Aston Martin Bulldog

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Aston Martin Bulldog
The Bulldog at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed
ManufacturerAston Martin
Production1979 (1 produced)
AssemblyNewport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England
DesignerWilliam Towns
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style2-door coupe
LayoutMR layout
Engine5.3 L Aston Martin twin-turbocharged V8
Length4724 mm (186 in)
Height1092 mm (43 in)
Kerb weight1727 kg (3807 lbs) [1]

The Aston Martin Bulldog, styled by William Towns, is a British, one-off concept vehicle produced by Aston Martin in 1979. The code name for the project was DP K901.[2] Initially, a production run of 15–25 cars was planned, but the project was deemed too costly and only one was built.


The Bulldog - named after a Scottish Aviation Bulldog aeroplane flown by Aston Martin's then managing director, Alan Curtis, but nicknamed "K9", after the robotic dog from the Doctor Who TV series[2] - was designed to show off the capabilities of Aston Martin's new engineering facility in Newport Pagnell, as well as to chase after the title of fastest production car in the world. The car was officially launched on 27 March 1980 at the Bell Hotel at Aston Clinton. Although the car was built in the UK, it is left-hand-drive. The Bulldog's sharp wedge shape was designed by William Towns.[2] The car has five centre-mounted, hidden headlamps and gull-wing doors. The interior is upholstered in leather with walnut trim[3] and uses multiple LED buttons like the Lagonda. Aston Martin planned to build 15-25 Bulldogs, but in 1981 Victor Gauntlett became chairman of the company and decided the project would be too costly, so the Bulldog project was shelved.[4] In 1984 Aston Martin sold the Bulldog to a middle eastern collector for £130,000. The owner added both rear view mirrors and cameras. The Bulldog later was sold to an American collector and spent some time in the United States; it was later in storage in different places.

It was shown at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2009, and at Aston Martin's 100th anniversary celebration at Kensington Park Gardens in July 2013.[2]

With gull-wing doors open at Aston Martin's centennial celebration at Kensington Palace in July 2013

It was found in storage in the Far East, and offered for sale in Britain. It was now green, compared to original exterior colours of silver and light grey. The interior had also been changed from the original dark brown and black to light tan. In 2020 the car was purchased by an American owner, and a full restoration project managed by Victor Gauntlett's son Richard was set up.[3]

Under its new ownership, plans were unveiled in early 2021 for Classic Motor Cars Ltd (Bridgnorth) to perform a nut and bolt restoration with the aim of reaching 200mph.[5] In November 2021 the car's rebuild had been completed and the car achieved a speed of 162mph (261 km/h) on its initial shakedown on the main runway at RNAS Yeovilton. [6]


The front end of the Bulldog featured five centre-mounted hidden headlamps.

The Bulldog is powered by a 5.3L V8 engine with twin Garrett turbochargers that produces 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS)—the engine was capable of 700 bhp (522 kW; 710 PS) on the test bed—and 500 lb⋅ft (678 N⋅m) maximum torque.[7] When it came out, Aston Martin claimed the car was capable of 237 mph (381 km/h), but the fastest speed the car was recorded reaching at that time was 191 mph (307 km/h) during a test run at the Motor Industry Research Association track in late 1979.[8] The wedge-shaped design gave the Bulldog a drag coefficient of 0.34.[9]

On 6th June 2023 BBC Radio 4's news reported that the car had reached its promised 200 MPH speed at Campbeltown Airport in Scotland, reaching a speed of 205.4 mph (330.55 km/h).[10]


  1. ^ "1980 Aston Martin Bulldog Concept". Retrieved 16 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d "Aston's 237mph one-off supercar". BBC Topgear. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "The one-off Aston Martin saved from storage units". BBC News. 21 September 2020.
  4. ^ Petrány, Máté. "The Bulldog Was Aston Martin's Mid-Engined Dream". Jalopnik. Archived from the original on 24 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  5. ^ Sheenan, Sam. "Aston Martin Bulldog to re-attempt 200mph". Piston Heads. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  6. ^ Sheenan, Sam. "Aston Martin Bulldog hits 162mph in shakedown". Piston Heads. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  7. ^ "A-Z Supercars: Aston Martin Bulldog". Evo. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  8. ^ Sheenan, Sam. "Aston Martin Bulldog to re-attempt 200mph". Piston Heads. Retrieved 30 November 2021.
  9. ^ "In 1979, Aston Martin Built A Twin-Turbo Wedge That Could Reach 191MPH". Road & Track. 2 July 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Aston Martin 1970s supercar breaks 200mph barrier". BBC News. Retrieved 24 December 2023.

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