Bristol Cars has gone bust. The administrators have taken over. They say they might be able to salvage something, but as of now, bang goes another slice of the expensive and the oddball in Britain's car tradition.
Bristol was so eccentric it made Morgan look positively mass-market and mainstream.
Its top-end car was the Fighter T. Powered by a turbocharged Dodge Viper V10, the spec sheet shows more than 1,000bhp. It's got gullwing doors. But no driver aids. Or airbag.
But the company was so secretive we don't quite know how many they built. If any. They did sell a few of the original non-turbo versions of the Fighter, which was probably quite fast enough anyway.
A car this outlandish was the bitter end for the company. It was trying to build ultra-fast gentleman's GTs, but that put it in head-on competition with the might of Mercedes AMG, with the SLR and SLS.
OK, in contrast with AMG's brashness, the Bristol gave you a nice throwback British reserve. But in return for that you had to pay a huge sacrifice in actual ability and equipment. Anyway, there's always Aston and Bentley if you want to wave the Union Jack.
The press was almost never allowed to drive Bristols. Or visit the factory. They didn't have any dealers, but dealt with customers from a single factory showroom in Kensington, London. The idea was, presumably, that the enigma would increase everyone's curiosity. But in the end it just looked like they had something to hide.
Eventually TopGear magazine did get a go in a Fighter. There were some clever ideas, like giving it good visibility and making it narrow so it's easier to drive on B-roads. In the end, though, it was absurdly expensive and not very well made. To want one, your main concern would have been to own something different from anyone. Different but not better.