The sole surviving Fiat S76 will run for the first time in over 100 years at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
After an extensive hibernation since its 135mph run at the 1911 Ostende Speed Trials, Fiat's legendary Edwardian land speed record car will be driven for the first time in the 21st century, by owner Duncan Pittaway up the Goodwood Hillclimb route.
Pittaway – who acquired the S76's dismantled chassis and gargantuan 28.5 litre four-cylinder engine in 2003 – has financed the car's ten-year restoration tenure, using original Fiat designs and the help of Southampton-based classic car coachworker Roach Engineering to rebuild the fabled vehicle to its original specification.
Fiat's S76 was the largest and the last of the firm's pre-war land speed cars, built specifically to steal the flying mile and flying kilometre records held by the 'Blitzen' Benzes. Pittaway's S76 did indeed beat the Benz's recorded top speed at the aforementioned Ostende trials, but the record wasn't recognised due to the car being unable to complete another run in the other direction.
Originally, two S76s were built, with Pittaway's having been shipped to Australia after World War One and used re-christened a 'Fiat Racing Special' before eventually being brought to the UK. The other was dismantled by Fiat after 1918 to prevent rival firms from using the car's innovative technology against them, and has since been lost to history.