off the car they started in the 1950's

Click to enlarge...Those old blokes at Bristol were having a rummage around a dusty workshop recently and amongst the mouldy sandwiches and dusty old phone books they found a new car. Well an old car. A prototype from the early 1950's in fact which they've now updated and released.

This streamlined two-seater is believed to be have originated as a proposed replacement for the early 1950s Arnolt-Bristol with a Bristol 2-litre engine. Later they dropped in a Chrysler V-8 with an experimental fuel injection system. Much the same formula as that which produced the TVR Griffith and AC Cobra.

Bristol didn't see a market for such a car and it remained as a testbed for rebuilt engines and transmissions until being parked up some time in the ’70s and forgotten about.

In the late 1990s it was fully restored by Bristol personnel who revealed it was originally known as "The Bullet", on account of its generous performance.

Bristol in their curiously random manner have now decided to produce a modern interpretation using Blenheim components. Just 12-15 of these 'Blenheim Speedsters' will be made.

Click to enlarge...Styling is a subtly enhanced version of the original while the interior is all new. The speedster not only benefits from better looks but weighs some 350 kg less than the hideous Bristol Saloon.

A special 30 gallon fuel tank with twin race type fillers has been fitted to give the Speedster plenty of range for European jollies despite having a monstrous 5.9 litre Chrysler V8 under the bonnet. That's coupled to a four speed auto 'box.

Performance is brisk with 0-60 mph in around 5 secs and a top speed approaching 160 mph.

Bristol intend to sell this unique car at a stratospheric price of just under £150,000. Why Bristol is in business at all remains a mystery to us, so to suggest that these cars won't sell would be short sighted. British eccentricity at its best... or worst?

Link: www.bristolcars.co.uk