The Aston Martin Bulldog will now aim to hit 200mph (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
A “mythical” 1980s supercar designed to run at more than 200mph has been unveiled following a full restoration.
The futuristic Aston Martin Bulldog became the fastest car on the road when it reached 191mph more than 40 years ago.
But the firm axed the project to break the 200mph mark in 1981 due to financial struggles.
The car was largely hidden from public view until being put on display in the gardens at Hampton Court Palace south-west London following its restoration by technicians at Classic Motor Cars in Shropshire.
The firm plans for the Bulldog to finally run at 200mph.
The project is being led by Richard Gauntlett, whose father Victor was managing director at Aston Martin when the initial project was scrapped.
He said: “It became something of a mythical beast.
“It disappeared from view when it was purchased from Aston Martin by a Middle Eastern buyer. Over the years Bulldog was sighted in various locations around the world before turning up in the United States where it was bought by Phillip Sarofim, who has flown to the UK for the unveiling of the car.”
Nigel Woodward, who masterminded the restoration, said: “We have had a team of 11 people working on the car for the last 18 months.
“When we received the car, it didn’t look too bad. But closer inspection revealed that there was a great deal to do. It was decided to carry out a full nut and bolt restoration.
“The car had received damage by being lifted at some point by a forklift truck
“It had not been run for years, and immediately became apparent that many parts would have to be rebuilt if it were to run at 200mph.”
Tests of the Bulldog will be carried out by Aston Martin racing driver Darren Turner in a bid to reach 200mph.