Aston Martin Bulldog does 0-to-200-mph in 44 years

Richard Johnson

The one-off Aston Martin Bulldog has finally achieved the mission it was built for, achieving 205.4 mph on a runway in Scotland.

Making its debut in 1979 the Bulldog was the halo car for Aston Martin, designed by William Towns to be the fastest production car in the world. While it did reach 192 mph during testing in 1981 the Bulldog was never able to top the magic 200 mph mark.

Aston originally planned to build 15-20 Bulldogs, but only the one car was ever completed, and that disappeared for decades before being discovered and purchased by renowned collector Philip Sarofim. Sarofim had one goal, to see the car pass the double ton, just as Towns and Aston Martin chairman Victor Gauntlett dreamed.

Sarofim tasked Shropshire, UK-based Classic Motor Cars with a complete restoration, which took 18 months to complete, under the supervision of Gauntlett’s son Richard. The painstaking rebuild of Sarofim’s supercar was rewarded when it won the Coppa d’Oro at the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa D’Este in Italy in June.

Now, finally, 44 years after the Bulldog was first let off its leash, the car accomplished its original mission in the hands of three-time Le Mans winner Darren Turner at Machrihanish airfield.

“Bulldog’s 200mph goal has been over 40 years in the making, being part of that legacy is a fantastic feeling,” said Turner. “The Bulldog has now fulfilled Aston Martin’s 1980s promise and everyone who has worked on the car—from those who first designed and built it, to Classic Motor Cars who undertook the restoration under the management of Richard Gauntlett, can feel very proud.”

“The conditions were perfect for the run and the car performed perfectly too, easily hitting the 200mph mark.”


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    I remember staring at a black and white photo of this car at speed when I was a kid and it always captured my imagination. I love the alien looking row of headlights.

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