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Motion Pictures 1911 FIAT S76 Runs For 1st Time In Over 100 Years!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. @Ricks Garage & @Thor1 -

    Here's an excerpt from an article that appeared in the June 2014 issue of Historic Racing Technolgy masthead.jpg magazine:

    Written by Chris Pickering

    Fiat S76 restoration.jpg
    Once the world's fastest car, briefly owned by a mysterious Russian prince and rediscovered after a lifetime hidden on the other side of the world, the story of Duncan Pittaway’s Fiat S76 is nothing short of remarkable.

    Finally awakened from its century-long slumber, 'The Beast of Turin' is one of two cars built by Fiat over the winter of 1910 and 1911 to take on the mighty Blizten Benz. In fact, technically speaking, you could argue it's both cars.

    The original rolling chassis is believed to be that of the earlier car, which set a new world flying mile record of 116 mph at Saltburn Sands in Yorkshire in 1911. The engine, meanwhile, comes from the second car, the rest of which was dismantled by Fiat after the First World War.

    Pittaway acquired the remains of the car in Australia and brought it back to the UK in 2002. At the time it was just a rolling chassis - rusty, somewhat mangled and missing its engine and gearbox. Like a lot of Edwardian racing cars it had been 'modernised' in the 1920s, replacing the gargantuan 28.3-litre engine and body with something smaller and lighter.

    While Pittaway admits that it hasn’t been possible to positively trace the origins of the chassis back beyond it’s time in the 1920s as a modernised Edwardian Fiat racing special, he’s confident that it is the missing S76: “The chassis is certainly an original 1910/11 Fiat, the surviving pedals and steering box exactly match those within the Fiat drawings for the S76, as do the chassis dimensions.”

    When first identified in the 1950s the chassis and axles were thought to be that of an earlier Fiat S74, but the S76 is a recognisably different size and shape. It also uses a gearbox of uniquely unorthodox design, which results in the sprocket shafts from the transaxle passing through two large, distinctive holes in the chassis side rails.

    All this, of course, was academic, until Pittaway managed to track down and acquire the engine from the second car. Between the two, he now had enough original S76 parts to make the restoration of a running Fiat S76 authentic and viable.

    Since then he has carried out a comprehensive rebuild on the huge but deceptively advanced four cylinder engine, faithfully reproducing the original pistons and conrods. To safeguard the engine, the full pressure lubrication system has been modified slightly, as has the cam drive at the back of the engine.

    Perhaps most impressively, Pittaway has built his own gearbox from designs in the Fiat archive - managing the project himself despite no formal engineering training. The outwardly eccentric driveline layout is reproduced in painstaking detail, ready to face the 2,000 or so lb ft of torque generated by monstrous powerplant.

    The body has been another joint effort, with Pittaway, Adrian Breeze, Roach manufacturing and even a local carpenter all contributing to the project. In some respects this has been the most difficult part of the entire rebuild, says Pittaway, with only photographs and 2D drawings to work from.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
    Stueeee, kidcampbell71 and Stogy like this.
  2. ronnieroadster
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 715


    The sound of that motor is just like an Alco locomotive hell the bore size looks similar as well as the rod length would have been a good train power plant for sure.
  3. @Ricks Garage & @ronnieroadster -

    Not a locomotive ... but they were used to power airships!

    According to David (@T-Head) Greenlees' TheOldMotor.jpg website:

    Two Fiat S76 engines (mounted side-by-side and set up to drive right-angle gearboxes) powered the Forlanini F5 dirigibles used in the war between Italy and Turkey (1911-1912).​

    Click HERE for more info & pics.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014
    Stogy likes this.
  4. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,485

    from Nebraska

    Thanks for gathering and posting all of this history, Todd! Very interesting and I'd think quite appropriate for the HAMB.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  5. Todd, Thanks for filling the missing 101 years....and it still SOUNDS like a locomotive engine.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  6. Magnus
    Joined: Apr 30, 2006
    Posts: 904

    from Sweden

  7. Yes, there is a thread.
  8. chiro
    Joined: Jun 23, 2008
    Posts: 750


  9. I saw that video over on, pretty friggin' awesome!!
  10. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,180


    BUMP (for this motor "bump" is WAY too small!!)
  11. Chuck R
    Joined: Dec 23, 2001
    Posts: 1,346

    Chuck R

    So Cool! Thanks for sharing the videos and history of Fiat S76. Really is an unbelievable restoration project.
    Thanks again
    HEMI32 likes this.
  12. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,180


    Could you share plans/schedules of future exhibitions for those of us who would like to see this vehicle "up close & personal"?? It would be a "once in a lifetime" experience!!
  13. Raiman1959
    Joined: May 2, 2014
    Posts: 1,428


    Oh man!!!....that is a serious "jaw-dropper'' of a car in my opinion! I can't even imagine driving that car....way out of my league! Very impressed, and actually kind of stunned at the talent you guys have bringing it back to job big-time!:)
  14. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,180


  15. Goodwood Festival of Speed (June 2015):

    by Stefan Marjoram (@smarjoram)

    by unknown

    by Chris Goodchild
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
    Stueeee, Stogy, kidcampbell71 and 3 others like this.
  16. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 26,011


    THANK YOU HEMI 32!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great project, bringing that car to life. Bob
    HEMI32 likes this.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,250


  18. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,857


  19. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 973


  20. shivasdad
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 520

    from Texas

    Sitting in my office at lunch, just looking at the HAMB. Finding this and watching the latest video brings a smile and then laughter out loud at the sheer raucousness of this beast. What a way to brighten my day.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  21. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,180


    HEMI32 likes this.
  22. bowie
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 2,052


    Thanks HEMI32, I missed this the 1st time. What a Mastodon! Hellava behemoth;would love to drive that one!
    HEMI32 likes this.
  23. 28.5 liter engine, chain drive, no front brakes, nor safety equipment of any kind. THIS needs to be a new racing class for sure !!
  24. looks like the pistons have no rings, ring grooves are there and I dont see rings when they are setting the block down over the rotating assembly. Anybody know whats up with that?
    thanks to everybody that input info, vids and stories to this thread, damn, I love the HAMB!
  25. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,808


    Here are a couple of old photos from the time period (1910-1912 I believe). In the first post on this page it says there were two cars built. There appear to be some differences in these two pictures although I am not 100% sure if they are two different cars or one with modifications. Big boy behind the wheel may have helped manhandling the beast a bit.
    Stogy, kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.
  26. 19highboy32
    Joined: Feb 22, 2014
    Posts: 49


    No doubting its a monumental achievement to have the giant Fiat running again. Not detracting from this is a level of disbelief from Vintage enthusiasts in Australia about the chassis of the S76 being found here.
  27. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,180


  28. Very cool - amazing technology for 100+ years ago!

    Oh, love the HUGE louvers too! I wonder if Chip has dies this size? :D

  29. The Beast of Turin @ Retromobile Paris (February 2016):

    Beast of Turin @ Retromobile Paris 2016.jpg
    image by Stefan Marjoram (@smarjoram)​

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