Tag Archives: Gibbs

Last Finest And Most Exciting – Bristol Fighter

When I got up at some absolutely ungodly, dark and cold, hour last November to join some friends from the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club for a trip to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham the last thing I could have imagined was finding my self sitting at the wheel of a 210 mph car, the last Bristol ever built to boot, taking a selfie, a couple of hours later thanks to the generosity of owner Mr Gibbs that is exactly what happened.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The Bristol Fighter was designed by Max Bostrom, regular GALPOT readers might remember another vehicle from his design portfolio the rumbling Aston Martin AMR 1 Group C Le Mans challenger. The design of the Fighter seems to center on it’s motor which is based on the 8 litre / 487 cui all aluminium Chrysler V10 as used in the Dodge Viper and Dodge Ram SRT-10 pick up.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Fitted with Bristol’s own heads the motor was made available with 525 hp in normally aspirated base form, a 628 hp option was also available which with the effects of ram air when in motion is boosted to 660 hp, and if that was not was not enough in turbocharged from the motor produced 1012 hp to become the second most powerful motor ever offered by a manufacturer second only to the 1046 hp quoted for the SSC Aero.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

The standard transmission is a six speed manual and with all the torque from the V10, when Richard Porter tested one for evo magazine in in 2008 he found the motor would pull in sixth gear from as low as 30 mph. A 4 speed automatic was an option with performance being the same regardless of transmission meaning 60 mph could be reached from rest in a claimed 4 seconds with the 525 hp motor.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Despite extensive use of aluminium and carbon fiber to save weight and keep the center of gravity than almost every weekend apart from a Ferrari Enzo the interior is completely civilised and decked with finest Wilton carpet over extra thick soundproofing underlays to provide a “perfect environment in which to enjoy the car’s astonishing performance.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

At 6′ tall I find many performance vehicles no go area’s, however the Bristol is different it was designed to accommodate individuals between 5′ and 6′ 7″. I can just picture my 5′ 2″ mother loving this car since she recently passed her Institute of Advanced Motorists test. Notice the swicth gear, finest military grade good enough to last the life of the car, just as well since a replacement switch would cost you £60 each in 2008.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

With all of that glass parking should be a piece of cake, no having to open the gull wing doors and getting a mate to talk you in as would be mandatory with some of Marchello Gandini or Pininfarina’s finest designs.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

As Bristol said “in a world where cars are styled first and tested for function afterwards the Fighter is again unique”. The 0.28 drag coefficient of the body is class leading, in part because this 210 mph car has no need of wings, Gurney flaps or even venturi because it was designed to set new aerodynamic standards not follow the crowd.

Bristol Fighter, Classic Motor Show, NEC Birmingham

Exact production numbers for the Fighter are hard to come by one source says sixteen Fighters were built while another suggests at least 46 may have been built. What is for sure is that today’s featured car was the last completed Bristol to leave the factory, the owner Mr Gibbs also tells me that one incomplete Fighter left the factory when it closed down in 2011.

In the advertising cody for the Fighter model Bristol claim that it is “Designed according according to engineering and aerodynamic principles, it is intended to represent the finest and most exciting way for two people to travel by road.” One day I’d like to put that to the test, meantime I’d like to thank Mr Gibbs for letting me try his Fighter, the very last complete Bristol to leave the factory, for size.

Now all I have to do is see if I can save my pennies fast than any one else before Mr Gibbs parts with it, did I mention this car which has never been registered is for sale ? It was and if you would like to purchase it get in touch and I’ll gladly pass the message on.

Thanks for joining me on this “Last Finest And Most Exciting” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. When I’ll be looking at a agricultural super vehicle. Don’t forget to come back now !


Mini SUV’s

On Saturday I went to the ‘Mini Festival’ at Castle Combe Circuit 20 miles outside Bristol.

Drivers of a variety of models were offering rides round the track to raise money for the Jay Ryles Fund, in aid of rehabilitating Jay Ryles 18 year old Jay Jyles who collapsed with Brain Damage after a school rugby match earlier this year.

Amongst my favourites, all being driven with great gusto was this circa 1980 Mini Pick Up. Just 11′ long nose to tail and weighing in at just 1500 lbs (680 kg) with a full 6 imperial gallons of fuel ! Optional extras back in 1961 included, recirculatory heater, passenger side sun visor and seat belts. 58,179 of these are thought to have been built.

Also being driven with great joie de vivre was this Mini Van coincidentally also a circa 1980 and like the pick up above fitted with a grill from the passenger car version. The van had a 1/4 ton capacity and was a popular alternative to the passenger car because as a commercial vehicle it carried no sales tax. 521,494 examples of this model are known to have been built.

Off topic observations.


Jimmy Johnson took the win at Dover leading most laps blah ! blah ! blah ! back in contention in the drive for five blah ! ! Congratulations to the #48.

If you want to know why I am indifferent to His Majesty Jimmy Johnson, NASCAR is built on drivers infinite patience with their fans except now one man seems to have run out of patience with a ‘return all fan mail unopened policy’.

It was great to see AJ Almendinger leading the first half of the race, shame a flat tyre forced him to stop early.

Racing on concrete is good at Dover because the cars are always loose on the edge of over steering into the wall calling on drivers to display immense car control skills, several drivers likened it to driving on ice towards the end of longer runs.

It was a less than stellar day for my man Happy Harvick, I expected nothing more after the playground silliness displayed on Friday, to wit my man of the meeting award goes to Coach JD Gibbs who seems to have called his man ‘Denny four Cups Hamlin’ to order over the remarks he made that set Kevin off in the first place.

Formula One

Fernando Alonso took a well judged win in the Singapore GP last night, Sebastian Vettel had absolutely nothing for him, Mark Webber came in 3rd with a good recovery drive after an early pit stop.

McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton appear to be slipping out of contention for the World Championship both now 20 points behind with 4 races to go.

An hour into this race I found my self cutting the lawn despite the amazing night landscape in which the race was run.

Hope you have enjoyed todays blog and that you’ll join me again tomorrow.