Fiat s76 Beast of Turin by car photographer Paul Ward
The Fiat S76, known as The Beast of Turin is the one surviving example of a pair of land speed record contenders the Italian automaker built before WWI. ‘The Beast of Turin’ was built in 1910 to beat the land speed record, held at the time by Blitzen-Benz. Its 28.5-litre Fiat S76 engine is capable of an impressive 300bhp – enough to propel the car to 116 mph, and a one-mile land speed record, in 1911. After WWI Fiat dismantled one of the two impressive machines to prevent rival manufacturers obtaining its technical secrets, while the other one was purchased by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov. It eventually made its way to Australia, where it was modernised and displayed as a ‘Fiat Racing Special’. In 2003, engineer enthusiast and current owner Duncan Pittaway brought the dismantled chassis back to the UK, and reunited it with the original 28.5 litre four-cylinder engine, which is capable of providing an impressive 300bhp – enough to propel the car to 116 mph, and a one-mile land speed record, in 1911.