The joint liquidator of Bristol Cars has rebuffed claims that the brand name is to be revived with continuation models.
Insolvency practitioner Frost Group said that despite what investor and property developer Jason Wharton says, he hasn’t bought any intellectual property rights.
Essex-based Wharton says on LinkedIn that he is leading the revival of Bristol Cars and that he’s its executive chairman.
He had announced that he planned to transform the company, which went into liquidation in February 2020, into a ‘leading British electric vehicle company’ by its 80th anniversary in 2026.
Initially, though, his plan was to re-engineer classic versions of Bristol’s famous vehicles on a ‘build-to-order’ basis with 6.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 engines.
That was to include reborn versions of the firm’s 411 Series 8 and Fighter, which were set to be the ‘final internal combustion engine Bristol Cars’.
The suspension, electrical systems and interior were to be overhauled to ensure they met modern-day standards.
Initially, three limited-edition series of eight ‘remastered’ cars were being said to be produced, with each car retailing for ‘around £495,000’ plus VAT.
Wharton had said he was able to make the faithful recreations after acquiring the intellectual property rights (IPR) to Bristol Cars, along with certain chassis jigs and patterns.
Production would then move on to creating a new battery electric vehicle – called Buccaneer – scheduled to start in Filton in 2025.
However, Frost Group has issued a statement saying: ‘We have read a number of reports in various publications regarding the plans of Mr Jason Wharton and his company, Bristol Manufacturing Limited, to produce “continuation models” of certain vehicles formerly manufactured by Bristol Cars Limited (BCL).
‘It has been stated that he has acquired the IPR of BCL and that he is seeking premises for his operation.
‘Whilst we have no knowledge of the success or otherwise of his property search, we can categorically state that whilst he has purchased certain tooling and spares at an auction of the company’s assets, he has not purchased any IPR.
‘What he has done is sought to revoke some BCL trademarks for want of use.
‘Such action has been objected to by us as joint liquidators of BCL and by Kamkorp Autokraft Limited, the owner of the trademarks in question. Mr Wharton attempted a similar action in relation to Allard, which failed.’
Frost Group added: ‘Furthermore, we are at a loss to understand how he intends to produce the “continuation models” to which he refers, as he has not acquired the technical drawings to do so.
‘The sale of that IPR is being dealt with by David Fletcher of our agents Wyles Hardy, who remains in discussions with a number of interested parties.’
Car Dealer has contacted Jason Wharton for a comment.