Aston Martin's 'mythical beast' supercar set to reattempt 200mph run

Bulldog will roar again: Aston Martin’s ‘mythical beast’ supercar built in 1980 is set to reattempt 200mph record run after restoration project led by son of the car-maker’s chairman

  • The Aston Martin Bulldog was hoped to be the first car to reach record-breaking 200mph when built in 1980
  • The attempt failed, reaching 191mph, and then was lost when sold by Victor Gauntlett, the firm’s former boss
  • It was located last year and 40 years on a project led by his son Richard is hoping to succeed at the second go

A powerful supercar dubbed a ‘mythical beast’ is set to make a second attempt at reaching 200mph, 40 years after it failed a then record-breaking run.

The Aston Martin Bulldog was a one-off concept made in 1980in an effort to show off the capabilities of the company’s new engineering facility in Milton Keynes.

Engineers had hoped the gull-winged motor would be the first car to reach 200mph but it fell nine miles per hour short of the target.

The  Aston Martin Bulldog, known by petrolheads as the ‘mythical beast’, will make a second attempt at reaching 200mph later this year, 40 years after it only managed 191mph during its initial run 

The project is being overseen by Richard Gauntlett, son of former Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett, who hopes to finish what engineers in 1980 could not and help it reach the 200mph target set 40 years ago

The Bulldog never made it into production due to spiralling costs and the concept car disappeared before Richard Gauntlett, the son of former Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett, tracked it down in 2020.

And now a project run by Richard is hoping to get the car to 200mph.

He said: ‘The car is now well on the way to being restored and it will be running by the end of the year. We will then attempt the record that never was.

‘The Bulldog became something of a mythical beast, lots of people knew about it and wondered where it was after it was sold by Aston Martin to an owner in the Middle East.

Work is ongoing at the Shropshire factory to get the Bulldog ready for its 200mph run by the end of the year. The vehicle was sold in 1984 and finally tracked down in 2020 having spent time in the Middle East, the USA and the Far East

Richard Gauntlett is hoping the car’s speedometer will tick over 200mph for the first time, some 40 years since it failed at an impressive but not record-breaking 191mph 

The gull-winged motor disappeared following its sale in 1984 by Victor Gauntlett and was finally tracked down in 2020 by a fan of the mythical machine in the Middle East and brought back to the UK

The supercar is undergoing a full restoration ahead of the second attempt to reach 200mph, expected to be held later in 2021

‘It then disappeared from general view but there were a handful of sightings all over the world.’

The 1979 Aston Martin Bulldog supercar 

Design: William Towns

Produced: 1979

Body style: two-door coupe

Doors: gullwing 

Top speed: 237mph

Engine: twin-turbo 5.3-litre V8

Height: 43ins

Length: 15ft 6ins 

The vehicle was sold by Richard’s father to a middle eastern buyer in 1984 to help raise cash for the then-struggling company.

It is believed the vehicle has spent the last 30 years in different storage units around the world including spending some time in the United States.

It was finally located in the Far East and bought by an American Bulldog fan before it was transported to Shropshire for restoration.

Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner has been recruited to make the 200mph attempt, later this year.

He will be boosted by a whopping 5.3 litre, twin turbocharged V8 engine.

Darren 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.

‘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.’

Former Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett sold the supercar in 1984 when the firm decided it was not financially-viable to mass produce the legendary vehicle 

The restoration work has been completed by commissioned Shropshire-based firm Classic Motor Cars (CMC).

Managing director Nigel Woodward: ‘It is great that Darren has agreed to drive the car.

‘Having such an accomplished driver on board and one that will become involved in the final set up and testing is fantastic.’

The world’s fastest production car is currently the SSC Tuatara hypercar which was recorded at 316mph.

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