This car is very unique. It is the 1905 Darracq 200hp Sprint Special, designed and built specifically for breaking land speed records. It’s fearsome 25.4 liter, 200hp V8 (also unique for its time) pushed the vehicle to 109.65mph on December 30, 1905, just two days after the car was completed. By the end of the Darracq’s lifespan it had achieved 121.57mph. That doesn’t seem all that fast, most modern economy cars wouldn’t have much trouble keeping pace with the Darracq, but this was 1905, and you were practically riding a bed frame with 200hp from a 25 liter V8 in front of you!
What is also awesome and why you should love the Darracq is that it is responsible for the rise of another great automaker. Darracq opened a branch of the company in Italy under the name Societa Italiana Automobili Darracq (SIAD). This brand didn’t fare that well, but they were bought out by one Nicola Romeo, who created Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (ALFA). And thus Alfa Romeo was born. Without Darracq, we wouldn’t have the wonderful brand that is Alfa.
A couple other cool tidbits about the car: it is believed to be the oldest V8 powered car surviving today. It’s first owner, who purchased it in 1906 from the Darracq factory, was Sir Algernon Lee Guinness, of the brewing family.
24 Litre engine. 24. For 200bhp.