750 bhp is not a rare power output in automobiles these days. Supercars and hypercars regularly achieve this output or even more. However, 27L (!) is not the usual capacity you find in a regular engine. 27,000cc is exactly the capacity of the engine powering 1972 John Dodd’s The Beast you see here.
John Dodd’s The Beast was listed as “the most powerful road car in the world” in 1977 by the Guinness Book of Records. And no, the engine isn’t a marine engine; it is the opposite. It is an aircraft engine, specifically the Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 that once powered the Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane.
The power output may not qualify it as a beast today but the engine capacity sure is. And it was pretty fast too. 1973 the RAC recorded the car at a top speed of 183 miles per hour (295 km/h).
But it is not going to break any record in the economy department. This monstrosity guzzles gas like a, well, hungry beast. It does a reported 2 mpg, which is roughly 118 liters per hundred kilometers.
For context, a typical family-size SUV does about 9-10/100 km. Now, this is definitely not a ride for outback adventure where gas stations are far and few between.
This vehicle is a beast not only because of the engine capacity; this thing is pretty huge too. At 19 feet (5.7 meters), it is just about the size of a full-size pickup truck but as you can see, half of the length is the hood.
Other notables of this monster station wagon include a custom-built automatic transmission, front suspension featuring Austin elements, a Jaguar XJ12-derived rear suspension, a heavy-duty Currie rear axle, and a custom interior that boasts a bank of red switches which are used to initiate the starting sequence for the Merline engine.
The V5 still reflects the car owner as John Dodd and despite its legal dispute, it is still listed as a Rolls-Royce. Though it appears that the mascot and the Rolls-Royce grilled are no longer there.
Now for the good news. First, it is still in its running condition and second, the one-off ludicrous ride from the 70s will be going on the block on March 09, 2023, which over the 7 days, you can bid for the chance to own it. More information can be found on the auction listing on Car & Classic.
Images: Car & Classic.