This one off wedge shaped Aston from the 70s is unlike any other and is designed for speeds in excess of 200 mphby Khris Bharath, on
The Aston Martin Bulldog seen here is unlike any other Aston because it is the only one of its kind in the world, thanks to its striking angular wedge-shaped design. It has undergone an 18-month long restoration.
The car was unveiled earlier today by two Royal Navy cadets. It was completed back in 1979 and is now stealing the show from the other classics this weekend at the Concours d’Elegance, at Hampton Court Palace in the United Kingdom.
The Bulldog’s Restoration project manager, Richard Gauntlett, and CMC managing director Nigel Woodward, Aston Martin racing driver Darren Turner, the car’s owner, Phillip Sarofim, and members of the restoration crew are among the people attending this prestigious annual event, to showcase their final result with this one-off Aston.
The Story behind the Aston Martin Bulldog
The Bull-dog is a concept car designed by William Towns for Aston Martin. The car was first unveiled at the Bell Hotel in Aston Clinton on March 27, 1980. Back then, Aston’s goal was simple. It was to create the world’s fastest production car with a small production run of just 15 to 25 examples of the Bulldog.
This exercise was also carried out to demonstrate that the British marque was not merely a small firm of renowned automotive craftsmen, but that it indeed had the engineering acumen which was nothing short of top class to build such a vehicle.
To prove their point, Aston Martin believed that the Bulldog can achieve a top speed, upwards of 200mph. When it was eventually driven and tested at the MIRA test trackin Nuneaton in 1980, it reached 191 miles per hour. To put that into perspective, the Lamborghini Countach at the time could manage 180 mph. Despite this phenomenal performance, testing and development of the car were abruptly halted.
This was because, when Victor Gauntlett became the chairman of Aston Martin back in 1981, he concluded that this project would just be far too expensive, and as a result, the Bulldog was abandoned. And hence, this supercar vanished into oblivion. It also failed to attempt to break the production car speed record of 200mph. Aston Martin went on to sell the one and only Bulldog back in 1984 for £130,000 to a Middle Eastern collector. The car was later sold to an American collector and it has since spent time in the United States.
A new chapter for this one-off Aston
The Bulldog, after lying low for decades, has now been repaired and restored, by Classic Motor Cars (CMC) based in the U.K. For those of you who don’t know, CMC for the past 25 years, has always been at the frontline of vintage automobile restoration. They operate from a modern purpose-built facility at Stanmore Business Park, where 50 to 60 cars every month, ranging from vintage Jaguar’s to Aston Martin’s, Bentley’s, Lancia’s, Ferrari’s, and other modern premium marques, can be found being restored.
Tim Griffin, Nigel Woodward, managing director of Classic Motor Cars, along with his Mechanics began work on the Aston Martin Bulldog early last year to bring the futuristic car from the past, back to its former grandeur.
And what a delight it must have been to behold this angular Aston’s revolutionary wedge-shaped silhouette, gleaming in pristine silver. After 35 years of dormancy the insides too, have been fully restored and the colors are very 70s, ranging from beige, black, and dark brown, just as it might have been, when the car left the Aston Martin factory over three decades ago.
Mr. Woodward said last year that, being picked to rebuild such a legendary car was a "great honor" for CMC. Members of the original engineering team, who met with the group of professionals behind the restoration, supplied invaluable knowledge and guidance to the firm.
The Final Result
After 18 months and 6500 man-hours of painstaking restoration, the Bulldog repair effort is now finished. This is after the body was stripped right down to bare metal and meticulously rebuilt, documenting every original nut and bolt. Strangely, despite being handmade in England, the Bulldog is only available in left-hand drive. The Bulldog has five hidden headlamps in the center and gull-wing doors. It was equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine with twin turbochargers producing 600 horsepower.
The magnificent Bulldog restoration story was being followed by thousands of people around the world. Now, after all these years, the car is finally being prepped for a slew of test runs at a Royal Navy air station, where it will eventually be driven to its planned top speed of 200 miles per hour.
Source: Aston Martin Bulldog