- At the moment up for auction at Cars and trucks & Classic in the U.K., “The Beast” is a 1-off tailor made vehicle with a 27-liter V-12 motor. Of course, twenty-7. Not a typo.
- The Beast’s proprietor, the late John Dodd, was famous for his lawful battles with Rolls-Royce.
- At 1 time, this was formally licensed with a Guinness environment history as the speediest production vehicle in the world, clocked at 183 mph.
In 1972, the most popular car or truck in the U.K. was the Ford Cortina. If Sir or Madam experienced additional sporting intentions, the relevant Capri made available Mustang-like coupe styling, and an offered 2.-liter engine great for 86 horsepower. Think about zipping down the M1 motorway in your new Capri, imagining you have been cracking on a little bit, when this 19-foot-extensive monstrosity hurtled previous in a roar of V-12 thunder. It would be like remaining back again in the Battle of Britain once more.
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In point, it would be accurately like the soundtrack of the Battle of Britain, mainly because the 1972 Beast is driven by the similar Rolls-Royce engine located in the nose of a Spitfire. Its creator, the late John Dodd, died very last year at the age of 90. Now his auto is becoming presented for auction on the U.K.-dependent site Vehicle & Basic.
The Spitfire is still regarded one of the most sophisticated piston-engine fighter plane to have taken to the air. The Beast is somewhat a more homely affair, with a hood extended sufficient that you could in all probability land a Spitfire on it. Or land a 747 on it. Seriously, this point has a nose bigger than Cyrano de Bergerac’s.
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Under that lengthy bonnet is a Rolls-Royce–built Merlin V-12, a obviously aspirated model of the engine observed in the Spitfire. The very first engine in this vehicle was sourced from a Centurion tank, and the next from a schooling aircraft. It displaces a jaw-dropping 27 liters and generates somewhere in the community of 700 to 800 horsepower at just 2500 rpm.
If you feel that’s crazy, strap in. The Beast initial emerged with box-body development built by that most risky of creatures, a British male with a shed. Paul Jameson crafted a number of 1-off cars—he once made a different Merlin-engined motor vehicle, this one particular a convertible with six wheels—and he made the Beast around a war surplus engine he acquired for mainly scrap benefit. We
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Dodd was an computerized transmission specialist, and supplied a a few-pace automobile with some Jaguar areas. Afterwards, he was stunned to acquire a connect with from Jameson: would Dodd like to obtain the rolling chassis? Dodd would, and he set about acquiring it bodied in fiberglass.
The finished Beast was said to have a 55:45 front-to-rear weight balance and outstanding dealing with. This are not able to potentially be totally legitimate, as the motor vehicle is as extended as an plane carrier, and an undressed Merlin V-12 weighs much more than two Chevrolet LS V-8s. A lot of the facts about the Beast is much more speculation than specification.
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On the other hand, it did receive a Guinness Planet File, and it was qualified by the Royal Car Club (RAC) in 1973 as able of hitting 183 mph. A Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona of the time period was 10 mph slower. Take that, Enzo.
Though it vaguely resembled a Capri that experienced been concerned in some regrettable Willy Wonka taffy-puller accident, the Beast was a hodgepodge of components, and a person of them prompted a good deal of fuss. It was not the Interceptor windshield or the Reilant Scimitar rear glass it was Dodd’s insistence on employing a Rolls-Royce grille, topped with the Spirit of Ecstasy. His reasoning was: after all, Rolls-Royce developed the Merlin V-12. Rolls-Royce executives had been Not Amused. Spirit of Ecstasy? Far more like Spirit of Poor Acid Trip.
Things had been not improved by Dodd’s impish provocation. He delighted in ringing up Rolls HQ, pretending to be some very well-heeled sort who was intrigued in obtaining an case in point of the lengthy-nosed coupe that experienced just handed at a high rate of speed. Rolls-Royce deployed the lawyers.
Dodd drove the Beast to each and every working day of the trial, other than for once when he showed up with his total spouse and children on horseback. He missing, and the courtroom moved to enact punitive damages. Dodd hopped in the Beast and ran away to Malaga, Spain, wherever he rebuilt his automatic-transmission organization and appeared to have frequently experienced a charming time in a sunny weather.
The Beast missing its Rolls-Royce grille for a single with John Dodd’s initials, although it is even now titled as a Rolls-Royce (probably this would make sure you Dodd immensely). It has just more than 10,000 miles on it, which is barely astonishing for a car or truck that would battle to hit 2 mpg.
For a single blessed bidder, the Beast signifies the peak of British automotive eccentricity. It is just a completely preposterous vehicle, as well significant, as well thirst, and far too foolish. And nonetheless, it is also really humorous and developed to ridicule the procedures by a male who lived to a ripe aged age although thumbing his nose at the authorities. John Dodd could have bought himself a Capri. Thank goodness he did not.
The auction takes put March 9 and will be streamed on the Car & Vintage site.
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Brendan McAleer is a freelance author and photographer centered in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. He grew up splitting his knuckles on British automobiles, arrived of age in the golden period of Japanese activity-compact overall performance, and started composing about cars and persons in 2008. His individual curiosity is the intersection concerning humanity and equipment, whether or not it is the racing job of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s fifty percent-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught each of his youthful daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is grateful for the excuse they offer to be perpetually getting Scorching Wheels.