8 June 2011

That Bulldog Spirit, Aston Martin Style

Styled by William Towns (as in the Hustler kit car), it was a one-off testbed vehicle produced by Aston Martin in 1979. Originally, it had been intended to be a limited run of about 25. The code name for the project was DP K9, named after the Doctor Who character. It was built in the UK, but is a left-hand-drive car (UK cars would have been right-hand-drive). It is very low at 43 inches (1.1 m) high, and sharp, distinctive Trapezium shaped design, features centre-mounted five Hidden headlamps and gull-wing doors. The interior uses digital instrumentation and the rear view is delivered via a television monitor mounted on the centre console (a later addition). 
It's powered by a 5.3litre twin-turbo V8 delivering 700 bhp  and 500 lb/ft of torque.

The first test drive of the Bulldog came in late 1979 and was a great success. The Bulldog achieved a verified top speed of 191 mph, but the theoretical top speed is estimated at 237 mph. The car was officially launched on March 27, 1980 at the Bell Hotel at Aston Clinton. After the development program was over, very serious consideration was given to a small production run of between 12 and 25 examples but the car remains totally unique. When AML changed hands in 1981, the new Chairman Victor Gauntlett considered the company had more pressing problems and the Bulldog was sold off for a reputed £130,000 to a Middle Eastern Prince.
The Bulldog spent some time in America, but recently resurfaced back in Britain.

Many changes have been made during the 17 years that has elapsed from the cars unveiling. The silver over light grey machine in now painted in two tone metallic green, whilst the brown leather of the interior had been replaced by stone leather piped in brown. Other additions to the car include (rather bling) gold plating trim to switches and gear stick, roof mounted stereo, ugly but useful rear view mirrors and a TV showing the rear-view of the car.

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