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Century-old Fiat to race again

2014-05-13 08:45

’EDWARDIAN MONSTER’ TO RACE AGAIN: Owner Duncan Pittaway will race his restored Fiat S76 at the Goodwood Hillclimb at the Festival of Speed in England. Image: Fiat

LONDON, England - The Fiat S76, unofficially the fastest car in the world in 1911, will turn its wheels for the first time in more than 100 years when it tackles the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed hill-climb in England over June 26-29.

Only two S76 units were built, their purpose for existence beating the flying kilometre and mile records held by the ‘Blitzen’ Benzes.

The S76 achieved the mile record with Pietro Bordino at the wheel on Saltburn Sands on the English north-east coast in  in 1911 and was officially recorded at more than 217km/h on a kilometre stretch in Ostend, Belgium, only to be denied the record as it was not ready for the return run within the one-hour limit.

28.5-LITRE ENGINE

One car was dismantled by Fiat after the First World War to prevent rival automakers obtaining its secrets, the other was bought by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov and eventually made its way to Australia where it was modernised and campaigned as a “Fiat Racing Special”. Owner Duncan Pittaway, who will drive the S76 at Goodwood, brought the chassis back to the UK in 2003 and reunited it with the original four-cylinder 28.5-litre engine from the dismantled car.

The machine has spent 10 years under restoration to its original specification with Roach Manufacturing of Southampton, England, assisting with the bodywork.

Pittaway said: “After restoring a Bugatti T35 I was looking for a new challenge and the S76, one of the most maligned cars of its generation, fitted the bill nicely. All of the original S76 components that have survived have been restored, from the chassis and engine down to the suspension, axles, pedals and steering.

"The gearbox, radiator and bodywork were created using the original Fiat drawings.

“As the last and largest of the huge-engined Edwardian monsters, it should be sensational to see.”
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