One such car was a bit more special than most, however. The car was bestowed with a mammoth Curtiss OX-5 V8 aircraft engine and unleashed on unsuspecting roads. This isn’t it, rather it’s another Monarch outfitted in its likeness, and as driver Duncan Pittaway demonstrates, it’s a bit of a bruiser. Take a look.
And with a momentous push start, the aged Monarch is on its way. As Pittaway demonstrates, the foot brake does little in the way of slowing the car (you’ve got the handbrake for that), the gearshift runs sequentially from rear to front, and there’s no fuel pump. To push fuel into the engine you must manually work a hand-operated air pump.
Amazingly, the airplane-engined beast can still hit 100 mph, though as Pittaway puts it, “you can have more fun at 30 miles an hour around a roundabout in this car than you could ever have in the latest Ferrari supercar.”
He does know his Italian performance cars too. Pittaway also owns the talked-about-in-whispers “Beast of Turin,” a 1911 Fiat land-speed record car with a 28.5-liter four-cylinder. Essentially, the fastest Italian car money could buy, circa 1911.
Care to see these early century automotive icons in the flesh? A whole mess of them will race it out at the 74th Goodwood Member’s Meeting in the UK in March. Average vehicle age? About 102 years young.