Mephistofeles (car)

The Fiat Mefistofele at the Geneva Auto Salon 2011

The Fiat Mefistofele is a former world record holder, which is based on a racing car SB4 of the Italian car manufacturer Fiat. The Briton Ernest Eldridge created on this basis, the car known as Mefistofele home-built and broke up with him in 1924, the land speed record.


The basic vehicle was built in 1908 as Fiat SB4 for races and at the time was equipped with a 18,146 cc four-cylinder engine with approximately 175 PS (129 kW). 1922 wrecked in the meantime and no longer operational race car was purchased from Ernest Eldridge and rebuilt in 1923 to a record-breaking car. For this extended Eldridge the lead frame in the area of the front end to make room for a 21.7 - liter six-cylinder in-line engine of the type Fiat A.12. This engine came from a fighter aircraft of the First World War. Its output is around 320 hp (235 kW). On July 12, 1924 Eldridge sailed together with his co-pilot and mechanic John Ames a straight country road in Arpajon in Paris and exhibited there the world record of 234.980 km / h on. For the record run the engine had been modified: From a pressure vessel carried the two carburetors pure oxygen was fed. The object of the passenger was to maintain the fuel supply with a manual pump.

Later Gianni Agnelli bought the vehicle for the collection of works ( now called the Centro Storico Fiat Lancia ). The car is ready and will be presented by Fiat regularly for the public, both as a static exhibit at trade shows and in the context of demonstration runs. While the car was at the time of Eldridge's record run painted black, it was later painted over by Fiat with the Italian racing car color Rosso Corsa.


Mefistofele is not originally assigned by Fiat or Eldridge type name, but a nickname that was given to the vehicle of viewers record distance and of the press. The name refers to Mephistopheles, the satanic demon who buys the Doctor Faust 's soul.

Images for vehicle today

Cockpit of Mefistofele

Aircraft engine type Fiat A.12


  • The achieved by Eldridge on July 12, 1924 value was the last land speed record, which was set up on a public road.
  • The term Mefistofele is the Italian spelling of the vehicle name again. This is also as writing on both outer sides of the carriage. At the wooden bulkhead in the engine compartment, a brass plaque is mounted on the the is to read to the Greek ajar spelling Mephistopheles internationally more common.
  • One of his performances as a rolling exhibit recently experienced the Mefistofele in 2010 on the occasion of the presentation of the Fiat 500 TwinAir on the test track of Balocco. Interesting and strange pairing this vehicle is in particular due to the fact that the Mefistofele approximately 25 times as much capacity as the Fiat 500 TwinAir has.