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Fiat S76


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#1 robert dick

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 11:28

Two photos of the Fiat S76 :

http://www.shorey.ne.....e nazzaro.jpg

http://www.shorey.ne.....of turin'.jpg


The Fiat S76 was built in 1912, powered by a 28-litre four-cylinder (190/250 mm).
In the first photo Felice Nazzaro is at the wheel, by his side Antonio Fagnano.
In view of new records, Pietro Bordino drove the S76 at Brooklands.
In 1913 the S76 was sold to Boris Soukhanoff. In December 1913 Arthur Duray, with Soukhanoff as riding mechanic, achieved 211 km/h at Ostende.

Who are the men on the second photo?

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#2 dbw

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 00:06

"[gasp] He's got a racing car!"...."awww, that's not a racin'car; THIS is a racin' car!" :clap:

#3 Ray Bell

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 00:12

When the crank throws are longer than a man's forearm... well that's a Racing Car!

#4 dretceterini

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:35

The drivers of first version, with no real exhaust pipes. must have gone deaf with 10 seconds!

#5 dbw

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 03:39

come to think of it...for the same money or less than yet another a auto union, one could clone this monster. now i'd pay good money and travel far to see and hear this baby in the -er- metal.

#6 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 08:08

I've found the shot in question stored in my archive. No indication to the pictured persons alas but it's mentioned that the photo was taken at Turin. I don't really know how reliable is this info but if it's true then people standing behind the car could have been FIAT workers.

Count Boris N. Sukhanov was very rich and ambitious amateur driver from Moscow. He had bought the S76 to improve national speed record but after some poor attempts quickly realised that this monstrous car is absolutely undriveable and sold it back to France – therefore I very doubt he could have been Duray's riding mechanic at Ostende. I have a photo of Sukhanov at the wheel of the S76 and he doesn't look alike that guy sitting beside Duray during his SRA (according to my data it was in February 1914, not December 1913).

#7 robert dick

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 11:12

Second photo :
According to the building in the background, Turin as location for the second photo could/should be correct.
The headdress of the man beyond the radiator and the man beyond the tail seems to be of Russian origin.
The man at the wheel looks like Henri Matthys, Duray's "standard" mechanic.

According to the contemporary French press :
- The Fiat was delivered to Russia.
- Sukhanov (Soukhanoff in the press) took the wheel himself for some record attempts, but could not really handle the car.
- The Fiat was shipped to England where Duray tested the beast at Brooklands, with Sukhanov as riding mechanic.
- Duray suggested Ostende for LSR attempts (probably Sukhanov took the mechanic's seat when the Fiat was warmed up, while Matthys took his usual place for the effective record attempts).
The attempts were stopped because of poor weather.
Duray described Sukhanov as "real sportsman".

Maybe the photo was taken at Turin when the car was shipped to Russia - but if this is the case, why is Matthys at the wheel? Were Duray and Matthys already involved when the car was shipped to Russia?

Any precisions concerning the background of Sukhanov? Where in Russia did Sukhanov make his record attempts?

#8 Vitesse2

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 11:42

I knew I'd seen this picture before!

It's in "Motor Racing: the Golden Age", on page 125, captioned "300hp Fiat racing car fitted with 'street mufflers'. 1911." Credited to Neill Bruce's Automobile Photolibrary, with photographer unknown.

The version in the book has more background and the words "AVTOMOBILI F.I.A.T." are clearly visible painted above the windows. Whether it's the Fiat factory or a showroom is impossible to tell though.

#9 VAR1016

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 11:59

There was an article about this car in Veteran & Vintage magazine in the early 1960s.

It was known as "The Beast of Turin" and the article observed that one had to stand on the dumb-irons to fill the radiator.

The article stated that that car was last heard of as being shipped to Tampico in Mexico - I think that Ralph de Palma was involved but it's all a bit hazy after 40 years.

Were there two "Beasts" perhaps?

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#10 robert dick

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 12:19

Originally posted by VAR1016
Were there two "Beasts" perhaps?

PdeRL


According to Anselmi's book "Automobili Fiat", the Turin factory assembled two beasts, the first one in 1911.

#11 scurrg

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 16:23

I found this page with another picture of the beast....

http://fiat.modeles....lbums/Corsa.htm

I can't imagine the turning radius on the Eldridge. I guess they didn't race these things at Monaco.

http://fiat.modeles....Record-1924.jpg

glen

#12 dretceterini

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:01

The Eldridge was essentially a LSR record car, not a circuit racing car...

#13 David McKinney

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 05:06

Originally posted by dretceterini
The Eldridge was essentially a LSR record car, not a circuit racing car...

That's certainly what it's best known for, but I suspect its main purpose was Brooklands racing

#14 VAR1016

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Posted 29 October 2004 - 08:46

Originally posted by David McKinney

That's certainly what it's best known for, but I suspect its main purpose was Brooklands racing


Yes David, I am sure that it was one of so many aero-engined specials built at the time for Brooklands use. I believe that the six-cylinder engine came from an airship or was designed for this purpose; there was a famous challenge in 1925 between Eldridge on "Mephistopheles" and Parry Thomas on the Leyland-Thomas Special. Thomas won.

There is a very exciting descriptive paragraph of the event in Clutton & Stanford quoted from "The Motor" I think.

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#15 David Birchall

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 05:06

Wasn't David Bruce-Brown killed on a S76 FIAT? Or was it smaller. Quattlebaum in his book "The Great Savannah Races" does not record model numbers, only manufacturers.
George Wingard of Oregon owns a huge racing FIAT, is that a S76? Anyone know?

#16 rdrcr

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 05:36

WoW! that gives real meaning to, "There's no replacement for displacement" ... 28 liters?!? That's over 1,700 cubic inches!

I think David Bruce-Brown was killed in a 14 liter car - substantially smaller than that 28 liter monster. Was it of the same type as Mr. Wingard's Fiat? His is also a 14 liter car, which, again I think, a type S74.

Of course, I could be wrong...

#17 robert dick

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 09:06

Bruce-Brown had his accident with a Fiat S74. The S74 displaced "only" 14 litres with the bore/stroke dimensions of 150/200 mm (the Wingard Fiat is a S74).

The S76 was never used for GP racing. The beast's tendency to understeer was probably too strong. :rolleyes:

#18 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 11:50

Originally posted by robert dick
Any precisions concerning the background of Sukhanov? Where in Russia did Sukhanov make his record attempts?

At the moment I don't have any contemporary reports from 1913, so in my previous post I actually wrote almost everything I know of Sukhanov (the only thing I can add is that in 1911/12 he raced a FIAT too). As to your second question it's surprisingly easy to answer: Sukhanov lived in Moscow, so he certainly tried his recently acquired S76 on a public road to St. Petersburg (in Russian called Peterburgskoe Route) in the town's suburb.

Here is rather poor-quality photo I was talking about. Sukhanov looks very aristocratic, this makes him easily recognizable, so I'm pretty sure he's absent on your second photo.

Posted Image
Source: ''Motoring Moscow. Century 1902-2001'' by Lev Shugurov (Moscow, 2004)
(Thanks to Alexey Rogachev for scanning this photo on my request)

Originally posted by robert dick
Sukhanov (Soukhanoff in the press)

Just to make the things clear: depending on language there could be various options of writing, such as
- Ñóõàíîâ in Russian (hopefully you can see Cyrillic letters)
- Sukhanov in English
- Soukhanoff in French
- Suchanow in German (must be the closest to the original pronunciation)

Originally posted by robert dick
Duray suggested Ostende for LSR attempts (probably Sukhanov took the mechanic's seat when the Fiat was warmed up, while Matthys took his usual place for the effective record attempts).

Remember, Sukhanov was no less than Russian Prince (sorry, in my first post I confused his title with Count). A person of such a high status certainly had his personal garage and mechanic(s), the latter usually playing as the riding mechanic in the sporting events. We all know that at the beginning of XXth century there were many ''blue-blooded'' racing drivers all around the world (including Russia) but how about the riding mechanics of royal ancestry? That's why I hold it for rather unlikely.

Originally posted by robert dick
The headdress of the man beyond the radiator and the man beyond the tail seems to be of Russian origin.

No, no, that headdress has nothing to do with my country. After all then as now the most wealthy people in Russia preferred clothes of European origin and style. :)

#19 robert dick

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 12:44

Thanks for the photo with Sukhanov at the wheel of his S76.

Concerning his affair as riding mechanic :
The contemporary press explicitly reported that he was by Duray's side during a few laps at Brooklands and later for some attempts at Ostende. Duray himself confirmed it.

It is correct that this behaviour was not commonplace, but on the other hand not unique. Two examples : Boson de Périgord, Prince de Sagan, was riding mechanic for Madame du Gast in the 1901 Paris-Berlin, and Baron van Pallandt for Count Zborowski in the 1903 La Turbie hillclimb (when he had his accident) .
Seems that Sukhanov was really the "perfect sportsman" as Duray described him.

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#20 GIGLEUX

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 14:20

Other pictures of the "monster":

Posted Image

With the "prince" at the wheel.

Posted Image

During the assembly

Posted Image

In the works

Posted Image

...and outside!

#21 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 21:21

Jean-Maurice, simply "wunderbar"! :D

#22 VAR1016

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 21:53

Thank you Gigeleux; I am particularly sympathetic to whoever was responsible for the polishing of that gigantic radiator (compare oictures 2 and 3)

PdeRL

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 30 October 2004 - 23:02

Take heart...

At least somebody didn't have to bend over to set the tappets... as Frank Cuttell would readily point out.

#24 robert dick

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Posted 31 October 2004 - 09:17

Jean-Maurice, many thanks for the photos!

= = = = = = =

From Fiat's house journal "Rivista Illustrata Mensile" No. 9 - 1914 - a copy was published in Brooklands Books : "The Land Speed Record 1898 - 1919" :

"We have received from the well-known French driver Arthur Duray this description and his impressions of the speed tests he did with one of our 300 HP cars :
Prince Boris Soukhanoff bought a Fiat 300 HP car a few months ago with the aim to set a new world speed record.
He had the car shipped to Moscow where he tested it, but the speed he reached convinced him of the difficulties of driving such a fast car, so he came to France to look for a professional driver and I had the pleasure to be chosen. The car was shipped to Brooklands, after just a few laps I realised it was pointless to insist on this track. I had no wish to kill myself.
I telephoned Prince Soukhanoff to tell him I was ready to show him the perils of the English circuit. I drove him at a speed of about 200 km/h. but after two laps he signalled me to stop; at one time the centrifugal force almost made me go over the banking where Percy Lambert was killed. I grazed the edge by just 10 centimetres! The test convinced the Prince how dangerous it would have been to insist and he asked me to look for another track.
I thought I could use the road between Arles and Salon, the best in the world for such an attempt, but the Sports Committee of the ACF stated that they would not recognise records set away from staged meetings.
I went to Italy without success.
At last I found the Ostend road, though it had the short-coming of not being long enough to allow a good run. I made fourteen test runs at over 200 km/h; on some of the runs I reached a speed of 225 km/h on the timing apparatus. Unfortunately, the markings on the tapes were not clear enough, so these records could not be ratified by the International Committee. The only good tape we could get shows a speed of 211,661 km/h, attained on the 8th December.
With Mr. Jostens, official time keeper of the ACB and a skillful electrician, we had to make new contacts to record the passing of the car on the road.
I feel sure that next Spring, with the same car, I will be able to seriously attack the record. It was because of the weather that my attempts were interrupted. During the six weeks spent in Ostend I only had two favourable days : there is not just the car to take care of, there is also the organisation, laying the wires along the road, getting the time keepers, etc..., all things which require quite a long time to set up. You also have to be aware of people trying to stop the attempts. The Director of the Ostend Tramways - an earnest "autophobe" - called the police whenever he knew we were out for an attempt.
My feelings? To engage first, second or third gear is relatively easy, but when it comes to engage fourth whilst travelling at 190 km/h, that is a different story. One has to hold the steering wheel firmly, push the gear lever forward and pay attention so as not to jump on the side-walk, because the moment the air enters the carburetter the bounce causes you to feel the seat hurting your back. In the time it takes to say this you are through the two kilometre run-way. You see the time-keepers. The moment has come to break the record and the timing starts. For a tourist one kilometre is relatively long, but at that speed you have hardly seen the first signal before the second is well behind you. You just have time to count to 17!
I was disappointed to note that at Ostend the run-way is too short and the top speeds (230/240 km/h) can only be achieved at the end of the measured kilometre. For a professional the job is not too terrible during the record, but it is afterwards that things become really difficult; when you cut off the throttle the car tends to turn sideways, so you have to keep it running straight and since there are just 1500 metres to the end of the straight, this is far too short and the brakes are not able to stop the car.
When I cut the throttle off oil pours on to the exhausts and over the 1500 metres the riding mechanic turns completely from white to black, this "nigger" is no other than Prince Soukhanoff, the perfect sportsman.
When speeds like these are reached, the smallest bump on the road makes the four wheels airbone at once, which the spectators see perfectly. As for me, I feel it and it reminds me of the time when I was an aviator."
Arthur Duray

#25 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 00:42

More pictures of the 300 hp Fiat... of lesser quality... but with a different nose.

Posted Image
During December 1913, near Oostende on the stretch Mariakerke-Middelkerke, Arthur Duray made several attemps to break
the existing Kilometer-Worldrecord of 228 km/h established by the American Bob Burman with a 200 hp Benz in April 1911. In
front of the radiator, the Fiat S76 had a special wind-cutting extension, used also by other manufacturers for record attempts.
The Automobile Club de France brough their electrical timing device from Paris to Oostende especially for this official record
attempt, as required by the AIACR. Duray attained speeds above 220 km/h but not sufficient to pass the existing record.


Posted Image
Look at the wind-cutting extension of the front nose, fitted for this Worldrecord attempt.


Posted Image
Front view with a permanent crease, left in the picture. Note the short exhaust stubs on the car's left.


Posted Image
Other front views...
...the angle of the left front wheel indicates that normal cornering would have been possible. So a lap around the Monaco circuit
should not have caused too much of a problem. ;)

#26 VAR1016

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 00:51

Hans,

Thanks for those very interesting pictures.

What a terrifying machine that was - truly a "Beast" and even more menacing with the "wind-cutting" nose. I had thought that such modifications did not appear until Brooklands in the 1920s - e.g. the Pacey-Hassan Special or Parry Thomas's track cars.

I should be interested to hear if anyone has information concerning the other S76 that I read about 40 years ago - the one that reportedly disappeared in Mexico.

As a teenager I have to admit, I fantasised about travelling to Tampico and finding the monster in a barn....


PdeRL

#27 robert dick

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 08:50

Thanks for the photos, Hans!

= = = = = = =

S76 in Mexico :
According to Fiat and Bill Boddy, the S76 used by Duray at Ostende was still existent after WWI. Duray was prepared to make another attempt. But Sukhanov, who was still the owner, was untraceable. So the S76 remained at Turin until 1925 when another buyer was found. The S76 was shipped to Tampico/Mexico...

#28 VAR1016

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Posted 01 November 2004 - 10:17

Originally posted by robert dick
Thanks for the photos, Hans!

= = = = = = =

S76 in Mexico :
According to Fiat and Bill Boddy, the S76 used by Duray at Ostende was still existent after WWI. Duray was prepared to make another attempt. But Sukhanov, who was still the owner, was untraceable. So the S76 remained at Turin until 1925 when another buyer was found. The S76 was shipped to Tampico/Mexico...


Thanks Robert.

PdeRL

#29 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 05 November 2004 - 23:38

Wow! Just a few days out of the forum... and, although I was completely aware of TNF potential, you guys, have excelled all my expectations. So much new, never previously seen info and pictures! Jean-Maurice, Robert and Hans, thank you very much!

Robert, the story, that you posted, is simply great. If I could have read it earlier, I wouldn't insist that Prince Sukhanov as riding mechanic is an unlikely fact. For me it was incredibly interesting to know that Sukhanov didn't sell the car after his attempts to set world speed record in Russia failed (so his plans were even more ambitious, than I thought!) and still owned the S76 while Duray was trying to achieve its limit. Positively Sukhanov was looking not only for an appropriate driver but also for a suitable track, 'cause on a rough, narrow public road near Moscow it has been even more suicidal than on the Brooklands' bankings. Actually the story impressed me so much, that I decided to make a little break in my 1898/99 research with the object to find out more on its circumstances in the contemporary Russian press. I suspect it won't be too easy as all the motoring magazines of the period (a half-dozen in 1913) are out of access in our National Library, so I can only rely on some daily newspapers, which are of course not the best source for such a specific info. Anyway I will try, and in case I find anything, I won't keep it in secret. (But do not expect a quick answer – this may take some weeks or even couple of months...)

Jean-Maurice and Hans, truly wonderful photos! Is that possible to credit their sources? Concerning the picture with Sukhanov at the wheel: is there any more background on this (date, place, other persons)? If I'm not mistaken, this shot was taken in Europe, maybe even in France?! Also, having such a great choice of images, I noticed, that on 'my' photo and another one, linked by Robert, the radiator seems not to be polished, but painted deep red, like body panels. Second chassis or just the later colour scheme? If so, when and why it could have been changed? Then, the last photo posted by Jean-Maurice: is that the number plate on the tail?! Remembering what Richard wrote, is that possible, that with those 'street mufflers' the S76 was really allowed to road use? Or was it just a formality like those 'Modena Prova' on the 50-60s Ferraris? Finally, this page says there was an airship powered by FIAT S76 A engine. The same power unit in an aircraft mode? (A for aero?) Was it originally intended for the car or for the airship? Another webpage says this engine is on display at the Turin Polytechnical Museum. Photos?

OK, enough questions for today. Another photo of Duray at Ostende at the wheel of the FIAT (or, if you prefer to believe the 'official' caption: 'Durey on a 200 hp Benz at Ostend on February 23rd, 1914') from the Hulton Archive:
http://editorial.get...d=3278106&cdi=0

...and the same photo stored on my hard drive:
http://img120.exs.cx...5/Duray-S76.jpg
(I know, I'm a bad guy. :blush: )

And... I guess I know why they didn't race 'the Beast' at Monaco (except that the circuit itself didn't exist as such) - it just wouldn't fit into the tunnel...

#30 VAR1016

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 02:32

I'm delighted that this thread is still alive thanks to .ru's contribution.

Yes, I recall that S76 had an engine designed for an airship.

With regard to Prince Sukanhov's disappearance, I suppose that he was a victim of the appalling bloodbath created by that useless, murdering bastard monster, Vladimir Illich Lenin, whom I hope is burning horribly in Hell.

PdeRL

#31 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 04:11

Jean-Maurice, I received your e-mail. Thank you for the info and keep on posting those amazing photos from your archive.

Paul, funnily enough, at least the body of Vladimir Lenin lies some five hundred metres far from me (I'm sitting in the Internet cafe near Red Square) so I can easily give him your regards or anything else.;)

#32 dretceterini

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 06:26

Let's see....given a choice, would I rather drive this monster, or the Alfa Romeo Bimotore? :)

#33 robert dick

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 09:51

Two S76s built?
- According to Fiat historian Anselmi two cars have been built.
- According to "our" photos we a have differences concerning the paint of the radiator and the shape of the bonnet louvres. Proof enough for two cars?
- According to some contemporary reports the S76 as used in 1913 was powered by an engine with the bore/stroke dimensions of 240/320 mm (resulting in 57.8 litres!). This is not necessarily correct : If Fiat claimed that the car was powered by a S76 airship engine, this could mean either 190/250 or 240/320 mm - for the press the last-mentioned value was more spectacular.
So we have a lot of possibilities :
- only one car which has been slightly modified (bonnet),
- only one car which has been modified and received another engine,
- two cars with the same engine size,
- two cars with different engine sizes.

S76A engine :
Originally the S76 engine was intended for airships. The S76A is an evolution - I think the suffix "A" did not mean "Aero" since in other Fiat designations "A" was an evolution. The S76 had the dimensions of 190/250 mm and the S76A of 240/320 mm.

Registration number :
Usually the registration number plates had a rectangular shape so that I think it is not a registration number. Nevertheless it is possible. Most probably in 1911 the car had a Turin number since it was used on normal roads, by Nazzaro for tests near Turin, and when Bordino drove it from Brooklands to Saltburn Sands, Yorkshire.

#34 VAR1016

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 11:47

Originally posted by .ru

...Paul, funnily enough, at least the body of Vladimir Lenin lies some five hundred metres far from me (I'm sitting in the Internet cafe near Red Square) so I can easily give him your regards or anything else.;)


:lol:

Zdrastvooytye .ru!

Sadly my attempt to learn the Russian language ended when a Russian woman I knew gave me the severe run-around... Consequently, I do not have a suitable expression for you to present to The Embalmed One. I am certain that such a wonderfully rich language as Russian contains many suitable epithets.

Dosvedanya


Paul

#35 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 06 November 2004 - 17:25

Originally posted by .ru
...truly wonderful photos! Is that possible to credit their sources?...

The pictures in post 25 are out of Middle-European magazines, now 91 years old.

#36 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 01:34

Michael Sedgwick, famous motoring historian and a member of the FIAT Register Committee, wrote the authoritative 352-page history, FIAT, published in 1973. Here follow some extracts:


"...Late in 1910, of course, FIAT did install one of their airship motors in a car, with a view to an attack on the World’s Land Speed Record. They also found a sponsor for this venture in the shape of Russian prince Boris Soukhanoff.

"The S76 was one of the most terrifying creations to emanate from any factory. The light, almost flimsy chassis, side chain drive, four-speed gearbox and wire wheels carried on the SB4 story from 1909. Power, however, was furnished by one of the largest four-cylinder engines ever built, a 190 x 250 mm (28,353 cc) overhead-camshaft affair intended for the Forlanini airship, and developing 290 b.h.p. at 1,900 rpm. Unlike ‘Mephistopheles’, the car was quite well streamlined, with an airship tail, a full undertray, and a curvaceous pearshaped radiator which anticipated the regular style used on touring FIATS from 1913 onward. The filler cap was recessed into the shell in a manner of Vintage Beardmore cars, but in spit of this neat little touch the cap stood a clear five feet of the ground. The crew, of necessity, sat high: had the mechanic tried to look ‘round’ and not ‘over’, he would have been fried alive by the crude stub exhausts on the near side of the engine.


"Felice Nazzaro [one of the greatest drivers ever] considered the 38 cwt car ‘uncontrollable’, after testing it on the streets of Turin with Englishman Jack Scales in the mechanic’s seat. A contemporary report describes the big FIAT as ‘shooting flames in the faces of innocent pedestrians, and deafening them’. The necessary urge was, however, present, 115 m.p.h. coming up in second gear, though not, one hopes, on the Via Roma or the Corse Dante.

"It was left to Pietro Bordino to bring this monster to Brooklands in 1911, though he declined to lap over 90, and one circuit in the ‘hot seat’ was enough for Soukhanoff. The Fiat was next tried at Saltburn Sands, where a timed speed of 116 mph was reached before the brute bogged down, and only just escaped being caught by the tide.

"By this time Bordino had had enough, and Soukhanoff hired the Belgian-American Arthur Duray. Duray was willing: the problem was to find a level stretch long enough to allow the FIAT to display its undoubted talents. The A.C.F.’s Commission Sportive would not authorize the use of Arles-Salon, and no suitable Italian venue was forthcoming-one imagines that the Piedmontese, at any rate, had had their fill on the S76’s private smog! Eventually Soukhanoff and Duray went to Ostend, a traditional home of world’s records since Louis Rigolly had first topped the ‘ton’ in his Gobron-Brillie. In December 1913, the car recorded a one-way kilometre at 132.27 m.p.h., faster than Barney Oldfield’s existing figure of 131.72 m.p.h. on the ‘Blitzen’ Benz.

"But that was as far as matters went. Since the end of 1910 a ‘mean’ time based on two runs had been mandatory, and Duray was never destined to complete his second one. He waited six weeks, but it was ultimately defeated, not only by the weather, but also by the Ostend’s motorphobiac tramway superintendent, who telephoned the police every time the FIAT ventured out of its Garage. Even then he did not abandon hope: though the car went back to Turin, the spares remained in Belgium, only to be ‘liberated’ by the advancing Germans in 1914. Soukhanoff, one must assume, became a casualty of the Russian Revolution. As for the S76, it languished at the factory for several years, being trotted out in 1916 to pose with Cavalli’s Tipo-70 prototype [Carlo Cavalli was one of the Fiat designers, responsible for the 501 in 1919]. It was eventually sold to a Mexican enthusiast in 1920, and was last heard of in Tampico some eight years later. Only the one car was made, though a second engine was built. It proved too heavy for use in airships and was eventually scrapped.

" ‘Mephistopheles’ and the S76 were ‘one-off specials’, but FIAT’S last giant, the 14.1-liter S74 of 1911 was a regular Grand Prix machine."

Posted Image
The streamlined 28.3-liter S76 record car of 1911 and a Fiat Tipo 70 production car, shown 1916 in Turin.

#37 dbw

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 02:11

i'm still searching for the magazine-because nothing gets thrown away,but years ago in AERO there was an ad for a fiat 4 cyl airship motor of gargantuan proportions still in a crate..it was in the upper northeast of the US...i called two days after it went over the border to canada..no word since....however it did lead me to an interesting gentleman in florida that sold me several crates of OX-5 bits....just enough to get me in trouble...

#38 robert dick

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 13:25

Thanks for the Sedgwick article, Hans.

Different views :
- Anselmi/2 cars vs. Sedgwick/1 car;
- Duray/Soukhanoff bought his S76 in 1913 vs. Sedgwick/Soukhanoff was already involved in 1910;
- Fiat archives/the S76 was sold to Mexico in 1925 vs. Sedgwick/was sold in 1920.

Two remarks :
- According to the rules, Duray's two runs had to be achieved within half an hour (I don't have the rules at hand - I think it was half an hour) - so Duray's second run could not wait six weeks - or the second run had to be a second attempt in two directions.

- The SB4 chassis of 1908 (wheelbase 275 cm) more or less served as basis for the S61 chassis of 1910 and for the S74 of 1911 (wheelbase 272 cm), but not for the S76. According to the Fiat archives and the data in Anselmi's "Automobili Fiat" the S76 had a wheelbase of 275 cm (a drawing of the chassis does not exist). This is not correct : Assuming that the S76 ran on 880/120 front and 895/135 rear tyres, the rule of proportion in "our" photos gives a wheelbase between 290 and 295 cm = a different, longer chassis (the larger bore alone (190 mm for the S76 in comparison to 150 mm for the S74) corresponds to additional 4 x 40 mm in engine length).

#39 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 13:42

Originally posted by robert dick
..... According to the rules, Duray's two runs had to be achieved within half an hour (I don't have the rules at hand - I think it was half an hour) - so Duray's second run could not wait six weeks - or the second run had to be a second attempt in two directions.....


I think that's sloppily written in Sedgwick's story... I feel sure they meant that he never got to try a pair of runs (one each direction...) after failing to get the second run done the first time.

I also think the return run was required within an hour, not a half hour. Certainly this was the case in later years...

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#40 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 10:21

I don't have enough time to read all this thoroughly so only a couple of 'home made' remarks now:

A probably for ameliorato – improved (?).

5 years ago I had got a press kit devoted to the centenary of FIAT. In the sports section there was declared that in April 1912 Nazzaro drove S76 on a flying mile in Long Island and reached average speed 290 kph in both directions, but for some reason his achievement wasn't recognized as the new world land speed record. The same statement appears in the book 'Dìjiny automobilových závodù' / 'History of Motor Racing' (Praha, 1973) by Miloš Skoøepa. He also says this info comes from FIAT. Any other source I have access to doesn't mention this strange story. Looks like merely FIAT people believe it?

#41 robert dick

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Posted 09 November 2004 - 11:39

Such a record or something similar has never been mentioned in the contemporary American press, certainly a fairy tale.
In any case the S76 was not able to attain a speed of 290 km/h, maybe 240 but not more. The number 290 appears in the official engine output, 290 hp.

#42 Pavel Lifintsev

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Posted 11 November 2004 - 16:40

Thank you, Robert, you confirmed what I thought on this.

Originally posted by robert dick
Who are the men on the second photo?


Heya, looks like we do know the answer, don't we?

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Felice Nazzaro ... considered the ... car 'uncontrollable', after testing it on the streets of Turin with Englishman Jack Scales in the mechanic's seat.


For what else those 'extra' exhausts would have been fitted if not for a street test?

#43 robert dick

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Posted 12 November 2004 - 10:11

Second photo :
The driver, sitting at the steering wheel, is almost certainly Henri Matthys, Duray's mechanic. Neither Nazzaro nor Scales are on the photo.

Henri Matthys is also visible in the first photo posted by Jean-Maurice (titled "with the prince at the wheel"), standing on the right, his elbow leaning on the bonnet.
In Jean-Maurice's second photo (titled "during the assembly"), Nazzaro is working on the engine, Fagnano standing behind him.
In Jean-Maurice's fourth photo (titled "... and outside"), Nazzaro is at the wheel, Fagnano by his side.

#44 flat-16

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 21:07

The S76 was one of the most terrifying creations to emanate from any factory


:rotfl:

After clicking on the link in VAR1016's signature and seeing a photo, I tried a search on the S76 and found this immensely entertaining and amusing thread.

In the interim 5 years, has any new information come to light regarding either of the cars' whereabouts? What a pull an S76 would be for a festival!


Justin

#45 VAR1016

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 21:19

Originally posted by flat-16


:rotfl:

After clicking on the link in VAR1016's signature and seeing a photo, I tried a search on the S76 and found this immensely entertaining and amusing thread.

In the interim 5 years, has any new information come to light regarding either of the cars' whereabouts? What a pull an S76 would be for a festival!


Justin


It's difficult: would I die happy just hearing the S76 on full noise, or could I be really greedy and hear a V16 BRM (which was probably just as unmanageable) on full noise as well?

I suppose that the "Old Man" could probably have handled it!

Paul

#46 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 21:33

Originally posted by flat-16
In the interim 5 years, has any new information come to light regarding either of the cars' whereabouts? What a pull an S76 would be for a festival!

See the other S76 thread, Justin:

Fiat S76