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Bristol Cars is sold to Frazer-Nash

Wed, 20 Apr 2011

Bristol Cars has been sold. Kamkorp Autokraft, part of the Frazer-Nash group, has announced it has successfuly acquired the assets of Bristol Cars from the administrators.

Bristol entered administration last month, and CAR reported on a potential sale last week. Kamkorp Autokraft beat off rival bids from Toby Silverton, owner of Bristol Cars before it slid into administration, and CPP, the company that owns Spyker Cars and Land Rover racing specialist Bowler.

Frazer-Nash... that name rings a bell

Frazer-Nash Research Ltd is a UK-based research and engineering firm, primarily tasked with developing hybrid and range-extended electric vehicle powertrains for the motor industry. But readers are probably more familiar with the original Frazer-Nash cars, produced from 1922 to 1957.  Frazer-Nash used Bristol engines in its postwar competition cars, and former Bristol owner Tony Crook raced Frazer-Nash cars in the 1950s. There are strong historic links between the two brands.

In terms of current activities by Frazer-Nash, readers may recall the Italdesign Namir concept car, which was shown at the 2009 Geneva motor show. That car featured a Frazer-Nash designed range-externed EV powertrain, capable of 0-62 in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of over 187mph. The Namir took part in the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb.

So what are Frazer-Nash's plans for Bristol?

William Chia, Frazer-Nash group’s director of operations, said in a prepared statement: 'Bristol Cars is a British institution and an important part of our national motoring heritage. Over the next few months we will start to reveal the details of our plans to combine Bristol Cars’ tradition and iconic marque with Frazer-Nash’s pioneering technology to showcase our cutting-edge electric and range-extended powertrains.

'British engineers are globally recognised for their inventions and the quality of their innovation – and these attributes are inherent in all our systems and products. Mindful of Bristol Cars’ rich heritage and our responsibility as custodians of the brand, we are certain that our technology will blend seamlessly and successfully with the Bristol Cars tradition of engineering integrity.'

What about Bristol Cars' servicing operation?

We understand that the Frazer-Nash acquisition includes the entirety of Bristol Cars operation: the factory, Kensington showroom HQ and the restoration and servicing facility.

'Owners and enthusiasts of the cars should be assured that, even though these are early days in our tenure of the brand, we are committed to providing them and their cars with the highest levels of quality, technology and service,' Chia added.

CAR will continue to follow this story, which also features in the new May 2011 edition of CAR, on sale today. In our investigation we discovered that Bristol had not manufactured new cars for years and had in fact become more of a service and restoration business.

By Mark Hamilton