A Private Car
An Account of the Bristol

by L.J.K Setright

Awarded the Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy by the Guild of Motoring Writers 1999.

Setright’s Bristol book is essentially an account of all cars that have borne the name Bristol. It is written in the established Setright style, which is meant to be highly literate, comfortably personal, appropriately technical, adequately anecdotal, mildly scholarly, gently judgmental, and entirely honest.

Richard Newton, Michael Bailie and Julian Calder were specially commissioned to photograph 40 cars for inclusion in the book, in full colour. Other illustrations include early photographs of Bristol trams, aircraft and other products, of people associated with the company, and even of the 1940 Blitz.

The book is available in two editions, each published in a two-volume set measuring 333mm x 290mm each. The Word is over 200 pages and contains the full text. The Image is over 280 pages and contains all the pictures including some 411 photographs.


“Were photographs to fade from being looked at, I would have some explaining to do… it is the text, however, that most intrigues and entrances. Setright is as idiosyncratic, as original as obstinately traditional, as radically conservative and as technically astute as his subject.”THE SPECTATOR