2000 Bristol Blenheim 3
The Bristol Blenheim 3 is one of the world’s most remarkable cars. Bristol is the only remaining luxury car manufacturer under British control. It is also the last company that still creates its cars entirely by hand in the time-honoured manner benefiting from the exacting skill, precision and care of individual craftsmen. By deliberately restricting production to a handful of cars per week we ensure exclusivity and excellence of manufacture. The labour hours to build the Blenheim 3 are three to four times more than those of any other specialist luxury cars. This we happily accept as the cost of perfection.
Externally, a Bristol’s appearance is carefully tailored to achieve quiet understatement yet maintain an elegant, timeless line. The latest Blenheim 3 benefits from a sleeker, more rounded aluminium body whose softly sculptured nose conceals more efficient cooling ducts and a subtle ‘splitter’, which eliminates residual lift without any drag penalty. By blending modern elements with traditional Bristol proportions we have achieved an elegant Grand Tourer which looks distinguished in any surroundings.
Today’s traffic conditions require a vehicle with compact overall dimensions to provide enjoyable, stress-free motoring. The Blenheim’s major mechanical components are carefully laid out to avoid the usual massive centre console stealing interior room so that we may provide the interior width of a formal luxury car within the exterior width of a medium sized saloon. A rare feature these days is a generous area of glass (of exceptional optical quality) and slim pillars which give unrivalled outward vision. Combined with an unexpectedly tight turning circle the Blenheim allows brisk and enjoyable progress in traffic conditions and slips through gaps where traditional luxury saloons are often brought to a frustrating standstill.
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, Blenheim 3 draws on our logical Aviation heritage to maximise space within. The normally wasted area behind the front wheels is used for lockable compartments which house the spare wheel, battery and electrical components. The fuel tank is located above the rear axle line (the safest place imaginable) thus ensuring that the boot is deep and regularly spaced. Four six foot tall adults can settle comfortably into amply sized leather armchairs with generous leg, head and shoulder room. These high backed seats with integral headrests support you softly but fully while one of the strongest road car structures yet devised insulates you from unwanted harshness and vibration. The interior is trimmed by hand in a special flawless grade of hide created for Bristol, complemented by matched walnut veneer and Wilton carpet edge-bound in leather. Many hours are spent covering by hand the areas beneath with sound proofed multi-layered cushioned underlays to give that solid cosseted feel that is one of the great delights of a traditional coachbuilt body. In a Bristol, every journey becomes an occasion, a relaxing and satisfying place from which to observe the hectic world without.
It is not by chance that Bristol enjoys a reputation as a marque favoured by the most skilled and enthusiastic drivers. The Blenheim is unique among passenger cars in locating the entire engine and all major masses including spare wheel and battery within the wheelbase. This is essential, as it allows us to achieve not only the ideal front to rear weight balance but also the lowest possible centre of gravity and polar moment of inertia. The results may be felt every minute you drive – exceptional agility combined with imperturbable stability at speed and remarkable roadholding under all conditions. Bristol’s power steering system, unlike most others, has been developed to provide a true feel of the road, varying its feedback faithfully according to the amount of road grip that is available. Whether it is being used as a luxury Town Car or high speed Continental Express, Bristol’s painstaking engineering excellence puts the driver confidently in control and his passengers totally at ease.
Powering the Blenheim 3 is a large displacement naturally aspirated engine which has been optimised to perform economically and with exceptional responsiveness at low revs and light throttle openings. Indeed very few cars of any type offer more torque in relation to vehicle weight. You will notice this in the way that the car moves swiftly away from rest as if it weighs almost nothing. Every throttle movement will be answered with swift, obedient authority while a 70mph cruise requires an engine speed of barely 1,700 r.p.m. Should your mood or road conditions require it, the smooth yet responsive automatic transmission will immediately change down giving you access to a level of performance normally reserved for serious sporting machines.
By painstaking engineering and innovative design, Bristol have achieved what our owners most desire. A car sized to make the best use of today’s roads yet with the full accommodation of a formal saloon and the presence of a true gentleman’s Grand Touring coupé
|type||Series Production Car|
|production years||2000 – 2009|
|built at||London, England|
|fuel feed||Electronic Injection|
|displacement||5900 cc / 360.04 in³|
|bore||101.6 mm / 4.0 in|
|stroke||90.93 mm / 3.6 in|
|driven wheels||RWD w/LSD|
|front brakes||Discs w/4-Piston Calipers|
|rear brakes||Discs w/2-Piston Calipers|
|front wheels||F 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16 x 7 in|
|rear wheels||R 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16 x 7 in|
|f suspension||Wishbones w/Coil Springs, Adj Telescopic Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar|
|r suspension||Multi-Link w/Coil Springs, Adj Telescopic Dampers, Anti-Roll Bar|
|curb weight||1728 kg / 3810 lbs|
|wheelbase||2890 mm / 113.8 in|
|front track||1416 mm / 55.7 in|
|rear track||1435 mm / 56.5 in|
|length||4870 mm / 191.7 in|
|width||1765 mm / 69.5 in|
|height||1441 mm / 56.7 in|
|0 – 60 mph||~6.3 seconds|
|fuel capacity||82 litres or 21.65 gal.|