It isn’t uncommon to see models with a 200 mph top speed nowadays, but 40 years ago, things were very different.
Despite the speed being far from impossible today, it still is a serious figure. And it’s one that holds a particular spot in the hearts of Aston Martin fans because of the time it came up short.
In 1980, the Aston Martin Bulldog was approaching 200 mph when a change of leadership saw the project die. But now Aston is restoring the Bulldog with a view to running it to its top speed.
The Bulldog was a one-off concept designed by William Towns, and although it didn’t reach 200 mph, it did hit 191 mph before being binned by then chairman Victor Gauntlett.
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Now, though, his son Richard Gauntlett is overseeing the restoration. The actual work is being done by Classic Motor Cars in Bridgenorth, Shropshire.
“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,” said Gauntlett. “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.”
That driver will be Darren Turner, who has raced with the brand’s factory team at Le Mans for the last 15 years.
“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!”
Although the exact date of the attempt has not been revealed, the car’s owner plans to take the Bulldog on a world tour after it reaches the 200 mph mark.