TG.com rides shotgun in Fiat’s 21.7-litre demon
Behold, the aircraft-engined 1908 ‘Mephistopheles’, built to break records and scare humans
Posted: 20 Jun 2011
He then takes a massive wrench, cranks the whole engine over and... at this point I'm advised to stand back and prepare for ‘something a bit loud'. It's not ‘something', it's ‘oh-my-god-the-world-is-going-to-end'. Gianfranco turns over the engine - removing the wrench quickly before it takes him and his arm skywards - and it sounds like World War 2. The Fiat thunders into life accompanied by a plume of black smoke, the roar of six gargantuan pistons burning much fuel, and some astonished jaws on the floor. Gingerly, I am asked to get in quickly before it overheats (it needs a fast straight run to cool it down sufficiently) for a passenger ride.