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.

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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.