Concept Carz Home
 ManufacturersArrow PictureFiatArrow Picture1924 Fiat Mefistofele 
Image credits: © Fiat.

1924 Fiat Mefistofele news, pictures, specifications, and information

In 1908, Fiat introduced a chain-driven Grand Prix racing car which they dubbed the SB4. It was used in competition and that is where Sir Ernest Eldridge from Britain saw it perform. Impressed with its capabilities and potential, he purchased the car with the intent on transforming it into a speed record breaker.

Powering the car was a mammoth 18-liter engine. Though extremely large, Eldridge desired more. He had it replaced with an airplane powerplant that was liquid-cooled and displaced 21.7 liter. The six-cylinder Type A-12 Bis produced an astonishing 320 horsepower at a mere 1800 RPM. The engine was extremely powerful, but it was also very heavy and long. In order to accommodate the extra size and weight, Eldridge lengthened the SB4's chassis using parts from a London bus. The power from the engine was sent to the rear wheels via a chain and braking was done by a hand brake which stopped the rear wheels.

On July 12th of 1924 the modified racer, now called the Mefistofele due to its ominous smoke and explosions produced by the engine, set the world land speed record in Arpajon, France after achieving a top speed of 234.980 km/h (146 mph). The record would remain for 32 days. However, it is believed that this was the last land speed record set on public roads.

In 1969, the Mefistofele was purchased from Sir Eldridge's heirs by Fiat's boss Giovanni Agnelli. It was then shipped to Italy, where it was treated to a major restoration and added to the company's historic collection. It currently resides in the Centro Storico Fiat in Turin.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2011
Mephistopheles, the powerful, giant record-breaking car from 1923, is to put its pace to good use again this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The monster car, built by Sir Ernest Eldridge on the base of a 1908 Fiat SB4 Corsa and powered by a WW1 Fiat A12 aircraft engine (the A-12 Bis), is the only one of its kind in the world, and will be going up the Goodwood Hill twice a day over the Festival of Speed weekend.

Part of a group of big racers, it's in a batch called, 'Pioneering Giants' and will also be on display in the Cathedral Paddock.

Eldridge modified the car by lengthening the chassis (the wheelbase was lengthened to 11ft 5 1/8thins), using parts derived from a London bus, and adding the aircraft engine converted to deliver 320 HP. On 12 July 1924, Mephistopheles - so called due to the bangs and puffs of smoke that it emitted when capturing the world land speed record - reached the extraordinary figure of 234.97km/h (146.01mph).

Since 1969 it has belonged to Fiat's historical collection, and recently underwent a long and intensive process of restoration

Source - Fiat
120 years of motor sport at Mercedes-Benz take centre stage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014
'Addicted to Winning': at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes-Benz looks back on some fascinating racing victories of the last 120 years •The unique motor sport heritage of the Mercedes-Benz brand is being celebrated with an exclusive installation by sculptor Gerry Judah •Mercedes-Benz and Gran Turismo®6 jointly celebrate '120 years of motor sport' Stuttgart. – The thrilling victories of the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows mark the peaks of the history of motor sport for...[Read more...]
Continental GT3 to make race debut in Abu Dhabi in December •Gulf 12 Hours to mark the return of Bentley to motorsport •Development testing continues after successful first 3000 km (Crewe, 26th September 2013) Bentley's new Continental GT3 race car makes its competitive debut at the 2013 Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi on 13th December 2013. The two-part endurance race test at the stunning Yas Marina circuit marks Bentley's return to motorsport ten years after its dominant win at the 24 Hours of...[Read more...]
BMW Group Classic presents BMW Motorsport icons at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013. 2013 will see the world's largest motoring 'garden party' - held in the grounds of Lord March's Goodwood House every year since 1993 - celebrating 'the best of the first 20 years'. The one-of-a-kind Goodwood Festival of Speed will mark its 20th anniversary from 12-14 July this year, once again conjuring up a unique atmosphere for the fastest, loudest and most exciting racing machines from the past and pres...[Read more...]
Bonhams to sell the Ferrari that was John Lennon's first car
The Ferrari personally selected by Beatles singer/songwriter John Lennon as his first car is the latest important motor car to join the line-up for the Bonhams auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Chichester, UK, on Friday 12th July. In February 1965 The Beatles recorded Ticket to Ride – a song that would become one of their biggest hits, topping both the UK and US singles charts. By happy coincidence, that same month, the news that Lennon had passed his driving test made headlines ac...[Read more...]
Goodwood - Lotus Headlines the Loudest Summer Festival of Them All
The peace and tranquillity of Lord March's estate will be shattered from 29th June to 1st July as Lotus takes centre stage at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, which celebrates Lotus innovation, engineering, heritage and style. Forty Lotus cars will fire up the hallowed hill climb this year, spanning seven decades and showcasing Lotus' incredible racing pedigree; from championship winning F1 cars to famous GT and rally racers, some driven by Lotus greats including Emerson Fittipaldi...[Read more...]

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
Similar Automakers
Alfa RomeoCitroen
Fiat: 1921-1930
Similar Automakers
Fiat History
Other models by Fiat
Manufacturer Website

Monthly Sales FiguresVolume
August 20143,362 
July 20143,807 
June 20144,478 
May 20144,771 
April 20144,298 
March 20144,738 
February 20143,465 
January 20143,222 
December 20133,745 
November 20133,075 
October 20133,674 
September 20133,157 
(More Details)

Abarth 750
Tipo 6
Type 56
X 1/9

© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.