Better Than a Truck: Buy the 27-Liter Biege ‘Beast’
This fiberglass truck-like beast is the “Beast.” Built in the 1970s, its two key features are its strange proportions and its Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Its weird looks you already see. What you can’t see is the gigantic 27-liter, V12-cylinder tank engine. Everything about this beast is about excess, and it can make a perfect replacement for your mundane pickup truck.
When was the Beast built?
John Dodd built the beige Beast in the 1970s. Being an engineer helped him harness Merlin’s 750 hp. It was built on the original bones of the original Beast, which burned down on a trip from coming back from Sweden. Both featured transmissions built and modified by Dodd. It should also be noted he claimed 950hp and 760 lb-ft of torque.
The Beast originally displayed a Rolls-Royce grille, but the folks at the London manufacturer don’t have much of a sense of humor. The courts decided in favor of Rolls-Royce, so the grille is no longer there. Now it features Dodd’s initials.
Can the Beast haul cargo?
The body has a boat-like feel, mostly attributable to it being fiberglass, and its proportions like a boat. We don’t know if it floats. The vents and scoops are probably necessary to relieve the engine compartment of heat. And its beige color ties in nicely with its overall 1970s groovy theme, and it is authentic.
But if you’re thinking about replacing your boring pickup truck with the Beast, you’ll be happy with its payload capabilities. With only two seats, it offers an expansive cargo area. Better yet, it is all resplendent in beige. It’s beige as far as the eye can see.
What drivetrain does the Beast have?
The rest of the interior is a bit kit-car-ish. More like a 1960s kit car-like. But the Beast isn’t about contemporary trends, it’s about its outrageousness. That applies to its top speed, which is over 183 mph, the number hit the last time Dodd explored its velocity boundaries back in 1977.
Four-wheel disc brakes are a relief knowing they’re not drum brakes. They hide behind the Centerline modular wheels. The Merlin transmits power to a General Motors three-speed automatic transmission. That spins the coilover supported Currie nine-inch Ford rear end, where a Jaguar unit once resided. We expect that the engine setback offers fairly balanced performance, not that we expect this thing to be in a race.
Does it run?
One of the best parts about this freak is that Dodd continued to maintain it, before his death at 90 last year, he continued to use it, and work on it. So you’re getting a ready-to-run station wagon, not a project. And you’re getting a vehicle with the title, “The Worlds Most Powerful Car, 1977” bestowed on it by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The auction materials describe that when “the Beast fires into life, the earth shakes. No hyperbole, no sales talk, you can feel it shake everything around it.” That should be icing on the cake for you 4×4 fans looking for something a little different in motoring fun.