A Classic Car That’s Hard to Drive
When you’re ready to take your own classic car out on the road for a drive that you want to enjoy and have on the road you typically make sure you have a vehicle that can twist and turn on the road when you’re behind the wheel. Even if you only plan to take your car out on the track, it normally needs to be able to turn and make its way around the corners that you see at the track, but there are some cars that aren’t built this way and never have been.
What happens when the car you restore and enjoy is a car that’s built as only a drag strip car? Not only is the car built as a drag strip model, it was never considered to be a car that would make even a single turn. The car in question is one that’s over 100 years old which is the 1911 Fiat S76 that has been known as “The Beast of Turnin” in order to be the car that can capture your vision on the track, but this car was never intended to make a single turn where it would perform and show off.
This car was rebuilt by Duncan Pittaway and he spent a full decade bringing this vehicle back to life to become the one that makes its way to the track. Strangely enough the track that he chose to show this car off at is Goodwood which is not a track that’s straight at all. What makes it so difficult for this car to actually make its way around this track; this car was originally built to set the land speed record and as such, there is not any real steering offered in order to give us the right way to turn, but that’s not unusual for these types of cars.
At the time this car was built this beauty used a 28.4-liter four-cylinder engine that was able to make roughly 290 horsepower. This big power plant was only controlled with a pair of drum brakes but no steering system at all. When it was offered to be shown off over 100 years ago, this car was able to set the land speed record of 130 mph at 1,000 rpm which was considered extremely fast at the time making it a car that was talked about. This groundbreaking automobile paved the way for the models like the Fiat 124 Spider that we know and love today.
This car still turns heads and gives us something special to discuss whenever we want to see what the land speed records used to be set in. Thankfully Duncan has made it possible for this car to corner with the use of a handbrake and a setup that only has a few gears. You can see this car and what it looks and feels like in the video below. It’s amazing that a car that looks like this was once the land speed record holder for the world, but we had to start somewhere and 100 years ago, this was the way this record was set.