Internationally, we are seeing several new regulations when it comes to emissions and the build quality of vehicles. This has forced manufacturers around the world to make changes to their existing models and discontinue some of them. In the past, we have seen several examples of cars that were built by local garages. This has happened in India and internationally. Outside India, many people build road-legal cars in their garages. One such gentleman was John Dodd from the UK. In 1977, John Dodd built the world’s most powerful car, called the Beast. Here, we have a video that shows the current condition of John Dodd’s Beast.
The video has been uploaded by The Late Brake Show on their YouTube channel. In this video, the presenter talks about the history of the Beast. The design of the car is not at all conventional. It has a weird-looking design with a bonnet almost 10 feet long. The work on the Beast started in 1966 when Dodd was contracted to build a transmission for a custom rolling chassis. The chassis was fitted with a Rolls Royce Meteor tank engine. Eventually, John ended up buying the same car and finished the project.
Since it was built on a rolling chassis, the exterior design was completely custom-built. John approached a garage that specialized in fiberglass bodies for cars, particularly for dragsters. The car received a fiberglass body with a Rolls Royce Corniche front grille. Rolls Royce was not very happy about this move and they took John Dodd to court. This made the car quite popular among media publications. The body we see in the video is not the first one. John even took the car to Sweden to escape legal actions.
In 1974, the car suffered major damage after it caught fire. After the incident, John decided to rebuild the car and even replace the engine. The Rolls Royce Meteor tank engine was replaced with a Merlin V12 engine, originally developed for fighter aircraft. The 27-liter V12 engine took up most of the space under the bonnet due to its massive size. It required a lot of air to cool down, so the bonnet was equipped with several air vents to prevent overheating. The new body design of the Beast was different from the older version; it now had a station wagon-like design, also known as a shooting brake.
During the car’s redesign, the controversial Rolls Royce grille was replaced with a custom-made unit featuring the initials of John Dodd. The car’s interior was also redesigned, featuring a classic-looking beige and brown finish. The 19-feet-long car, powered by a Merlin V12 engine, generated 950 Hp and 1030 Nm of peak torque. It could reach speeds of up to 322 km/h, a feat unmatched by any other production car at the time. This made the Beast one of the most powerful cars of its time. John Dodd used to drive this car around whenever he was not working on the massive engine.