Car enthusiast Michael Bristow’s long-held dream to bring back the Invicta sports car has come crashing down, after his company was wound up this week.

Mr Bristow’s self-confessed “gamble” to produce the exclusive car lasted barely a decade, as his Westpoint Car Company – formerly Invicta Car Company – was issued the winding-up order by Judge Francis Goddard at Bath County Court.

The order revolved around an unpaid debt of £40,000 owed to a County Durham businessman, Robert Fountain.

A statement released by James Hodgson, a solicitor acting for Mr Fountain, read: “The Invicta Car Company Limited, former manufacturer of the classic Invicta S1 motor car, was wound up at Bath County Court on April 17.

“It marks a sad end to the once famous British car brand dating back to 1925. The vehicles were, until recently, produced from premises in the Westpoint Business Park near Chippenham.

“The company was wound up by petition presented to the Court on March 13 by Robert Fountain, of Beamish, County Durham.

“The company’s director and principal shareholder, Michael Bristow, was not present at the hearing.”

The Invicta, a 1920s luxury sports car, had been a dead brand since the 1930s, until Mr Bristow acquired the rights in 1980. It took him more than 20 years to get the car to market, launching it in 2002.

Alongside specialist car designer Chris Marsh, he developed the Invicta S1, producing between 15 and 50 vehicles each year, selling them at more than £160,000.

It is thought the company had problems and Mr Bristow recently changed its name to Westpoint Car Company in a bid to boost its prospects.

Solicitors said they were “puzzled” by the reluctance to pay the £40,000 debt, as the company’s latest accounts show £4million worth of assets.

Mr Hodgson told the Gazette: “After we presented and advertised the petition, Mr Bristow changed the name of the company, perhaps as a last-ditch attempt to get out of trouble.

“It is now with the official receivers, who will call in the assets, which may include the moulds for the cars, and try to sell them.”

Michael Bristow said: “After the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent credit crunch, the market for expensive sports cars was understandably undermined and Invicta was not immune to the recession.”