Bristol Cars has survived for most of its life selling very exclusive sporting carriages to gentlemen of a certain bearing. It seems not enough of these gentlemen are around anymore as the independent British car maker has gone into administration and faces complete closure.
Famous for refusing to provide test cars to journalists or for releasing production figures, Bristol's most recent model is the Dodge Viper-powered Fighter T. It uses a 1,025hp V10 engine and is claimed to have a top speed of more than 320km/h.
However, too few customers have been willing to pay for a Fighter. As a result, 22 members of Bristol's 27-strong workforce have been made redundant at its factory in Bristol; though the firm's only showroom on London's Kensington High Street remains open.
Bristol has been making cars since 1946 and the company's current chairman, Toby Silverton, said: "It's not been possible to continue trading with the present structure. This decision has been taken regretfully, but I am confident that a future business will be found."
Administrators from RSM Tenon have been appointed and they have urged any potential buyers of Bristol to get in touch "as quickly as possible."