Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum  

Go Back   Bristol Cars - Owners and Enthusiasts Forum > Bristol Forums > Bristol Ephemera

Bristol Ephemera Automobilia / collectibles associated with Bristol

Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 27-02-09, 06:56 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,149
Default Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

While this book is predominantly about AFN, it also contains some very interesting accounts of the Aldington brother's dealings with Bristol along with their flight to the BMW factory to grab a car, engines and drawings which ultimately resulted in the Bristol 400 turning out the way it did.

It also contains some information about Fritz Fielder and the role he had after being brought to the UK.

What I find fascinating is how the accounts of the Aldington brothers differ quite markedly from Setright's version of history written in his Bristol books which of course has been copied or quoted by numerous other 'authors' over the years (and journalists who are still doing it to this day!).

Personally I think this is essential reading for any Bristol Enthusiast. (and I have no link with the seller).

Last edited by Kevin H; 21-02-10 at 09:47 PM. Reason: removed old ebay link
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 27-02-09, 09:40 AM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

Denis Jenkinson was responsible for the Chain Gang to Turbocharger
book and he was a stickler for accuracy. Setright was a brilliant
writer and anything but IMO. I think he should be enjoyed for his
prose and much of what he's written should be treated with
suspicion unless you can corroborate it.

Ashley
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 27-02-09, 11:30 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 32
Default Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

Kevin:

I agree that this is an essential read. But it does show the
difference between what was becoming a badge applier and a
manufacturer. I'm not saying which was smarter - buying in needs
little capital and you can be fleet of foot. Yet it must have been
that Bristol had in mind a good sized industrial operation, supposedly
based on good West Country ideas of providing employment for the
workers after the war. As it worked out it had a hard time to make big
production with scarce materials, high UK taxes on cars and luxuries,
export or bust exhortations, and then when the Comet fell and the
plane manufacturers were forced to merge, the car subsidiaries were
starved of capital. Then Bristol morphed into a partial badge company,
certainly as regards the engine. But so far, this has been no bad thing.

Anyway, if events turn sour in the US - more than they have, there are
still other interesting engines around.

Best. Sean
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 27-02-09, 12:27 PM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

AFN were a small car manufacturer and Fritz Fiedler did help them
with the Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica. I recommend that you Read an
account of the 50/51 racing season of these cars by an Irish
Engineer who worked for them at the time. The Bristol Aircraft
Company were making two cars a week at the time, so not much larger
and they were having engine problems that AFN understood at least as
well as they did.

I think the point I'd make is that AFN's history by DSJ is essential
reading if you want accuracy for the early years of the Bristol Car
Company.

Ashley
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 28-02-09, 08:48 AM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,149
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley James View Post
I think the point I'd make is that AFN's history by DSJ is essential reading if you want accuracy for the early years of the Bristol Car Company.
This was my thinking also, but it's difficult to know what the true story is.

Certainly LJKS was such a Bristol fan it's difficult to see him being completely objective and unbiased. But he did correct some assumptions he had made in Bristol Cars and Engines when he wrote A Private Car.

This Jenks book appears to be reasonably neutral when discussing the Aldington's part in the birth of Bristol Cars. For example it explains quite clearly the differences of opinion between Aldy and Sir George White and the fact that Aldy was not experienced with mass manufacture.

What is clear though, is that if it were not for the Aldington brothers efforts in flying to Germany and grabbing drawings, engines and so forth from the BMW factory, the Bristol Cars story would have started quite differently.

This has often been referred to as 'war reparations' but going by the account of the Aldingtons (who were actually there), it sounds more like they simply grabbed what they could because the Americans had ordered it all to be crated up and sent back to the US. Probably the only thing that was official war reparations was Fritz Fielder coming to work at AFN.

There is also at least one other version of events and it differs again from the accounts of both Jenks/Aldington and that of Setright. That is in "The BMW Story" by Horst Monnich. (not essential reading)

Talking of different historical accounts, there was an article about Sir George White IV and his Bristol 603 in the Dec 2008 issue of Classic & Sports Car. He explains that Sir George White II and the Aldingtons were "like chalk and cheese" with "quite different personalities". This is fair enough and probably quite true but then the article goes on to claim that the Aldingtons were dishonest with "tales" of dubious practices in the AFN service dept.

I think it is poor form to start publicly casting aspersions about people who are no longer around to defend themselves!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 28-02-09, 10:40 AM
ex member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nr. Stroud, Glos
Posts: 141
Default Bristol related book - FROM CHAIN DRIVE TO TURBOCHARGER.

I think the White family may have been snobs because they didn't
approve of Sir Roy Feddon much. He was an extremely clever man and
had developed immensely successful Aero engines for them, but they
never rewarded him properly and may even have reneged on the
commission he was due for the sales of Jupiter Engines and licences
to make them. Feddon was difficult, but to have him walk out at a
crucial time wasn't clever. It set them back some years.

Bristol had some 60, 000 employees at the end of the war and AFN was a
second hand car garage and specials builder with about twenty. In the
end they made 85 Bristol engined cars I believe. However Frazer Nashes
competition success in the early fifties was staggering and must have
helped Bristol enormously. I recommend Frazer Nash "What Memories That
Name Arouses!" by RL Jennings if you're in any doubt about their
contribution to engine development or the Bristol Car Company's
prestige.

I have quite a few books from Setright and I am friends with a
Specialist who looked after him the end, and I think it's fair to say
that most are full of errors and opinions rather than fact. He was a
brilliant man with a brilliant mind and a fanatic driver, but he
wasn't technical and he was economical with the facts. Jenks I met
once at a VMCC meeting at Mallory Park, he was a small scruffy man
with a bushy beard as I recall, but he was revered for his attention
to detail and the accuracy of his reportage, so I'd go with him.
Especially now that it is known that Ton Crook wasn't averse to
"adjustments" of history too.

Ash
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 28-02-09, 08:11 PM
geo geo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Orkney
Posts: 105
Default AFN & Chrysler?

If one wished to make a tenuous link between the current pair of threads, the old AFN factory (little changed) on the London Road Isleworth Middlesex is now, and has been since Porsche moved out, the main dealer for Chrysler/Jeep (and Skoda)!

Round the corner in a road called Wood Lane used to be a bodyshop (Duralac?) that was run by an emigre German paint chemist who advised AFN and, so he claimed, early Bristols with the problems of getting paint to stick to the aluminium bodies I have never come across a mention of this fellow, but the Frazer Nash people and Duralac's own workforce mentioned much the same tales. Anyone know any more about this?

George
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
afn, aldington, bmw, fielder

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:34 AM.


This is the live site

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2