Aston Martin stepped out of its comfort zone in 1979, as it is doing with the Valkyrie, when it launched the extraordinary midengined Bulldog supercar — complete with gullwing doors, retractable lights, a rear-facing TV camera and storming V8 power.
In the words of the Aston boss of the time, Alan Curtis, this was going to be the world’s greatest supercar.
The Bulldog was designed for Aston Martin by William Towns. The original plan was to make a batch of 25 cars for expensive sale to Aston’s ‘usual suspects’, a ruse the cash-strapped company repeatedly used as a way of staying alive. The engine was a 600bhp, twin-turbocharged version of Aston’s staple 5.3-litre V8. The car was reputed to have reached a genuine 190mph in tests, a tremendous performance when cars claiming to do 190mph often struggled to make 150mph.
In the event, only one car was built, probably because Aston discovered such a ‘different’ car was far too expensive to build, especially since its cabin space was too compromised for the average millionaire to fit behind the wheel. It still exists and was recently offered for sale.