You beauty! The Beast sells for £72,500 via online auction

by Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
17 March 2023 2 min read
You beauty! The Beast sells for £72,500 via online auction
Photos: Car & Classic

There was one question left unanswered after we’d written a profile on ‘The Beast’ at the end of last year: what would happen to it following the death of its co-creator, John Dodd?

Well, it landed back in the UK ahead of being auctioned off on the Car & Classic website, where it attracted 60 bids before selling for £72,500.

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Dodd died in December 2022 at the age of 90, taking with him 50 years of myths, buts and maybes, but as his daughter said on the car’s Facebook page, “his legend will live on”. And live on it will, in the form of one of most famous custom cars of the 1970s.

At its heart is a 27,000cc V12 engine, large enough to propel the car into the Guinness Book of World Records as the most powerful road car in the world. In a 1974 interview, Dodd said it could “cruise at 200mph and beat anything else”. The Daily Express claimed it could hit 260mph, while the RAC timed it at a more sedate 183mph.

Today, ‘The Beast’ is minus the Rolls-Royce grille which led to Dodd being served with a High Court writ accusing him of trademark infringement. The judge ruled in Rolls-Royce’s favour and Dodd was fined £5000 and ordered to pay the same in costs for ignoring it two days later at a car show in Southend.

Dodd lost an appeal and was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay. With a warrant issued for his arrest, Dodd fled to the ‘Costa del Crime’ to escape extradition, with the car arriving soon after, before it lost its Rolls-Royce signature pieces.

Tom Wood, CEO of Car & Classic, said the car won’t require much promotion: “…it is so famous it can be referred by its nickname and classic car enthusiasts will immediately know which example of eccentric motoring heritage we’re talking about.”

Dodd took great pride in the fact that the car was registered with the DVLA as a Rolls-Royce. Stick the registration number in the ULEZ checker and it comes up as a ‘Beige ROLLS ROYCE’ and a note saying, “this vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards”.

The Beast engine

Yep, this 19ft-long and two-ton flamboyance, which consumes eight pints of fuel a minute, delivering just 2mpg, is supposedly doing its bit for the environment. Still want that Nissan Leaf?

This was a rare opportunity to own a slice of British motoring history. Will the successful bidder dare to source a Rolls-Royce grille from a Silver Shadow and have it make a comeback on one of the beastliest cars of all time?

Read more

‘The Beast’: John Dodd and his magnificent non-flying machine
Godzilla goes off road: custom GT-R hits the dirt
9 British beasts worth hunting for

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  • Harvey says:

    Just needs wings sure would fly.

  • Tadhg says:

    Best thing about it is that you can add Tetraboost tetraethyl lead to the petrol, and then run it very slowly in congested London traffic all day…..

  • Chris Payne says:

    Eddie Hall needs to buy this car. The Beast drives the Beast.

  • Mike Cole says:

    In the early 70s I used to commute using the A21 in my 1600 Ford Capri and how I won’t forget one morning seeing that Rolls Royce grille in my rear view mirror from afar for just one second before this deafening 20 feet of ‘thunderstorm’ literally disappeared into the distance and all within seconds – I could not believe what I had seen ……….and heard !!!!

  • BigCol says:

    “consumes eight pints of fuel a minute, delivering just 2mpg”
    that’s a gallon a minute… so if 2mpg… 2 miles a minute = 120mph!

  • Malcolm Etherton says:

    Met John Dodd during the early life of The Beast and was literally blow away by him in his pride and joy. I managed to catch up with him whilst crossing the Epsom Downs in a Mercedes Benz with a 6.9 litre engine. We were at the tea hut junction with the grandstand straight and John floored it, leaving me in a cloud of black smoke and accelerating at possibly twice my rate! I was working a short distance from where John operated from. Memories forever. Rest in peace John.

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