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Internationally, several new regulations have been introduced regarding emissions and vehicle build quality. As a result, manufacturers around the world have been forced to modify existing models or discontinue production of some models. I’ve seen several examples of cars built by local factories. This is happening not only in India but also abroad. Outside India, many build road-legal vehicles in their own garages. One of these gentlemen was John Dodd from England. In 1977 John Dodd built the world’s most powerful car, the Beast. Here’s a video showing the current state of John Dodd’s Beast. 

Legendary ‘The Beast’ has the 27,000 cc engine of the Spitfire aircraft

John Dodd’s photo

This video was uploaded to their YouTube channel by The Late Brake Show. In this video, the host talks about the history of this beast. The car design is completely unconventional. It has a strange design with a hood that is nearly 10 feet long. Development of the Beast began in 1966 and Dodd was commissioned to build a custom Rolling gearbox for his chassis. The chassis was equipped with a Rolls-Royce Meteor tank engine. In the end, John bought the same car and completed the project. 

The Beast! 27-litre V12 Spitfire engined car on the street


Since it uses a rolling chassis, the exterior design is completely made to order. John consulted a workshop that specialized in fibreglass bodywork for cars, especially dragsters. The car received a fibreglass body with a Rolls-Royce Cornish front grille. Rolls-Royce was not very pleased with the move and took John Dodd to court. This made the car very popular in media publications. The bodies shown in the video are not the first. John even brought his car to Sweden to avoid legal action. 

The body was built by a company called Fibre Glass Repairs and ‘The Beast’ was fitted with a grille and a Rolls-Royce mascot.

In 1974 the car was severely damaged in a fire. After the incident, John decides to rebuild the car and replace the engine as well. The Rolls-Royce Meteor tank engine was replaced with a Merlin V12 engine originally developed for fighter aircraft. The 27-litre V12 engine occupied most of the space under the hood due to its enormous size. Cooling requires a lot of air, so the hood had multiple vents to prevent overheating. The Beast’s new body design was different from the old version. He had a station wagon-like design now also known as the Shooting Brake. 

An engine derived from the Spitfire aircraft on the roads

The redesign of the car replaced the controversial Rolls-Royce grille with a bespoke unit bearing John Dodd’s initials. The interior of the car has also been redesigned, with a classic beige-brown paint finish. The 19-foot-tall car was powered by a Merlin V12 engine, producing 950 horsepower and 1030 Nm of torque. It could reach speeds of up to 322 km/h, a feat unmatched by any other production car of the time. This made the Beast one of the most powerful cars of its time. John Dodd used to drive this car when he wasn’t working on the huge engine. 

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In recent years, India has emerged as an important market for automakers, driving their growth and expansion plans. The country is on the verge of overtaking major countries such as the United States and China as it is gaining more attention from automakers. Maruti Suzuki India Limited Chairman RC Bhargava recently confirmed this trend and predicted that within the next five years, India would overtake the United States and China to become a major automotive market. 

Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava

Bhargava said the U.S. and China are now ahead of India because of their larger economies. However, when it comes to the automotive industry, India is experiencing impressive growth. The company is already the market leader in the two-wheeler sector, and vehicle sales continue to grow. India has now overtaken Japan to take third place. 


Bhargava acknowledged that overtaking China will be even more difficult because the Chinese market, where car sales are growing, is much larger. For example, in 2022 in China, he will have 26.86 million cars sold, while in India he will have 20.75 million sold across all categories. He suggested that India could move forward by significantly expanding the capacity of its local manufacturing bases in the country.

Maruti Suzuki, chaired by RC Bhargava, exported 260,000 units in 2022/23. Bhargava said the figure could have been higher had it not been for production problems such as semiconductor shortages. However, once these challenges subside, Maruti Suzuki positions India as a major vehicle exporter, aiming to triple its exports from the previous year.

To boost exports, Maruti Suzuki has already announced an investment of up to INR 18 crore in a manufacturing facility to be built in Sonipat, Haryana in 2022. Over the next seven years, the new facility is expected to become the company’s largest production facility.

In addition to Maruti Suzuki, other automakers are also investing heavily to expand production and increase exports to other countries. Hyundai, for example, has announced an investment of INR 20,000 for the same purpose, and MG plans to invest INR 5 billion over the next five to seven years. In addition to their focus on internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, automakers are gradually turning their attention to electric vehicles (EVs) as they aim to expand production and exports in the coming years. Even Roads Minister Nitin Gadkari has suggested that India could become a major auto market within the next five years by focusing on electric and flex-fuel vehicles. 

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