It's now being driven at high speed for the first time in over 40 years.
It's been more than 40 years since Aston Martin attempted to break the 200-mph barrier with the Bulldog. While it still set a new speed record of 191 mph in 1980, it failed to achieve the original 200-mph target. Aston Martin wanted the Bulldog to be the first production car to hit 200 mph but the project was canceled after Victor Gauntlett took over the company because it was too expensive.
Over 40 years later, the original Bulldog has been painstakingly restored by Classic Motor Cars and will re-attempt the original 200 mph record. Overseeing the restoration project is Richard Gauntlett, the son of former Aston Martin CEO Victor Gauntlett. Recently, the restored Bulldog was spotted on the streets of London, where it attracted a lot of attention thanks to its wedge-shaped styling that inspired the Tesla Cybertruck.
To prepare for the record attempt, the Bulldog was taken for a shakedown run at the Royal Naval Air Station at in Somerset, UK, where it hit 161 mph. This was the first time the one-off prototype has been driven at high speed in over 40 years. In the original prototype, power was sourced from a twin-turbo 5.3-liter V8 producing 600 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque, but the engine has been boosted to 650-hp in the restored car.
While the Bulldog is now one step closer to hitting 200 mph, Classic Motor Cars boss Nigel Woodward says "there is still much to do."
"Saturday's session not only validated the car but also provided a lot of very useful data," he said. "The fact that without trying, and in the teeth of a 50 mph crosswind we sailed through the 160 mph mark in only ¾ of a mile, at reduced boost and on partial throttle says much. It was only a lack of bravery on my part and the fact that we were still evaluating the car that prevented us going faster".
After the 162-mph shakedown, the Bulldog will be tested again either later this year or early next year before Aston Martin racing driver Darren Turner will attempt to reach 200 mph, though the location for the record attempt is "still being discussed."