The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island's capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race's last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, lapped 11 times. After 1973, it was a national sports car event until it was discontinued in 1977 due to safety concerns, it has since been run as a rallying event, is part of the Italian Rally Championship. The race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in Brescia, Lombardy in 1900; the Targa claimed to be a worldly event not to be missed. Renowned artists, such as Alexandre Charpentier and Leonardo Bistolfi, were commissioned to design medals. A magazine was initiated, which aimed to enhance, with graphic and photographic reproductions of the race, the myth of the car and the typical character of modern life, speed.
One of the toughest competitions in Europe, the first Targa Florio covered 3 laps equalling 277 miles through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads, at heights where severe changes in climate occurred. Alessandro Cagno won the inaugural 1906 race in nine hours. By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe's most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today's F1; the wins of Mercedes in the 1920s made a big impression in Germany that of German Christian Werner in 1924, as he was the first non-Italian winner since 1920. Rudolf Caracciola repeated. In 1926, Eliska Junkova, one of the great female drivers in Grand Prix motor racing history, became the first woman to compete in the race. In 1953, the FIA World Sportscar Championship was introduced; the Targa became part of it in 1955, when Mercedes had to win 1-2 with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR in order to beat Ferrari for the title.
They had missed the first two of the 6 events, Buenos Aires and the 12 Hours of Sebring, where Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche scored. Mercedes appeared at and won in the Mille Miglia pulled out of Le Mans as a sign of respect for the victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster, but won the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod. Stirling Moss/Peter Collins and Juan Manuel Fangio/Karl Kling finished minutes ahead of the best Ferrari and secured the title. Several versions of the track were used, it started with a single lap of a 148 km circuit from 1906-1911 and 1931. From 1912 to 1914 a tour around the perimeter of Sicily was used, with a single lap of 975 kilometres, lengthened to 1,080 kilometres from 1948 to 1950; the 148 km "Grande" circuit was shortened twice, the first time to 108 km, the version used from 1919-1930, to the 72 km circuit used from 1932 to 1936 and 1951 to 1977. From 1951-1958, the long coastal island tour variant was used for a separate event called the Giro di Sicilia; the start and finish took place at Cerda.
The counter-clockwise lap lead from Caltavuturo and Collesano from an altitude over 600 metres down to sea level, where the cars raced from Campofelice di Roccella on the Buonfornello straight along the coast, a straight over 6 km longer than the Mulsanne Straight at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. The longest version of the circuit went south through Caltavuturo through an extended route through elevation changes, swept through the nearby towns of Castellana and Sottana, twisting around mountains up to the town of Castelbuono and rejoined the most recent version of the track at Collesano; the second version of the track went south through Caltavuturo and took a shortcut starting right before Castellana to Collesano via the town of Polizzi Generosa. There was a closed circuit called Favorita Park used from 1937-1940; the challenge of the Targa was unprecedented in its difficulty and the driving experience of any of the course variants was unlike any other circuit in the world other than that of the Nurburgring in Germany.
The original Grande 148 km circuit had in the realm of 2,000 corners per lap, the 108 km Medio had about 1,300-1,400 corners per lap and the final iteration of the course, the 72 km Piccolo circuit had about 800-900 corners per lap. To put that in perspective, most purpose built circuits have between 12 and 18 corners, the longest purpose built circuit in the world, the 13-mile Nurburgring, has about 180 corners. So learning any of the Targa Florio courses was difficult and required, like most long circuits, at least 60 laps to learn the course- and unlike the purpose-built Nurburgring, the course had to be learned properly in public traffic, one lap would take about an hour to do in a road car- if there was little to no traffic. Like a rally event, the race cars were started one by one every 15 seconds for a time trial, as a start from a full grid was not possible on the tight and twisty roads. Although the public road circuit used for the Targa was challenging- it was a different kind of circuit and race from any other race on the sportscar calendar.
All of the circuit variations of the Targa had so many corners that lap speeds at the Targa n
Middlesex is an ancient county in southeast England. It is now within the wider urbanised area of London, its area is now mostly within the ceremonial county of Greater London, with small sections in other neighbouring ceremonial counties. It was established in the Anglo-Saxon system from the territory of the Middle Saxons, existed as an official unit until 1965; the historic county includes land stretching north of the River Thames from 17 miles west to 3 miles east of the City of London with the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills as the other boundaries. The low-lying county, dominated by clay in its north and alluvium on gravel in its south, was the second smallest county by area in 1831; the City of London was a county in its own right from the 12th century and was able to exert political control over Middlesex. Westminster Abbey dominated most of the early financial and ecclesiastical aspects of the county; as London grew into Middlesex, the Corporation of London resisted attempts to expand the city boundaries into the county, which posed problems for the administration of local government and justice.
In the 18th and 19th centuries the population density was high in the southeast of the county, including the East End and West End of London. From 1855 the southeast was administered, with sections of Kent and Surrey, as part of the area of the Metropolitan Board of Works; when county councils were introduced in England in 1889 about 20% of the area of Middlesex, along with a third of its population, was transferred to the new County of London and the remainder became an administrative county governed by the Middlesex County Council that met at the Middlesex Guildhall in Westminster, in the County of London. The City of London, Middlesex, became separate counties for other purposes and Middlesex regained the right to appoint its own sheriff, lost in 1199. In the interwar years suburban London expanded further, with improvement and expansion of public transport, the setting up of new industries. After the Second World War, the population of the County of London and inner Middlesex was in steady decline, with high population growth continuing in the outer parts.
After a Royal Commission on Local Government in Greater London all of the original area was incorporated into an enlarged Greater London in 1965, with the rest transferred to neighbouring counties. Since 1965 various areas called. Middlesex was the former postal county of 25 post towns; the name refers to the tribal origin of its inhabitants. The word is formed from the Old English,'middel' and'Seaxe'. In 704, it is recorded as Middleseaxon in an Anglo-Saxon chronicle, written in Latin, about land at Twickenham; the Latin text reads: "in prouincia quæ nuncupatur Middelseaxan Haec". The Saxons derived their name from a kind of knife for which they were known; the seax has a lasting symbolic impact in the English counties of Essex and Middlesex, both of which feature three seaxes in their ceremonial emblem. Their names, along with those of Sussex and Wessex, contain a remnant of the word "Saxon". There were settlements in the area of Middlesex that can be traced back thousands of years before the creation of a county.
Middlesex was part of the Kingdom of Essex It was recorded in the Domesday Book as being divided into the six hundreds of Edmonton, Gore, Hounslow and Spelthorne. The City of London has been self-governing since the thirteenth century and became a county in its own right, a county corporate. Middlesex included Westminster, which had a high degree of autonomy. Of the six hundreds, Ossulstone contained the districts closest to the City of London. During the 17th century it was divided into four divisions, along with the Liberty of Westminster took over the administrative functions of the hundred; the divisions were named Finsbury, Holborn and Tower. The county had parliamentary representation from the 13th century; the title Earl of Middlesex was created twice, in 1622 and 1677, but became extinct in 1843. The economy of the county was dependent on the City of London from early times and was agricultural. A variety of goods were provided for the City, including crops such as grain and hay and building materials.
Recreation at day trip destinations such as Hackney, Islington and Twickenham, as well as coaching, inn-keeping and sale of goods and services at daily shops and stalls to the considerable passing trade provided much local employment and formed part of the early economy. However, during the 18th century the inner parishes of Middlesex became suburbs of the City and were urbanised; the Middlesex volume of John Norden's Speculum Britanniae of 1593 summarises: This is plentifully stored, as it seemeth beautiful, with many fair and comely buildings of the merchants of London, who have planted their houses of recreation not in the meanest places, which they have cunningly contrived, curiously beautified with divers devices, neatly decked with rare inventions, environed with orchards of sundry, delicate fruits, gardens with delectable walks, alleys and a great variety of pleasing dainties: all of which seem to be beautiful ornaments unto this country. Thomas Cox wrote in 1794: We may call it all London, being chiefly inhabited by the citizens, who fill the towns in it with their country houses, to which they resort that they may breathe a little sweet air, free from the fogs and smoke of the City.
In 1803 Sir John Sinclair, president of the Board of Agr
Formula Two, abbreviated to F2, is a type of open wheel formula racing first codified in 1948. It was replaced in 1985 by Formula 3000, but revived by the FIA from 2009–2012 in the form of the FIA Formula Two Championship; the name returned in 2017. While Formula One has been regarded as the pinnacle of open-wheeled auto racing, the high-performance nature of the cars and the expense involved in the series has always meant a need for a path to reach this peak. For much of the history of Formula One, Formula Two has represented the penultimate step on the motorsport ladder. Prior to the Second World War, there existed a division of racing for cars smaller and less powerful than Grand Prix racers; this category was called voiturette racing and provided a means for amateur or less experienced drivers and smaller marques to prove themselves. By the outbreak of war, the rules for voiturette racing permitted 1.5 L supercharged engines. In 1946, the 3.0 L supercharged rules were abandoned and Formulae A and B introduced.
Formula A permitted the old 4.5 L aspirated cars, but as the 3.0 L supercharged cars were more than a match for these, the old 1.5 L voiturette formula replaced 3.0 L supercharged cars in an attempt to equalise performance. This left no category below Formula A/Formula One, so Formula Two was first formally codified in 1948 by FIA as a smaller and cheaper complement to the Grand Prix cars of the era. Among the races held in this first year of Formula Two was the 1948 Stockholm Grand Prix; the rules limited engines to two-litre aspirated or 750 cc supercharged. As a result, the cars were smaller and cheaper than those used in Formula One; this encouraged new marques such as Cooper to move up to Formula Two, before competing against the big manufacturers of Alfa Romeo and Maserati. In fact, Formula One in its early years attracted so few entrants that in 1952 and 1953 all World Championship Grand Prix races, except the unique Indianapolis 500, were run in Formula Two. F2 went into decline with the arrival of the 2.5 L F1 in 1954, but a new Formula Two was introduced for 1957, for 1.5 L cars.
This became dominated by rear-engined Coopers drawing on their Formula 3 and'Bobtail' sports car, with Porsches based on their RSK sports cars enjoying some success. Ferrari developed their'Sharknose' Dino 156 as a Formula Two car, while still racing front-engined Grand Prix cars; the dominant engine of this formula was the Coventry Climax FPF four-cylinder, with the rare Borgward sixteen-valve unit enjoying some success. A enlarged version of the F2 Cooper won the first two Formula One Grands Prix in 1958, marking the beginning of the rear-engined era in Formula One; the 1.5 L formula was short-lived, with Formula Junior replacing first Formula Three and Formula Two until 1963—but the 1961 1.5 L Formula One was a continuation of this Formula Two. Formula Junior was introduced in 1959, an attempt to be all things to all people, it was soon realised that there was a need to split it into two new formulae. Formula Two was the domain of Formula One stars on their days off. Engines were by Cosworth and Honda, though some other units appeared, including various Fiat based units and dedicated racing engines from BMC and BRM.
For 1967, the FIA increased the maximum engine capacity to 1600cc. With the "return to power" of Formula One the gap between Formula One and Formula Two was felt to be too wide, the introduction of new 1600cc production-based engine regulations for Formula Two restored the category to its intended role as a feeder series for Formula One; the FIA introduced the European Formula Two Championship in 1967. Ickx, driving a Matra MS5, won the inaugural championship by 11 points from the Australian, Frank Gardner; the most popular 1600cc engine was the Cosworth FVA, the sixteen-valve head on a four-cylinder Cortina block, the "proof of concept" for the legendary DFV. The 1967 FVA gave 220 bhp at 9000 rpm. Other units appeared, including a four-cylinder BMW and a V6 Dino Ferrari. Many Formula One drivers continued to drive the smaller and lighter cars on non-championship weekends, some Grand Prix grids would be a mix of Formula One and Formula Two cars. Jacky Ickx made his Grand Prix debut there in a Formula Two car, qualifying with the fifth fastest time overall.
Forced to start behind the slower Formula One cars, Ickx forced his way back into a points position, only to be forced to retire with broken suspension. Jim Clark, regarded as one of the greatest race drivers of all time, was killed in a Formula Two race early in 1968, at the Hockenheimring; the "invasion" of Formula One drivers in Formula Two ranks was permitted because of the unique grad
A sports car, or sportscar, is a small two-seater automobile designed for spirited performance and nimble handling. The term "sports car" was used in The Times, London in 1919. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, USA's first known use of the term was in 1928. Sports cars started to become popular during the 1920s. Sports cars may be spartan or luxurious. Sports cars are aerodynamically shaped, have a lower center of gravity than standard models. Steering and suspension are designed for precise control at high speeds. Traditionally sports cars were open roadsters, but closed coupés started to become popular during the 1930s, the distinction between a sports car and a grand tourer is not absolute. Attributing the definition of'sports car' to any particular model can be controversial or the subject of debate among enthusiasts. Authors and experts have contributed their own ideas to capture a definition. A car may be a sporting automobile without being a sports car. Performance modifications of regular, production cars, such as sport compacts, sports sedans, muscle cars, pony cars and hot hatches are not considered sports cars, yet share traits common to sports cars.
Certain models can "appeal to both muscle car and sports car enthusiasts, two camps that acknowledged each other's existences." Some models are called "sports cars" for marketing purposes to take advantage of greater marketplace acceptance and for promotional purposes. High-performance cars of various configurations are grouped as Sports and Grand tourer cars or just as performance cars; the drivetrain and engine layout influences the handling characteristics of an automobile, is crucially important in the design of a sports car. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is common to sports cars of any era and has survived longer in sports cars than in mainstream automobiles. Examples include the Caterham 7, Mazda MX-5, the Chevrolet Corvette. More many such sports cars have a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the centre of mass of the engine between the front axle and the firewall. In search of improved handling and weight distribution, other layouts are sometimes used; the rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is found only in sports cars—the motor is centre-mounted in the chassis, powers only the rear wheels.
Some high-performance sports car manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have preferred this layout. Porsche is one of the few remaining manufacturers using the rear-wheel-drive layout; the motor's distributed weight across the wheels, in a Porsche 911, provides excellent traction, but the significant mass behind the rear wheels makes it more prone to oversteer in some situations. Porsche has continuously refined the design and in recent years added electronic stability control to counteract these inherent design shortcomings; the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout layout, the most common in sport compacts and hot hatches, modern production cars in general, is not used for sports cars. This layout is advantageous for small, lower power sports cars, as it avoids the extra weight, increased transmission power loss, packaging problems of a long driveshaft and longitudinal engine of FR vehicles. However, its conservative handling effect understeer, the fact that many drivers believe rear wheel drive is a more desirable layout for a sports car count against it.
The Fiat Barchetta, Saab Sonett, Berkeley cars are sports cars with this layout. Before the 1980s few sports cars used four-wheel drive, which had traditionally added a lot of weight. With its improvement in traction in adverse weather conditions, four-wheel drive is no longer uncommon in high-powered sports cars, e.g. Porsche and the Bugatti Veyron. Traditional sports cars were two-seat roadsters. Although the first sports cars were derived from fast tourers, early sporting regulations demanded four seats, two seats became common from about the mid-1920s. Modern sports cars may have small back seats that are really only suitable for luggage or small children. Over the years, some manufacturers of sports cars have sought to increase the practicality of their vehicles by increasing the seating room. One method is to place the driver's seat in the center of the car, which allows two full-sized passenger seats on each side and behind the driver; the arrangement was considered for the Lamborghini Miura, but abandoned as impractical because of the difficulty for the driver to enter/exit the vehicle.
McLaren used the design in their F1. Another British manufacturer, TVR, took a different approach in their Cerbera model; the interior was designed in such a way that the dashboard on the passenger side swept toward the front of the car, which allowed the passenger to sit farther forward than the driver. This gave the rear seat passenger extra room and made the arrangement suitable for three adult passengers and one child seated behind the driver; some Matra sports cars had three seats squeezed next to each other. The definition of a sports car is not precise, but from the earliest first automobiles "people have found ways to make them go faster, round corners better, look more beautiful" than the ordinary models inspiring an "emotional relationship" with a car, fun to drive and use for the sake of driving; the basis for the sports car is traced to the early 20th century touring cars a
BMW AG is a German multinational company which produces automobiles and motorcycles, produced aircraft engines until 1945. The company is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria. BMW produces motor vehicles in Germany, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States. In 2015, BMW was the world's twelfth largest producer of motor vehicles, with 2,279,503 vehicles produced; the Quandt family are long-term shareholders of the company, with the remaining shares owned by public float. Automobiles are marketed under the brands Mini and Rolls-Royce. Motorcycles are marketed under the brand BMW Motorrad; the company has significant motorsport history in touring cars, Formula 1, sports cars and the Isle of Man TT. BMW's origins can be traced back to three separate German companies: Rapp Motorenwerke, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, Automobilwerk Eisenach; the history of the name itself begins with an aircraft engine manufacturer. In April 1917, following the departure of the founder Karl Friedrich Rapp, the company was renamed Bayerische Motoren Werke.
BMW's first product was the BMW IIIa aircraft engine. The IIIa engine was known for high-altitude performance; the resulting orders for IIIa engines from the German military caused rapid expansion for BMW. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. To remain in business, BMW produced farm household items and railway brakes. In 1922, former major shareholder Camillo Castiglioni purchased the rights to the name BMW, which led to the company descended from Rapp Motorenwerke being renamed Süddeutsche Bremse AG. Castiglioni was an investor in another aircraft company, called "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke", which he renamed BMW; the disused factory of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke was re-opened to produce engines for buses, farm equipment and pumps, under the brand name BMW. BMW's corporate history considers the founding date of Bayerische Flugzeugwerke to be the birth of the company; as the restrictions of the Armistice Treaty began to be lifted, BMW began production of motorcycles in 1923, with the R32 model.
BMW's production of automobiles began in 1928, when the company purchased the Automobilwerk Eisenach car company. Automobilwerk Eisenach's current model was the Dixi 3/15, a licensed copy of the Austin 7 which had begun production in 1927. Following the takeover, the Dixi 3/15 became BMW's first production car. In 1932, the BMW 3/20 became the first BMW automobile designed by BMW, it was powered by a four-cylinder engine. BMW's first automotive straight-six engine was released in 1933, in the BMW 303. Throughout the 1930s, BMW expanded its model range to include sedans, coupes and sports cars. With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe; the factory in Munich made ample use of forced labour: foreign civilians, prisoners of war and inmates of the Dachau concentration camp. Among its successful World War II engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944–1945–era jet-powered “emergency fighter”, the Heinkel He 162 Spatz.
The BMW 003 jet engine was first tested as a prime power plant in the first prototype of the Messerschmitt Me 262, the Me 262 V1, but in 1942 tests the BMW prototype engines failed on takeoff with only the standby Junkers Jumo 210 nose-mounted piston engine powering it to a safe landing. The few Me 262 A-1b test examples built used the more developed version of the 003 jet, recording an official top speed of 800 km/h; the first-ever four-engine jet aircraft flown were the sixth and eighth prototypes of the Arado Ar 234 jet reconnaissance-bomber, which used BMW 003 jets for power. Through 1944 the 003's reliability improved, making it a suitable power plant for air frame designs competing for the Jägernotprogramm’s light fighter production contract. Which was won by the Heinkel He 162 Spatz design; the BMW 003 aviation turbojet was under consideration as the basic starting point for a pioneering turboshaft powerplant for German armored fighting vehicles in 1944–45, as the GT 101. Towards the end of the Third Reich, BMW developed some military aircraft projects for the Luftwaffe, the BMW Strahlbomber, the BMW Schnellbomber and the BMW Strahljäger, but none of them were built.
During World War II, many BMW production facilities had been bombed. BMW's facilities in East Germany were seized by the Soviet Union and the remaining facilities were banned by the Allies from producing motorcycles or automobiles. During this ban, BMW used basic secondhand and salvaged equipment to make pots and pans expanding to other kitchen supplies and bicycles. In 1947, BMW was granted permission to resume motorcycle production and its first post-war motorcycle - the R24 - was released in 1948. BMW was still barred from producing automobiles, the Bristol Aeroplane Company was producing cars in England based on BMW's pre-war models, using plans that BAC had taken from BMW's German offices. Production of automobiles resumed with the BMW 501 large sedan. Throughout the 1950s, BMW expanded their model range with sedans, coupes and sports cars. In 1954, the BMW 502 was BMW's first to use a V8 engine. To provide an affordable model, BMW began production of the Isetta
Bristol Cars is a dormant manufacturer of hand-built luxury cars headquartered at Mychett Place, England. Bristol Cars Limited is a newly formed company, incorporated in 2011 after the original company fell into administration that same year and was dissolved by a court appointed administrator, after changing its name to BCL 2011 Ltd. After the Second World War, the car division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company was formed becoming Bristol Cars Limited. Bristol has only one sales showroom, on Kensington High Street in London; the company maintains an enthusiastic and loyal clientele. Bristol has always been a low-volume manufacturer; the company suspended manufacturing in March 2011, when administrators were appointed, 22 staff were made redundant at the factory in Filton and subsequently the company was dissolved. In April 2011, a new company was formed by the administrator to sell the original assets to Kamkorp. Since 2011, the company has been restoring and selling all models of the marque while a new model was being developed.
The company had revealed a desire to return to automotive production in 2018 with an all-new model, called the "Bullet" dubbed "Project Pinnacle". The car was first revealed to the public on 26 July 2016, homologation was set to have begun some time in 2018; the British aircraft industry suffered a dramatic loss of orders and great financial difficulties following the Armistice of 1918. To provide immediate employment for its considerable workforce, the Bristol Aeroplane Company undertook the manufacture of a light car, the construction of car bodies for Armstrong Siddeley and bus bodies for their sister company, Bristol Tramways. On the outbreak of World War II, Sir George Stanley White, managing director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company from 1911–1954, was determined not to suffer the same difficulties a second time; the company now employed 70,000 and he knew he must plan for the time when the voracious wartime demand for Bristol aircraft and aircraft engines would end. The company began working with AFN Ltd, makers of Frazer Nash cars and British importer of BMWs before the war, on plans for a joint venture in automotive manufacture.
As early as 1941, a number of papers were written or commissioned by George S. M. White, Sir Stanley's son, proposing a post-war car manufacturing division, it was decided to purchase an existing manufacturer for this purpose. Alvis, Aston Martin, Lagonda, ERA and Lea-Francis were considered. A chance discussion took place in May 1945, between D. A. Aldington, a director of Frazer Nash serving as an inspector for the wartime Ministry of Aircraft Production, Eric Storey, an assistant of George White at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, it led to the immediate take-over of Frazer Nash by the Aeroplane Company. Aldington and his two brothers had marketed the Frazer Nash BMW before the war, proposed to build an updated version after demobilisation; this seemed the perfect match for the aeroplane company's own ambitions to manufacture a high quality sports car. With the support of the War Reparations Board, H. J. Aldington travelled to Munich and purchased the rights to manufacture three BMW models and the 328 engine.
By July 1945, BAC had created a car division and bought a controlling stake in AFN. A factory was established near Bristol. George White and Reginald Verdon-Smith of the Aeroplane Company joined the new Frazer Nash Board, but in January 1947, soon after the first cars had been produced, differences between the Aldingtons and Bristol led to the resale of Frazer Nash; the Bristol Car Division became an independent entity. Bristol Cars was sold after its parent joined with other British aircraft companies in 1960 to create the British Aircraft Corporation, which became part of British Aerospace; the car division merged with Bristol Siddeley Engines, was marked for closure, but was bought in September 1960 by George S. M. White the chairman and effective founder. White retained the direction of the company, but sold a forty per cent shareholding to Tony Crook, a leading Bristol agent. Crook became sole distributor. In September 1969, only a month before the unveiling of the new Bristol 411 at the Earl's Court Motor Show, Sir George White suffered a serious accident in his Bristol 410.
The car was only superficially damaged. As time passed it became clear that he would never regain his health sufficiently to return to full-time work. To safeguard the future of his workforce, he decided in 1973 to sell his majority shareholding to Crook; as the ties with the White family were severed, British Aerospace requested the company to move its factory from Filton Aerodrome and it found new premises in nearby Patchway. The showroom on Kensington High Street became the head office, with Crook shuttling between the two in Bristol's light aircraft. Under Crook's direction the company produced at least six types, the names of which were borrowed from Bristol's distinguished aeronautical past: the Beaufighter, Blenheim and Brigand. In February 1997, Crook aged 77, sold a fifty per cent holding in Bristol Cars to Toby Silverton, with an option to take full control within four years. Silverton son-in-law of Joe Lewis of the Tavistock Group and son of Arthur Silverton of Overfinch, joined the board with his father.
Crook and Toby Silverton produced the Speedster, Bullet and 411 Series 6, though 2002 saw the transfer of Bristol Cars into the ownership of Silverton and the Tavistock Group, with Silverton in the chair and Crook remaining as m