Bridgnorth firm continues world tour preparation for rare Aston Martin

Work to restore one of the world's rarest cars is continuing in Shropshire, despite the supercar's best efforts to 'bite back'.

Tim Griffin and Nigel Woodward, of CMC
Tim Griffin and Nigel Woodward, of CMC

Mechanics at Bridgnorth based Classic Motor Cars (CMC) have been working to rebuild an Aston Martin Bulldog from the late 1970s.

With work disrupted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, engineers were keen to get back into the garages, based at Stanmore Business Park, as soon as possible.

Nigel Woodward, managing director of CMC, said: "It’s been a complex and meticulous task to take the car apart and we have had some challenges in removing some damaged parts of the chassis which need to be replaced, but the restoration is on schedule.

“We have a dedicated team of engineers working on the car, with some working on the body and others working on the engine and transmission.

"We are learning much about the car and how it was used in its former life. For example, a number of bearings in the ZF Transaxle show appreciable wear and need replacing, despite the car only having covered a few thousand miles. This could be possible evidence of a very hard test programme when the car was being developed.

The ZF transaxle being stripped. A number of bearings show appreciable wear requiring replacement despite the car only having covered a few thousand miles

"Every single part of the car has been catalogued and photographed which is particularly important when you are working on a one off like the Bulldog."

Leading the project on behalf of the owner of the car, who at this stage wishes to remain anonymous, is Richard Gauntlett, whose father was chairman and CEO of Aston Martin for many years.

Mr Woodward added: “Having a name like Gauntlett, which is synonymous with Aston Martin, overseeing this project adds just another bit of magic to the process.”

Work commences on removing some of the damaged tubes that form the rear structure of the car’s chassis

Mr Gauntlett said: “Both the owner and I are delighted that CMC are carrying out the restoration and bringing this British design icon back to life.”

He added: “Part of that restoration has been a quest for me in tracking down the original engineers which I have done, and we are now pleased to have them on hand to advise on some of the more obscure design and engineering aspects of this unique prototype.”

The supercar was designed by Aston Martin in the late 1970s to show off the capabilities of its new engineering facility at Newport Pagnell. Its current owner has sent it to CMC for a full nut and bolt restoration, after which he plans to run the car at more than 200mph before taking it on a world tour.

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