One-off 1980 Aston Martin Bulldog to attempt 200mph…again

The Aston Martin Bulldog

The Aston Martin Bulldog is a one-off concept built in 1980 with the hope it would hit 200mph. It only made it to 191mph…it’s going to have another crack.

Top speed runs are nothing new…but when they’re announced for a one-off concept car built back in 1980, well that gets our attention. The Bulldog was a one-off concept revealed in 1980 to show the world that Aston Martin was more than just a “small company of renowned motoring artisans but that its engineering prowess was also world class”.

The aim was for the thing to hit 200mph-plus…it only ever went as fast as 191mph which is still incredibly fast for something that looks like it’s been drawn by a child. Only it wasn’t, it was penned by the celebrated William Towns.

If it had achieved its goal of going faster than 200mph it would have been the “fastest production car” in the world at that time (1980). But it was never to be. Until now. Maybe.

Almost two years ago the dust-covered Bulldog was given over to Classic Motor Cars for a nut and bolt restoration by its current owner. The restoration and top speed run is being overseen by Richard Gauntlett, son of Victor Gauntlett who was the chairman of Aston Martin in the 1980s. Richard 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”.

Darren Turner will drive Aston Martin Bulldog

And to get behind the wheel and floor the thing, CMC has turned to Aston Martin factory driver, Darren Turner (pictured above). “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.

“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.”

Fingers crossed.

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.