The Aston Martin Bulldog supercar restored by Classic Motor Cars. Ltd (CMC) in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, has hit three major milestones in just nine days – The car won the Royal Automobile Club restoration of the year award, CMC won specialist of the year at the Octane Historic Moring Awards, and on Saturday November 27 the car hit 162 miles an hour on its first shake-down session. The first time in over 40 years, the car has been driven at speed.
Nigel Woodward managing Director of CMC said: “The last few days have been something of a whirlwind, to win two prestigious awards within a week is fantastic and is a great tribute to the team at CMC who have worked so hard on the car for the last 18 months. But to cap that by accelerating through 162 on our first time out with the car is just the icing on the cake.”
The car was privately testing at the Royal Naval Air Station at Yeovilton in Somerset. This was part of a series of Royal Naval activities which has seen the car unveiled at the Hampton Court Concours by two Royal Naval apprentices from the Royal Naval Air Station. The car was showcased on board HMS Prince of Wales, Britain’s latest Aircraft carrier and the next testing taking place back at RNAS Yeovilton once analysis of Saturdays testing takes place and the conditions are right.
Richard Gauntlett, who represents the owner of the car Phillip Sarofim, and who sent the car to CMC for the restoration was elated: “Seeing the car run like this for the first time in forty years is a dream come true. I grew up with the car, I had a poster of it on my bedroom wall. I cannot thank the team at CMC enough for the hard work that they have put into this Project.”
Victor Gauntlett, Richard’s father, was Chairman at Aston Martin when the supercar which was planned to be the first production car to exceed 200 mph. But the project was axed after the car reached nearly 192 miles per hour in 1980. The car was then sold and disappeared occasionally surfacing around the world. It was purchased by Phillip Sarofim two years ago.
“The car will be tested again either this year or at the beginning of next at the Royal Naval air Station before we go for the 200-mph record that it never did in 1980. The location of that attempt is still being discussed.”
Nigel added; “There is still much to do but Saturdays session not only validated the car but also provided a lot of very useful data. The fact that without trying, and in the teeth of a 50 mph crosswind we sailed through the 160 mph mark in only ¾ of a mile, at reduced boost and on partial throttle says much. It was only a lack of bravery on my part and the fact that we were still evaluating the car that prevented us going faster”.