Restoration work on rare Aston Martin Bulldog half way complete in Bridgnorth

Work to restore one of the world's rarest cars in Shropshire is half way complete, engineers have said.

Liz Collings, trim technician, and Luke Martin, panel beater, discuss the dashboard and centre console structure in preparation of returning the car to its original specification.
Liz Collings, trim technician, and Luke Martin, panel beater, discuss the dashboard and centre console structure in preparation of returning the car to its original specification.

The 1970's super car, the Aston Martin Bulldog, will ultimately be driven to its intended top speed of 200 mph once work at Bridgnorth's Classic Motor Cars (CMC) is complete – a feat it was originally designed for but never achieved.

The restoration is being followed by thousands of people worldwide on social media, in motoring magazines and newspapers. It has built its own following, although this wasn’t always the case.

After the launch of the car, and its abortive run to reach 200mph to claim the production car speed record, it disappeared into obscurity. But now more and more history about the car is being discovered.

Project manager Richard Gauntlett said: “The Bulldog became something of a mythical beast, lots of people knew about it and wondered where it was after it was sold by Aston Martin to an owner in the Middle East. It then disappeared from general view.”

He added: “There were sightings all over the world, in the late 1980s it was spotted in a lock up in Arizona, it was back in the Middle East in the 1990s but it was RM Sotheby’s who tracked it down in Asia.

A dry fit of the dummy engine to allow fabrication of the turbo and exhaust system

“With top restoration company CMC being chosen to carry out the 18-month-plus restoration and get the car ready for its 200mph run, the Bulldog was coming home. The car had come full circle not only geographically but in terms of its history.

“While the physical restoration has been going on at CMC, a huge amount of work continues to be done forensically piecing together the full history of where the car has been.”

RM Sotheby’s car specialist Alexander Weaver said: “Our team of car specialists is always on the hunt for unique, elusive or obscure cars on behalf of our clients and the Aston Martin Bulldog fit that bill perfectly.

“We found this one-of-a-kind concept within an exceptional collection where it had quietly resided for decades. As one would expect we were keen to facilitate its sale knowing the interest in it would be strong.”

He added: “After extensive discussions and negotiations, the owner agreed to part with the long hidden Bulldog and we were able to facilitate a sale to our client and friend Phillip Sarofim, through our private sales division. We are certainly excited to see the car undergo the restoration to its former glory and I’m personally eager to see the Bulldog crack 200mph, as it was intended and came so close."

Nigel Woodward, managing director at CMC, said: “The Bulldog has been with us for nearly a year and in that time, we have carefully dismantled the car, meticulously recording every detail of its construction. We have peeled back some of the later additions and modifications that had been carried out to the car after it left Aston Martin, and the process is now well underway to return the car to its former glory."

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