In 1945 the Bristol Aeroplane Company diversified into car manufacturing, producing hand-built luxury cars at their factory in Filton. This new company was named Bristol Cars, and became independent from the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1960. Bristol Cars is still based at Filton, and claims to be the last wholly British-owned luxury car builder.
Their quality and rarity means that second-hand Bristols are generally considered "classics": The cars have always been hand-made in small quantities, taking four times the man-hours to complete compared to other luxury cars, and with regular maintenance are expected to outlast their owners. Bristol cars are considered by the manufacturer to be based on tradition rather than ostentation, and are intended to be effective daily transportation rather than occasional indulgences.