First Shake-Down Success For The Aston Martin Bulldog

Aston Martin Bulldog
Nigel Woodward and Richard Gauntlett on the runway at RNAS Yeovilton

The Aston Martin Bulldog concept car restored by Classic Motor Cars has been put through its first shake-down and reached 162mph at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset…

In case you missed it, the resurrected 70s supercar was given an 18-month nut and bolt restoration by Shropshire-based Classic Motor Cars back in 2020, then unveiled to the public in September at Hampton Court Palace as part of the Concours of Elegance.

Designed by William Towns, the 5.3 litre V8 gull-winged Bulldog is capable of sprinting from 0-100mph in a blistering 10.1 seconds and was the fastest production car of its time but never reached the golden 200mph after further testing of the ‘dart-like’ Aston was suspended following the appointment of AML chairman Victor Gauntlett in 1981.


Aston Martin Bulldog at Hampton Court Palace in September

Bulldog Triple Success

Its been a successful nine days for the team, winning the Royal Automobile Club restoration of the year award, specialist of the year at the recent Octane Historic Moring Awards, and on Saturday, November 27 the Bulldog reached 162 miles an hour on its first shake-down session.

Aston Martin Bulldog
Left to right: Nigel Woodward discusses the first run with Richard Gauntlett and CMC engineer Brett Eggar

Nigel Woodward managing Director of CMC said:
“The last few days have been something of a whirlwind, to win two prestigious awards within a week is fantastic and is a great tribute to the team at CMC who have worked so hard on the car for the last 18 months. But to cap that by accelerating through 162 on our first time out with the car is just the icing on the cake.”

The supercar will be tested again either this year or at the beginning of next at the Royal Naval Air Station prior to the 200-mph record being attempted. The location of that attempt is still under wraps for now but will be released soon.

Aston Martin Bulldog
Royal Naval fire fighters, Royal Naval staff, and the CMC team with Bulldog and DB9 used as chase car on the day

Richard Gauntlett, who represents the owner of the car Phillip Sarofim:
“Seeing the car run like this for the first time in forty years is a dream come true. I grew up with the car, I had a poster of it on my bedroom wall. I cannot thank the team at CMC enough for the hard work that they have put into this project.”

Images – Richard Johnson

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A Journey From Restoration To Perfection

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