40 Year Old Aston Martin “Flying Doorstop” Bulldog Attempts 200 MPH Record

Over 40 years ago Aston Martin did a one-off called the Bulldog. It was both a styling concept and meant to kiss 200 mph. It was able to hit 191 mph but missed the elusive 200 mph barrier. Now, with a new owner, the Aston Martin “Flying Doorstop” Bulldog attempts 200 mph one more time.

The purpose is to give the Bulldog 200 mph attempt a second shot

The Bulldog pre-restoration | CMC

A shop in Shropshire, UK, Classic Motor Cars, is finishing off a complete nuts and bolts restoration. The purpose is to give the old 200 mph attempt a second shot. If and when it is able to hit the mark it will follow up with a world tour. 

A British racing driver named Darren Turner will be piloting the Bulldog. He raced for Aston Martin for 15 years with three 24 Hours of LeMans wins. “I had heard of the legend of Bulldog from within Aston Martin and when news started to filter out about the car being restored to go for the 200mph target, I thought that was such a cool thing to do,” said Turner. “I was following the story and thinking that it would be great to be involved in. When I was asked to drive it I didn’t need to be asked twice!”

The Bulldog was meant to be a limited production supercar with 25 cars planned in the early 1980s. Designed by William Towns, he’s also the designer of the Aston Martin Lagonda. That touring sedan did make it into production. 

The Bulldog was Aston Martin’s only stab at mid-engine production

The Bulldog going through its paces | AM

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Being Aston Martin’s only stab at mid-engine production the Bulldog was powered by a 5.3-liter V8 featuring Bosch fuel injection and twin Garrett turbochargers. Rated at 650 hp it was theoretically determined to be able to hit 237 mph. 

Originally silver with a brown interior, the Bulldog has seen a few owners. Somewhere in the ensuing 40 years, it received its current light-green paint and cream interior. It had also shed its experimental fuel injection system for four Weber carburetors. 

“The car is well on the way to being restored and CMC will have it running by the end of the year,” said Richard Gauntlett in a press release. He is the son of Victor Gauntlett, who as chairman of Aston in the early 1980s ultimately decided the company could not afford the ambitious Bulldog plans. 

“We will attempt the record that never was”

The Bulldog’s interior. AM

“We will then attempt the record that never was. A critical part of this was finding the right driver for the job and someone that could get involved in overseeing the final elements of the project, in terms of setup and testing. I am delighted that Darren Turner who has been an Aston Martin works and high-performance development driver for more than 15 years has agreed to join the team.”

Let’s hope that the lack of any aero aids to keep the Bulldog planted to earth sees it airborne like a flying brick. The good thing about high-speed record attempts is that lightness doesn’t factor into the equation like it does a true race car. Raw power and weight are what propels the car forward but also keeps it planted to the ground.