Biting the Bullet
The Bristol Bullet isn’t your typical sports car. Nor, for that matter, is Bristol Cars Ltd your typical car maker. This longestablished, maverick, independent car maker has only ever produced 18 different models (which now include the Bullet); all hand assembled, bejewelled in the finest materials and limited by number.
Even during their heyday, back in the 1950s and 60s, no more than 200 Bristol cars were ever built. This makes a Bristol car, any Bristol car, as rare and as precious as a Fatimid rock crystal ewer and the ultimate guilty pleasure of many serious car connoisseurs.
Now, more than a decade since they unveiled their last model, and after a 2011 post-administration buyout, the Bullet ushers in a new dawn for Bristol Cars, celebrating the company’s 70th anniversary. In many ways this two-seat speedster is a peculiarly beguiling car, of which there are just 75 planned for production.
By design, the Bullet is extraordinarily exquisite and evokes all the drama, glamour and values from a bygone age. Yet, beneath its somewhat eccentric, aeronautically influenced coachwork, sits all the modernity of a BMW sourced 4.8-litre engine. Power is 370bhp and torque 370lbs, and if you think these num-
bers underwhelming in return for the £250,000 price tag, then you need to understand a few important things. Although it’s meant to be a quick car, the Bullet’s prime motivation is not all about speed. Instead, this car has been engineered to excite its exclusive audience with its gentrified grace rather than scare them witless with outright pace. Much like Bristol Cars, then, the Bullet is a fabulous enigma. It remains a paragon for individualism and a beacon for British craftsmanship and the automotive world is a much better place for its continued existence.