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A Racing Car Built in 1910 Roars to Life Once More

It was unofficially the fastest car in its time and still impresses today

smithsonian.com

Flames and smoke shoot out from the side as the Beast roars, grumbles, belches and rattles down the highway. After a 10-year restoration process, a 1910 Fiat S76 called "The Beast of Turin" has a chance at a second life.  The S76 is running again after more than a century, reports Goodwood Road & Racing. Happily we can see the car’s performance in the above video by filmmaker Stefan Marjoram, via The Kid Should See This

The car’s current owner, Duncan Pittaway restored the S76 in time for a March drive through the English countryside. In the video, after a bit of finagling over which lever to crank to get the car started and a push from three men, the vehicle starts rolling down the road. It's noisy and seems to run along at a good clip.

Andrew Craig writes for Goodwood:

Frankly it looks scary. With no exhaust as such we’re treated to the sight of the aftermath of internal combustion shooting straight out of the exhaust ports while the whole car shakes violently. 

Another video by Marjoram shows some of the restoration work:

In 1913, French-American racer and aviator Arthur Duray made an attempt, in the S76, to set the land speed record of the time. He managed to reach 134 mph in Ostende, Belgium. But for the official record the car needed to make the run twice, and a seafront tram driver wouldn’t alter his timetable to allow Duray to make two runs within an hour, reports Goodwood. The Beast’s owner, Duncan, told Craig:

I’m certain that the chassis Duray used is the chassis on my car. Duray was one of the most experienced racers in the world at the time. He reckoned that first and second gear were okay, that third gear called upon all of his experience as a racing driver and that fourth gear needed the courage of a hundred men!

Watch him go!

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