Video: Tiny Car With A Big Engine Rips Up Santa Pod

What the heck is this thing, you ask? It’s a Fiat 126, which came out of the Fiat factory with a minuscule 72-inch wheelbase, listed 1,300 pound curb weight, and a fully-optioned two-cylinder, 700cc engine making a whopping 26 horsepower, but that’s definitely NOT what’s between the framerails on this example built by Taz Racing and campaigned over at Santa Pod Raceway in the lovely land of England.

fiatOriginally fitted with a 594cc, two-cylinder engine, there’s now a big honkin’383 cubic inch small block Chevy stuffed into what appears to be nearly the whole car – and it pops nasty flames during the burnout. We’re still not sure where the driver, Chris Skinner, fits, but it’s got to be a little less than cozy in there. 

The powerplant features a host of go-fast parts — Scat crank, Crower rods, Wiseco pistons, a Holley 750 carb, to name a few — to produce some 500 horsepower, which is further aided by a 150 shot of nitrous. It’s all moved through a Turbo 350 gearbox and a 4000 stall converter to a tiny 14-inch long heavy duty driveshaft. Skinner has installed a Ford 8-inch rear in the car to keep it all together. 

We’re diggin’ the mini wheelie bars, and are even more pumped about the fact that the car actually needs them. Not a huge wheelstand, but enough to touch the bars and set the nose back smoothly on the ground. Of course, the elapsed times in the 9.60 range (not shown in this video) at over 140 MPH makes this thing all the more awesome, although we can’t imagine the short-wheelbase car is too much fun to drive at that speed.

Even so, we have to wonder just how much fun it would be to drive with a Liberty 5-speed and a couple of kits of squeeze on it. Eight-second passes, anyone?

It would take someone with the skills of Billy Glidden and the balls of John Force to make it happen without ending up in the wall 100 feet out, but one thing’s for sure – we’d drop this week’s whole paycheck on a plane flight to see it happen! Badass!

About the author

Jason Reiss

Jason draws on over 15 years of experience in the automotive publishing industry, and collaborates with many of the industry's movers and shakers to create compelling technical articles and high-quality race coverage.
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