John Dodd was once a leading automatic gearbox specialist, but he is much better known as the owner of The Beast, a 20-odd feet long behemoth powered by a Merlin engine.
You read that right. This car has the same 27-litre, Rolls-Royce engine as the Supermarine Spitfire, probably the greatest warbird of all time.
Paul Jameson built The Beast’s rolling chassis, complete with the Merlin, in the early Seventies and then passed it on to John. The coupe-estate body was put together by the owners of Santa Pod. They owed John a favour or two.
Over the past 40 years, The Beast has been the subject of a law suit by Rolls-Royce, who objected to it being registered as a Roller, and traveled all over Europe. We dread to think how much John has spent on fuel. And oil.
Woody talked with John about his adventures at the Wings and Wheels show.