Part of the Bristol Cars production line has been stolen from the firm’s factory at Filton Airfield. The building was broken into last weekend, and huge presses taken.
The presses are used to make the Blenheim coupe, shaping aluminium for the doors, roof and wings. They’re not the sort of thing you can hide under your jumper, either, as they weigh several tonnes each. The thieves would have needed several lorries and a crane to remove them.
Production of the Blenheim may be in jeopardy once existing stocks of panels run out, but only a few cars are made every week. Replacing the presses may cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It is believed the presses were taken for their scrap value, and will be cut up and melted down before the raw metal is shipped to India or China.
Which if nothing else means there is a very, very small chance that machines that used to make Bristols could end up forming part of an MG.