Vintage car which 'blew up on first drive' set to attempt 200mph run

The Bulldog will attempt the run at the former Royal Naval Air Station in Campbeltown, Argyll on Tuesday.

Vintage Aston Martin Bulldog which ‘blew up on first drive’ set to attempt 200mph run in Campbeltown Classic Motor Cars

A vintage Aston Martin car, the engine of which blew up on an initial run in the 1980s, is set to attempt its original goal of a 200mph run.

The Bulldog, built to be the fastest production car ever in 1979, will attempt the run at the former Royal Naval Air Station in Campbeltown, Argyll on Tuesday.

It will be driven by three-time Le Mans 24-hour class winner Darren Turner, who is works for Aston Martin.

Turner previously tested the car at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in 2021, hitting 176mph in poor weather.

The one-off concept car gained its distinctive name from the Scottish Aviation Bulldog, the aeroplane flown by Aston Martin’s then-managing director, Alan Curtis.

It was also codenamed DP K9 in the Newport Pagnell factory.

Originally, between 15 to 25 Bulldogs were going to be produced, but the project was shelved in 1981 as it was deemed to be too costly and only one Bulldog was ever built.

It was sold to its first owner, an Arab prince, shortly after production ended – but the engine blew up on his first drive.

It then became rarely sighted until the new owner asked Richard Gauntlett, son of Aston Martin chairman Victor Gauntlett, to manage a restoration of the car.

Early in 2020, the car was completely stripped down and more than 7,000 hours and 18 months went into the restoration.

While the main goal was to restore the car to its original condition, changes were made to make the Bulldog more robust in preparation for a 200mph run.

The restored Bulldog is powered by a 5.3 litre 90-degree V8 with two Garrett AiResearch T04B turbochargers bolted on.

The compomotive split-rim alloy wheels are fitted with Pirelli P7s around the circumference of the wheel’s blades to provide direct cooling air to the brakes.