You only need look at the history of British sports car manufacturers to know the journey to success is rarely, if ever, a trouble-free one. Many, of course, never make it anywhere near sustainability, let alone profitability, succumbing to enormous costs of making a car which needs to satisfy the rigours of legislation and quality assurance before you've even got to the challenge of marketing and selling the thing.
It was with cautious excitement, then, that the news of Bristol's return was announced recently. The manufacturer was always something of an eccentric, but with easily enough cache to make an unlikely return a compelling prospect. Today, though, the likelihood of that happening has hit its first substantial roadblock with a statement issued by the Frost Group, the liquidators of Bristol Cars Limited.
Put simply, it suggests the intellectual property rights to the cars have not been acquired by Jason Wharton, the driving force behind the new venture - and that he only owns certain tooling and spares bought at an auction of the company's assets. "What he has done is sought to revoke some BCL trademarks for want of use. Such action has been objected to by us as Joint Liquidators of BCL and by Kamkorp Autokraft Limited, the owner of the trademarks in question", states the release.
Furthermore, the statement notes that the proposed continuation Bristols - the Fighter, Spyder and 411 - would not be possible as the technical drawings remain unacquired. The sale of the associated IPR is being handled by agents Wyles Hardy, which "remains in discussions with a number of interested parties." Which suggests that anyone patiently waiting for the opportunity to buy a new Bristol-badged car will have to wait a little while longer yet.