The legendary Fiat S76, dubbed the ‘Beast of Turin’, is the sole surviving example of just two speed-record contenders that the Italian automaker built before World War One.

The classic 28.5-litre vehicle achieved the mile record with race car driver Pietro Bordino behind the wheel at Saltburn Sands, North Yorkshire, in 1911.

It officially recorded a speed of 135mph one year later in Oostende in Belgim, but was denied the record as it was unable to complete the return run.

Now the incredible car, with its huge four-cylinder engine, has been fired up for the first time in over a century by current owner Duncan Pittaway.

The 52-year-old drove the vehicle 1.16 miles along the Goodwood Motor Circuit, in Chichester, West Sussex last Friday (March 27).

Mr Pittaway, who lives in Dundry, Bristol, completed the journey on the track's Hillclimb in private during a test run.

The need for speed

The car enthusiast now plans to do a public run in front of thousands of people at the Goodwood Festival of Speed] (June 25-28).

Mr Pittaway brought the chassis back to the UK in 2003 and reunited it with the original 28.5-litre, four-cylinder engine from the dismantled car.

“After restoring a Bugatti T35, I was looking for a new challenge - and the S76, which is one of the more maligned cars of its generation, fitted the bill nicely,” said Mr Pittaway.

“All of the original S76 components that have survived have been restored, from the chassis and engine down to the suspension, axles, pedals and steering box - with the gearbox, radiator and bodywork being created using the original Fiat drawings.

"As the last and largest of the huge-engined Edwardian monsters, it should be sensational for the Festival of Speed visitors to see – and hear – it heading up the Hillclimb."

The amazing test run was captured by filmmaker Stefan Marjoram, 44, who has been documenting the historical restoration project.

Video credit: SWNS