1980 Aston Martin Bulldog to reattempt legendary 200mph run

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One-off concept car missed the mark 40 years ago but will try again following a thorough restoration

Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner will attempt to reach 200mph in the firm’s 1980 Bulldog concept, four decades after the one-off supercar’s first attempt.

Aston Martin first attempted the feat with the Bulldog in 1980. Despite being theoretically capable of 237mph, however, the William Towns-designed Bulldog fell shy of the mark, managing just 191mph in testing at MIRA.

Although its 191mph sprint was actually quick enough to beat the then-fastest production car, the 188mph Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, the project was shelved. Now, though, the Bulldog will now once again be pushed to the limit in pursuit of the 200mph objective.

Last year, the Bulldog’s owner, Richard Gaunlett, son of ex-Aston Martin chairman Victor Gauntlett, commissioned Shropshire-based firm Classic Motor Cars (CMC) to restore the car.

The Bulldog is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of Aston Martin’s revered 5.3-litre V8, which should be capable of generating 600bhp once CMC has completed its 18-month restoration.

After attempting to hit 200mph, the Bulldog will embark on a world tour.

Gauntlett said: “The car is well on the way to being restored and CMC will have it running by the end of the year. We will then attempt the record that never was.

“A critical part of this was finding the right driver for the job and someone that could get involved in overseeing the final elements of the project, in terms of set-up and testing.”

Turner said: “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 200mph target, I thought that was such a cool thing to do.”


Flashback: the 1970s version of the Aston Martin Valkyrie 

The greatest Aston Martins ever made 

40 years on: the notable new cars of 1980

Source: Autocar

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