Three weeks ago a group of English mechanics, led by Duncan Pittaway, woke up from their slumber to "The Beast of Turin" and they filmed it on video. It had been asleep for more than a hundred years, since it was projected in the FIAT offices in 1910 and in 1913 the Franco-American aviator, pilot and baterrecords Arthur Duray led it for the last time through the endless straights of Ostend, Belgium.
Indeed, it is a baterrecords car, created by the Italian house to rival the almighty Blitzen Benz, which since 1909 held the World Speed Record for having crossed the kilometer launched in Brooklands, England, at 202,68 km / h. This time pioneering pilot Victor Hemery was at the controls.
Until about 1910, the maximum speed depended on the size of the motor. If you wanted to go faster, you had to increase the displacement to often insane values. This is the case with our guest today, one of two Fiat S76s built in 1911 and whose sophisticated four-cylinder mechanics displaces 7,1 liters per cylinder and 28,5 in total. With a 16-valve cylinder head, it imprisons 300 hp in its guts.
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The last roar
The reader is probably wondering if this infernal mass, the result of the endless fight for speed, managed to break the long-awaited record. The answer is no: he managed to reach 215 kilometers per hour, but apparently discrepancies in the measurements left him without a crown. All a shame.
Also his time was about to pass, since at the beginning of the 1910s Peugeot changed the rules of the game by designing a modern mechanics of just 5.000 cc. Increased to 7.500, in 1912 the French brand won the Grand Prix de l'ACF, the queen of racing at the time, against cars of up to 16 liters.
From then on, the era of aircraft-powered baterrecords began, as is the case with the Fiat sb4 Mephistopheles by Ernest Eldridge that it did achieve its goal - about a decade later - and about which we have already written previously. We do not know if the propeller of the S76 was originally designed for this car - it could be that it derived from a railway project - but what we do believe we can assure is that it does not come from the fabric and wood aircraft of its time, which could never have been support the weight.
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Anyway, let's get to the point: as we have said, the Beast of Turin has been awakened after a hundred years and, fortunately, English shamans have recorded it on video. And not in just any one, if not in a perfectly set and musicalized clip in which you can appreciate the passion for mechanics that they call "Edwardian" and that ends with the overwhelming roar of the four-cylinder free exhaust. Enjoy it, the first piston shot almost knocked the car over ...
And there is more: Do you want to see it in motion? Click here 😉