1905 Fiat Isotta-Fraschini with 16.5 litre Airship engine

  • Brand: Fiat
  • Car Code: 320414

This car is extra special in that it uses a 16.5 Litre 6 cylinder Isotta Fraschini engine normally used to keep WW1 airships, bombers, fighters & sea planes in the sky.

To say the car is all-engine is an understatement especially as the length of the bonnet is further accentuated by the driver & passenger/riding mechanic seats being perched at the very back of the chassis between enormous chain drive mechanisms powering each rear wheel.

The car started life as a F.I.A.T. Land Speed Record car who’s construction was halted when LSR rules effectively outlawed cars if they were over a certain weight and if they used two engines instead of one. The F.I.A.T. LSR car at the time failed on both counts. Fortunately the rolling chassis survived a plan was hatched to complete the project but as no suitably powerful period car engine could be found – it was decided to fit a period aero engine instead.

The project of mating the chassis to the aero engine was kicked off by Graham Rankin and the task was finally completed by Michael B Vardy.

The sheer length of this monster means it is quite definitely not the car to take out on a Sunday afternoon pootle around narrow country roads or through sinuous hairpin bends on a mountain pass! It looks like it must have the turning circle of a Supertanker.

Production Start 1905
Country of origin Italy