This souvenir DVD is based on two high-quality 16mm films shot by the late Ted Ashman, Chief Photographer of the Bristol Aeroplane Company in the mid-1950s. Enhanced by modern location footage and informed commentary, it will be greatly enjoyed by Bristol Car owners and enthusiasts.
The first film traces the progress of a Bristol 403 making a journey from London to Paris in 1954. Its objective was to publicise Bristol Cars, and to prove that travelling in a modern sports saloon on a long cross-channel journey would be comfortable and pleasant. Appropriately, the car is air-lifted from Lympne Airfield in another BAC product, the Bristol Freighter, which was known as ‘The Five Ton Lorry Of The Air.’ Some notable landmarks are passed en route, including a memorial which commemorates the 46 passengers and crew who lost their lives following the R101 Airship disaster at Beauvais in 1930.
The Le Mans film, which was shot in colour in 1955, is truly remarkable. The event was a huge success for the Bristol team, as they finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in their class. However, as a result of the devastating Mercedes crash which killed driver Pierre Levegh and 83 spectators, it is believed that the film was put away and never shown publicly. Prize money received by the Bristol Car Division was donated to the fund set up for the relatives of the victims; a touching gesture, typical of the caring nature of its Managing Director Sir George White.
Both films are narrated by Bristol Car historian Christopher Balfour, author of the most recent publication on the famous marque, ‘Bristol Cars: A Very British Story’.
You can now view the two films for the first time ever on DVD, and also enjoy the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s Centenary celebrations at Filton, in September 2010. This event saw the largest ever assembly of Bristol Cars, and a memorable air display which featured the Airbus A380.
Write a review