There is a famous saying that there is no replacement for displacement and John Dodd took it very seriously in the 70’s. He decided to keep a 27-liter V12 in his Rolls-Royce.
In the era, interviewed by the BBC nationwide, Dodd showed off his roller coaster, a program he thought could be the fastest in the world at the time. This is because, instead of being driven by some trivial automotive engine, it was powered by a Merlin V12.
The same type of engine that was seen in Spitfire or Lancaster, as Dodd explained, is seen here with the Triple Weber carburetor (instead of a supercharger). As a result, the owner claims that it produces 700 hp (522 kW / 710 PS).
Read more: This Ford Crown Victoria gets a 27-liter twin-turbo V12 from a tank
Dodd claims that this power is good enough to propel the car to 70 miles per hour (113 km / h) and 200 miles per hour (322 km / h) in just three seconds. And all in two-star petrol, which Wikipedia tells me is equivalent to 87 octane.
And it doesn’t get such a bad fuel economy. Dodd claims it will be 13-14 mpg (18-16.8 L / 100 km). It’s bad by modern standards, but I owned a V8 that did it fairly well and it displaces only one-fifth of a lot of liters.
What led to this very special go?
“The idea was a car that could lose anything in the world and at the same time, drive on the cheapest petrol you could buy,” Dodd told interviewer Christopher Rainbow. Being a Brit, though, he wanted to make it all British, which actually prevented him from selling it to an American dealer who was actually very interested in the car.
However, instead of selling it, he chose to keep it and demonstrated it in demonstrations around Europe and tested it on “Autobahns”. Honestly, I can’t find fault with his creation or his attitude towards it.