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44 years later: Aston Martin Bulldog jumps to 331 km/h

44 years later: Aston Martin Bulldog jumps to 331 km/h

It only took 44 years. But in the end, the Aston Martin Bulldog has delivered on its promises of speed after being restored to mint condition. The legendary supercar reached 331 km / h and Le Mans winner Darren Turner was behind the wheel.

The Aston Martin Bulldog created a sensation when it was introduced in 1979. Not only did the design make the automotive world jaw drop. The supercar will also top 200 mph, 322 km/h, and become the fastest car in the world. But the car failed to exceed 191 mph 44 years ago.

The idea was for the Aston Martin Bulldog to be produced in 15 to 25 copies – and it was way ahead of its time. The car was twice as powerful as the fastest Ferrari and five times as expensive as the Aston Martin.

The car had a 5.3-liter twin-turbocharged mid-range V8 that remains quite modern to this day. The angular, futuristic lines were drawn by designer William Townes, the same guy who drew the Aston Martin Lagonda. The Bulldog is said to have inspired Tesla’s Cybertruck, and there are certainly similarities between the cars.

During development, the Bulldog was hidden even from many who worked at Aston Martin. The car was supposed to overtake Aston Martin, its Italian competitors Ferrari and Lamborghini. Same goal today, but as it is today, it was very difficult to beat the Italian competitors. The crisis has caused the expensive supercar to be discontinued.

Instead, legendary Aston Martin CEO Victor Gauntlet sold a Bulldog to a Saudi prince for £130,000. The car then fell into oblivion, but was sold among various collectors who left the delicate supercar in poor condition. Eventually it was bought by Victor Gauntlet’s son Richard Gauntlet who decided to restore the car to mint condition to honor his father who saved Aston Martin from bankruptcy.

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The Bulldog has been restored to near mint condition in collaboration with Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth, Shrops. The supercar has been completely disassembled and every nut has been taken apart. The car was then assembled – in at least as good condition as it was when new in 1980.

The classic V8 from Aston Martin was bored from 5.3L to 5.7L and got two modern Garrett turbochargers. The engine now produces 608 hp. During the work, the tubular steel frame was reinforced to make the car more torsional rigidity.

Now the car had to show what it was good for. The car failed to break the 200 mph barrier 43 years ago, but it has failed now. At the NATO base in Scotland, the car was pushed to speeds of up to 205.4 mph, which equals 330.6 km/h. The car was driven by three-time Le Mans winner Darren Turner.

– The conditions were perfect for running, and the car performed exemplary, easily reaching 200mph. The Bulldog has now delivered on the promise of Aston Martin since the 1980s, and everyone who worked on the car, from those who first designed and built it, to Classic Motor Cars who carried out the restoration under the direction of Richard Gauntlet, can feel very proud, says Darren Turner.