The one-off Aston Martin Bulldog concept has some unfinished business.
Many of Aston Martin's modern road cars like the DBS Superleggera can reach top speeds exceeding 200 mph without breaking a sweat. Even the DBX, a large luxury SUV, will top out at 181 mph. Back in the 1980s, 200-mph top speeds were less common, but Aston Martin was determined to break the 200-mph barrier with the one-off Bulldog project.
Designed by William Towns, who also penned the design for the wedge-shaped Lagonda, the Bulldog was a striking mid-engine supercar with an angular design and gullwing doors. Powering the project was a 5.3-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 700 horsepower, an immense output for the time. Aston Martin was confident this would enable the Bulldog to reach 200 mph, which would make it the fastest production car of its time. It came frustratingly close, achieving 191 mph at the MIRA test track in 1979.
Sadly, the project was scrapped by chariman Victor Gauntlett before Aston Martin could achieve its goal due to high running costs. Over 40 years later, the Aston Martin Bulldog will re-attempt its failed 200-mph run to fulfill its original destiny. In preparation, the one-off prototype is currently undergoing a thorough 18-month restoration by Classic Motor Cars.
Overseeing the restoration is Victor Gauntlett's son, Richard Gauntlett. Progress on the restoration is going well and Gauntlett is confident the concept will be running by the end of the year before the record attempt. Attempting the 200-mph run will be Aston Martin factory driver, Darren Turner, who will also be overseeing the final setup and testing stages of the project.
"I had heard of the legend of Bulldog from within Aston Martin and when news started to filter out about the car being restored to go for the 200-mph target, I thought that was such a cool thing to do," said Turner. "I was following the story and thinking that it would be great to be involved in. "
"When I was asked to drive it I didn't need to be asked twice! I really appreciate being asked and I'm looking forward to becoming part of the story of bringing Bulldog back to life and finally achieving what it set out to achieve all those years ago."
Aston Martin hasn't announced when the Bulldog will re-attempt its 200-mph record run, but if everything goes well it could happen later this year.