Unusual vehicles is a segment that looks at a weird machine that captured the public’s attention. This could be due to its appearance, performance or simply because it was awesome. We’ve covered machines like the Isetta and Bond Bug, and now we’re looking at the 1910 Fiat S76, AKA ‘The Beast Of Turin.’ This fire-breathing juggernaut broke speed records and it was announced that it would take to the road again for the 2018 London Classic Car Show. We’re looking into how the Fiat S76 was created and what made it so powerful.
A thunderous vehicle
The Fiat S76 was built specifically to beat the land speed record, which was held at the time by the Blitzen-Benz. This was accomplished by fitting a monstrous 28.5-litre engine, considered cutting edge for the time period. This helped the S76 produce 300 bhp. Fittingly known as ‘The Beast of Turin’, the car reached a speed of 116 mph in 1911, breaking the land speed record. This took place on Salburn Sands in Yorkshire.
A few years later, the Beast attained a speed of 134.6 mph, but the rules had changed, meaning the ‘record’ was discounted. This was because the car failed to make the mandatory return run.
Only two Fiat S76s were made and they were taken apart quickly so no one else could produce them. Years later an old chassis was found in Australia by a man called Duncan Pittaway. The engine of the second car was found in a pile of old parts in a Fiat factory. Pittaway and his team restored the vehicle in time for the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The Beast was an intimidating looking vehicle with a massive bonnet and wide body to accommodate its powerful engine. The gold and red paint job gave it a regal appearance, which made it stand out even more. When the Fiat S76 was on the road, fire spewed from open exhaust ports, making it look like an angry dragon.
The Beast is set to join 59 other historic vehicles for the Grand Avenue during the 2018 London Classic Car Show on February 15th.