One of the most impressive pre-World War I racing cars ever built, the Fiat S76, infamously known as ‘The Beast of Turin’, has been painstakingly researched and restored to its former glory over the last decade by Bristol-based Duncan Pittaway and a team of enthusiasts.
Already confirmed for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, the 28.5-litre, four-cylinder ‘Beast’ will be competing at the Chateau in the Edwardian and Veteran class against the likes of the De Dietrich, the Metallurgique Maybach Special and the Darracq.
Only two S76s were built by Fiat over the winter of 1910 and 1911 and the restored car is an amalgamation of them both. The rolling chassis originates from the earlier car, which set a new world flying mile record of 116mph at Saltburn Sands, Yorkshire in 1911, while the engine comes from the second car, the rest of which was scrapped by Fiat after the First World War.
Both cars would have been completely lost to history had Pittaway not begun his quest to track down the surviving remains, recovering the No 1 chassis from Australia and bringing it back to the UK in 2002.
The decade-long restoration has been no mean feat as three major parts of the car – the gearbox, body and radiator – all had to be meticulously recreated referencing original Fiat drawings and period photographs. But the resulting Edwardian monster, with its deceptively advanced four-cylinder engine and dramatic open exhaust ports, is sure to turn heads when it roars back to life at Chateau Impney.
All images and videos are provided courtesy of Stefan Marjoram.