It is only fair to point out from the start that the mighty Fiat didn’t run at the Festival of Speed, as per the original plan. But don’t let that put you off. We took a closer look at the car and chatted with its remarkable owner Duncan Pittaway, who gave us some insight into what it’s like to rebuild a car which in all likelihood hasn’t run for over a century.
Most of the car’s spec sounds surprisingly modern; overhead cam valve operation, multi-spark technology, four vales per cylinder, 300bhp … It isn’t really until we discuss cylinders and capacity that things get a little unusual. You see, this Fiat was possibly the last racing car to be built in an era where greater capacity was simply the only way to go if you wanted more power. As a result, each cylinder displaces just over 7.1 litres, and there are four of them, making this a 28.5 litre four-cylinder motor!
But it was never to realise its potential. Before long Peugeot had brought out a 5.0-litre twin-cam engine which rendered this – and all the other giant motors – obsolete. As such, what you see here was the height of the craziness for Grand Prix cars.
But that’s enough of the story from us. Duncan is so good at telling the rest of it that we’ll let you listen for yourselves. And as for it not running, we reveal a plan at the end to put that situation right …