What do you classify as a big engine? The Bugatti Veyron’s eight-litre W16? The Viper’s 8.4-litre V10? How about an Italian four-cylinder displacing no less than 28.5 litres?
Yep, nearly 30 litres. And, as you can see in this rather lovely video, it’s just started for the first time in over a century. British gent Duncan Pittaway has finally realised his dream of nursing Fiat’s insane S76 back to life, and it sounds like nothing on earth.
Fittingly nicknamed ‘The Beast Of Turin’, the S76 was built in 1910 with the express intention of beating the land speed record, held at the time by Blitzen-Benz. As well as the sort of engine displacement normally reserved for supertankers, it boasted – by the standards of the day – some pretty cutting-edge hardware: four valves per cylinder, multi-spark and overhead cam technology helping it produce something in the region of 300bhp. 300bhp! In 1910!
Only two S76s were ever built. Pittaway discovered the remains of one chassis in Australia, and eventually united it with the surviving S76 engine from the other car.
And now the Beast of Turin is alive once more, and it’s utterly terrifying. Turn up your speakers and prepare to have your eardrums deliciously shattered by a century-old masterpiece.
It’s rumoured Pittaway will run The Beast up the Goodwood Hill at next year’s Festival Of Speed. Might be a good time to start investing in earplug manufacturers of southern England…