British legend beats 40-plus-year goal
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Press Release

Aston Martin Bulldog scores 200mph victory

British legend beats 40-plus-year goal

The Aston Martin Bulldog reached the 200mph goal it never did in 1979 at the Machrihanish airfield, a former NATO base in Campbeltown Scotland today (6th June).

The Bulldog was designed by Aston Martin in 1977 to be the fastest production car on the road. However, in late 1979, the Bulldog recorded a top speed of 191mph at MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association) test track, just short of the hoped-for 200mph.

Now the Bulldog has been driven to victory by three-times Le Mans 24-hour class winner Darren Turner, works driver for Aston Martin, who previously got the Bulldog to 176 mph in tests at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in 2021.

Darren said: “Bulldog's 200mph goal has been over 40 years in the making, being part of that legacy is a fantastic feeling.

“The Bulldog has now fulfilled Aston Martin's 1980s promise and everyone who has worked on the car - from those who first designed and built it, to Classic Motor Cars who undertook the restoration under the management of Richard Gauntlett, can feel very proud.”

He added: “The conditions were perfect for the run and the car performed perfectly too, easily hitting the 200mph mark.”

Originally the one-of-a-kind Bulldog was to be one of 15-20, but the project was deemed too costly by Aston Martin and the car was sold off to its first owner, a Saudi Prince, for £130,000. On his first drive, the engine blew up.

The Bulldog was then passed from owner to owner, occasionally appearing in car concours around the world. It mostly featured in ‘top ten most influential prototype cars’ lists online until it hit the headlines in 2020 when new owner Philip Sarofim asked Richard Gauntlett, the son of the former owner of Aston Martin Victor Gauntlett, to manage the restoration.

Richard Gauntlett chose Classic Motor Cars Ltd in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, to restore the Bulldog. Classic Motor Cars having restored some of the most historic cars in the world. Their skilled engineers worked on the Bulldog over an 18-month period involving 7,000 hours of restoration, and hundreds of hours carried out on testing and adjustment.

Tim Griffin, managing director of Classic Motor Cars said: “Thanks to the CMC team's hard work the Aston Martin Bulldog has done it! The people of Campbeltown were very welcoming and encouraging to us, and we're glad to give them the opportunity to see the car and meet Darren.”

Phillip Sarofim, owner of the Aston Martin Bulldog said: “Today is about making dreams come true, the dreams of the original designers and engineers who created Bulldog. Those automotive pioneers were breaking barriers, not just speed barriers but frontiers of design, innovation and engineering.”

Richard Gauntlett, project leader said: “It is a truly incredible moment to witness the close of a 45-year chapter in the history of the incredible Aston Martin Bulldog. The team who built it and the team who re-built are deservedly celebrating their momentous achievements and it is heartwarming to see all their hard work rewarded.”

Now having completed its goal the Bulldog and its team can enjoy their victory and look back on their labour of love knowing it paid back two hundred miles fold.


Picture credits to Amy Shore.

Picture captions:

1)The Bulldog hitting the 200mph

2)Darren Turner with the Aston Martin Bulldog

3)The 200mph on the testing computer

Note to Editors

About CMC

Delivering the best from one of the great teams in the world of Classic restoration

Classic Motor Cars based in Bridgnorth in Shropshire, has been at the forefront of classic car restoration for the last 25 years starting with Jaguar and then moving on to other marques including Aston Martin 

CMC is an owner managed Trust where the staff own the company and is a partner of The Marches Centre of Manufacturing & Technology (MCMT) an employer-led response to bridging the skills gap by creating industry-ready apprenticeships and delivering the best upskilling opportunities including courses that teach apprentices classic car skills.

For Further information please contact:

David Barzilay: +44(0)7860 322333. Email:


Ella Griffin 07447 098909 Email:


Richard Gauntlett, project leader : 07974575526 Email:

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Classic Motor Cars Limited
Unit 9 Stanhope Industrial estate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV15 5HR WV15 5HR
United Kingdom

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