Classic Cars: Like many manufacturers that survived World War II without major bombing damage, the Bristol Aircraft Company found itself with a large and seasoned workforce and a factory containing the latest manufacturing technologies. The aeronautics company was responsible for some of the great bombers and fighters on the British side of the war, like the Blenheim, Beaufort, and Beaufighter. BAC wanted to apply what it’d learned in making these crafts to the ripe civilian market, so the logical step was moving into the automotive industry, which was in a state of disrepair after the war. They had dabbled with the Monocar just after World War I however—a single-seater propelled by a motorcycle engine—but this time they went for a different market entirely.
They started building aluminum bodies for Armstrong Siddeley, which had released the Lancaster and Hurricane, the very same week of V-E Day, and then went on to purchase Aldington Frazer Nash (AFN), famous for chain-driven machine guns and the fact that it owned the UK rights to the BMW 328 engine (AFN is now owned by Porsche GB).