UK’s Bristol Cars begins liquidation process to pay creditors

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 05 Mar 2020

Bristol Bullet speedster

Beleaguered British car maker Bristol Cars has officially been wound up, with the court-ordered liquidation process now under way.

Documents sent to Companies House reveal the High Court of Justice decided in December that the firm, which has been in existence since 1945, should be wound up, with assets sold off to pay creditors in December. The documents state that nobody attended the session to represent or defend Bristol.

By 17 February, a liquidator - Frost Group - had been appointed. It's unclear how many staff were still working at Bristol, which has lain dormant since its original plan to restart production in 2018. 

A High Court appeal by now-former owner Kamkorp Limited was unsuccessful as of 28 February, the Bristol Owners' Club reports. This means the overarching Bristol Automotive Group, which includes both the sales and servicing operations, will be wound up.

However, the Owners' Club claims it is 'actively engaged' with the liquidators in order to 'preserve what we can of the heritage and associated spares for the marque'.

"It's our hope that the assets can be kept together and, as a priority, a safe home can be found for the archive," it said in a statement.

Bristol is based in Windlesham, Surrey and has a recently refurbished sales centre in Kensington, London. It revealed its first all-new model in decades, the £250,000 (Rs 2 crore) Bullet speedster, in 2016.

The news of liquidation comes nine years to the day since Bristol entered administration for the first time in the modern era. Twenty-two jobs were lost at the firm's original factory in Filton, near Bristol, but a new company was formed to sell its assets and then purchased by Kamkorp (which also owns research and technology outfit Frazer-Nash).