Concept car broke records in 1979 reaching 192mph but Aston Martin claimed it was capable of 237mph
A one-off Aston Martin supercar concept is undergoing a full restoration after the son of former Aston Martin boss Victor Gauntlett tracked it down more than 30 years after his father sold it to a Middle Eastern buyer for £130,000.
Specialists are now working the Aston Martin Bulldog at Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
Project leader Richard Gauntlett is project managing the restoration and overseeing the car’s exciting future.
He said: “The first six months of this heroic project have been truly fascinating.
“The restoration is absolutely forensic in every respect and we have seen the car offer up its past.
“We have located and spoken with every member of the core team who built it and we are compiling every piece of information we can find regarding its extraordinary history.
“This car illustrates that British ingenuity in the face of financial adversity can be so deeply impressive which seems so relevant at this time.”
Nigel Woodward, managing director of Classic Motor Cars, said: “The car is dramatically designed in every way and has inspired the restoration team like no other car we have worked on previously.
“As the car has been dismantled and revealed its history, it has prompted numerous questions as to why certain elements of the car were built in a certain way.
“It’s almost like an archaeological dig.
“You find something interesting and then must work out why it was constructed in that way, how to put it back together and whether it should be improved whilst ensuring that the historical integrity of the car remains the same.
“What has been revealed is that the basic structure showed a lack of torsional rigidity by today’s standards and complete lack of rollover protection.
“A concealed internal cage is being designed and constructed to correct both these issues without interrupting the originality of the car.
“For a vehicle with such enormous performance, we felt this was an essential safety improvement to allow the car to be driven in the manner for which it was designed.
“When you first see the Bulldog it appears to be a flat-faceted design but it’s not.
“The car has subtle compound curves in many of its body panels and it is essential that we retain those as we rebuild it.”
The Aston Martin Bulldog concept was produced in 1979 in an effort to show off the capabilities of the company’s new engineering facility in Milton Keynes.
Thanks to its sleek futuristic design and Aston Martin 5.3-litre V8 engine, the Bulldog broke records when it reached 192mph but Aston Martin’s experts claimed it was capable of going as fast as 237mph.
It was later sold by Richard’s father in 1984 to help raise cash for the then-struggling carmaker.
It is believed the vehicle has spent the last 30 years in different storage units around the world including, including some time in the United States.
The Shropshire garage hopes to restore the car to its former glory in an attempt to see it pass the 200mph mark as it was originally designed to do.
The project is expected to take a year to complete.