Fiat S76 back in motion after 100 years

The Fiat S76, unofficially the fastest car in the world in 1911, will turn a wheel for the first time in over 100 years when it tackles the Goodwood Hillclimb at the Festival of Speed on June 26-29.

Just two S76s were produced by the Italian manufacturer, with the aim of snatching the records for the flying kilometre and flying mile from the ‘Blitzen’ Benzes. The S76 achieved the mile record with Pietro Bordino at the wheel at Saltburn Sands in 1911 and was officially recorded at over 135mph on a kilometre attempt at Ostenede in Belguim, only to be denied the record as it was unable to complete a return run within the specified one hour.

While one car was dismantled by Fiat after the First World War to prevent rival manufacturers obtaining their technical secrets, the other was purchased by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov and eventually made its way to Australia after WW1, where it was modernised and campaigned it as a ‘Fiat Racing Special’.

Bristol-based enthusiast Duncan Pittaway, who will drive the S76 at Goodwood, brought the chassis back to the UK in 2003 and reunited it with the original 28.5-litre, four-cylinder engine from the dismantled car. The machine has spent the past 10 years being restored to original specification with Roach Manufacturing of Southampton helping with the bodywork.