Blenheim Speedster

2.jpg (56892 bytes)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.

1.jpg (71842 bytes)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?


Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • grahambell 06 Jan 2003

    Yep, older Bristols are definitely much better looking than newer ones. Oh stop sniggering.

    Now if only they'd produce an updated version of the Bristol Zagato.

  • MikeyT 06 Jan 2003

    This piece is finished off with the comment, why are Bristol still in business? HOW, would be a more appropriate word!

    Who buys these cars? Does anybody know? I think I read somewhere that a pop star bought one?

    Surely their 'Chairman of a 1950s-style nationalised conglomerate type customer' has all but disappeared – wouold you put your hand up to owning one? I know I wouldn't. I remember reading a test of one in 'Motor' in aout the mid-70s. It was awful then and I can't think it's improved much ...

    Are the buyers from the USA?

  • RichardR 06 Jan 2003

    Bristol must be the most pointless motor company in existence. Primarily a manufacturer of ugly, vastly overpriced saloons, they've obviously now decided to stretch the bounds of pointlessness even further and produced a vastly overpriced roofless saloon with an aero-screen, modelled on a 1950s pedal car.

    Since the cars apparently have no merit, surely the only purpose that they can possibly serve is as a display of wealth, hence the ridiculous price tag.

    I believe that Liam Gallagher owns a Bristol which, in my book, would provide the final reason, if needed, not to want one.

  • campbell 06 Jan 2003

    Ohh why ohh why did they put an auto box in there
    Still though its a nice looking car

  • granville 06 Jan 2003

    There are few things in life worse than arsey commercial crustaceans who think they're owed a living.

    I really can't think of an appropriate witticism but somehow the most fitting thing that comes to mind is a Black Adder (series II) quote:

    "Baldrick, you look like a bird who's swallowed a plate."

    So there you have it - the venerable Bristol Baldrick.

    Class my ass.

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