Within the factory walls, its codename was K-9, after Dr. Who's famous robotic dog. But since Alan Curtis, the Managing Director of Aston Martin Lagonda liked to spend his free time by flying a Scottish Aviation Bulldog, by the time the car was first shown to the public on March 27, 1980 at the Bell Hotel at Aston Clinton, it got the Bulldog name tag as well.
The town of Newport Pagnell wanted to show the world that they could build a modern mid-engined supercar for the eighties just as well as certain Italian automakers in Maranello or Sant'Agata Bolognese. The Bulldog's wedge-shaped body was designed by William Towns, who you might know for giving us the futuristic (and failed) Lagonda sedan. While he came up with the idea of the five hidden headlamps and the massive gullwing doors that were operated by a motorized version of the Volante's hood mechanism, the engineering work landed on chief engineer Mike Loasby's table. But since he left AML to work for DeLorean in 1979, the development had to be finished by Keith Martin, who kept refining the prototype for another three years.