RE: Bristol Fighter: Spotted

RE: Bristol Fighter: Spotted

Thursday 22nd February

Bristol Fighter: Spotted

The Fighter was Bristol's take on a supercar. It was as esoteric as that sounds



If Bristol is famous for anything, it's an intriguing and somewhat eccentric back catalogue. Only recently we featured the Blenheim, a car named for the light bomber rather than the palace - although arguably with styling more attuned to the latter. The Blenheim rather typified Bristol: utterly distinctive despite being somewhat borrowed, incredulously but also enigmatically out of date, and crammed to the rafters with the sort of postwar charm you'd typically find emanating from an old toy box (despite, of course, being updated to Series 3 format in the late nineties).

Personally, I always fancied the Brigand version - mostly for the outrageous brilliance of its name and the Scirocco headlights, and a little bit for the thought of the Rotomeister turbo which Bristol had strapped to its favoured Chrysler V8. Today though we're focusing on the firm's final folly - the Fighter. Considering the manufacturer's penchant for self-referential aircraft names, the label says much of what you need to know about the model. This was a new Bristol, then marshalled by Toby Silverton, in its most thrusting guise.


Of course the car took an age to materialise. It was announced in 1999, and the concept went down a storm thanks to its gullwing doors and Dodge Viper mechanicals. But Bristol hadn't built an all-new car in 40 years, and it wasn't about to rush the idea. A box-section chassis finally appeared in 2003, designed by a race-car engineer, Max Boxstrom. The hand-beaten mostly aluminium body looked a treat, its magnificent proportions seating you just ahead of the rear axle - and about 18ft distance from the nose.

The presence of the Viper's massive 8.0-litre V10 hadn't made the Fighter oversized though: it was 115mm narrower than the donor car, ridiculously close to the ground and boasted a 0.28 coefficient drag factor. It was also said to weigh 1540kg, which isn't much at all when there's 532hp powering it (or 637hp if you bought it in 'S' format). The standard model would have you to 60mph in 4 seconds via a manual six-speed gearbox - only needing a single ratio to get there.


With 515lb ft of torque available, the Fighter inevitably didn't want for performance in any gear (save for sixth, where it would apparently pull 40mph per 1000rpm) which is good because it left plenty of spare time for admiring the cabin's bespoke fixtures and fittings. As was Bristol's way, these featured many allusions to its plane-making past, with the side windows opening in sections and a smattering of overhead dials that included splendid anomalies like an engine hour meter. It was also said to be fantastically roomy, which was all part of making the Fighter a realistic proposition day-to-day.

Sadly, too few owners ever got to test that potential; despite technically being in production for seven years until Bristol halted production in 2011, it's quite possible that there were only ever 13 cars to choose from. That makes the re-emergence of one of them in the classifieds an event worth celebrating - especially when said example is resplendent in Baltic Blue Metallic and Cognac leather and is said to be the first factory demonstrator. After a decade on the continent and with 17k on the clock, it's now being offered in the UK for around £30k less than its original asking price. One for the connoisseur, our advertiser suggests. And how.


SPECIFICATION - BRISTOL FIGHTER

Engine: 7,990cc, V10
Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 532@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 525@4,200rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2004
Recorded mileage: 17,000 miles
Price new: £229,000
Price now: £199,950

See the original advert here







   
Author
Discussion

cib24

Original Poster:

645 posts

86 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Not for me, but I still think it's really cool and glad it exists.

romac

54 posts

79 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Oooo yes please!!! cloud9
One of my all-time favourite cars!

Turbobanana

1,092 posts

134 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
I think it looks great except for the front, which appears to have been designed either by someone who never met the designer of the rest of it, or by his children.

Esceptico

1,441 posts

42 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Wasn't this car featured in a thread just a few months back?

In any case: no thanks. A lot better looking, more resolved, better handling and likely more reliable fare for much less.

Jonny TVR

2,081 posts

214 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
If they get that price then thats really cheap motoring at £3K depreciation a year.
Advertisement

soad

29,063 posts

109 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Expensive or what? My lottery win buy right there. cloud9

olliete

324 posts

44 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Looks like an RX7!

Might be cheap motoring vs a Bentley but compared to appreciation of 90s supercars it is expensive

Jammez

367 posts

140 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Roof mounted gauges & switches, what's not to like!

bolide

479 posts

187 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Jonny TVR said:
If they get that price then thats really cheap motoring at £3K depreciation a year.
I think the opportunity cost of £230k over 14 years might make the depreciation look like a drop in the ocean

Nick Froome

GibsonSG

168 posts

44 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
I really like these. A tad out of my league price wise but I would if I had the money.

robemcdonald

3,590 posts

129 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Fantastic car. Fast, bespoke and understated. Should be on any pistonheaders want to own list.

youngsod

217 posts

115 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
That's not a Bristol Fighter. This is a Bristol Fighter:




http://www.shuttleworth.org/collection/bristolf2b/

I'll leave the discussion into relative modernity to others.

rastapasta

367 posts

71 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Im not really a fan of the British Cottage supercar industry, TVR etc don't really do it for me.

But this is something else entirely, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of craftsmanship Ive ever seen.

BugLebowski

588 posts

49 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Turbobanana said:
I think it looks great except for the front, which appears to have been designed either by someone who never met the designer of the rest of it, or by his children.
Agreed, the headlights have not aged well at all. Still on my lottery win list though!

E36GUY

5,716 posts

151 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Jammez said:
Roof mounted gauges & switches, what's not to like!
You can have them in a DS5 and have suitable change for a Ferrari.

sideways man

525 posts

70 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Always loved a nice Bristol .....
Shame I don’t have £200k.

Thorburn

2,266 posts

126 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
How close to the wall have they parked their Bentley! eek


Hotel India

382 posts

130 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Love it. What a Grand Tourer.

TIGA84

4,709 posts

164 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
Jammez said:
Roof mounted gauges & switches, what's not to like!
The fact that most of them are from a 1987 Vauxhall Carlton?

Its £199,000 for the engine and £950 for the rest that's been scavenged from a skip. It's really that dreadful in terms of interior quality.

bashful

169 posts

163 months

Thursday 22nd February
quotequote all
You have to love the engineering mindset that gave this car two power ratings, one static, one at speed, to account for the ram-air effect.