John Dodd's Merlin Beast on Top Gear

John Dodd's Rolls Royce Merlin Spitfire aeroengined beast featured on BBC's "Top Gear" program. This clip was extracted from the episode that was first broadcast on the 5th March 1998. In the 1960s, Paul Jameson put a Rolls-Royce Meteor(often mistakenly described as a Merlin) engine into a chassis he built himself. He did not get around to building a body, and sold the car to Epsom automatic transmission specialist John Dodd, who had supplied the automatic gearbox, Fibre Glass Repairs in Bromley, Kent fitted a fibreglass body and the car was named The Beast (mk1) The Beast (mk1) was sponsored by British Petroleum and was extremely popular at car shows all over Europe. (The engine is alleged to have come from a Boulton Paul Balliol training aircraft, and drives a General Motors TH400 automatic transmission) It was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's most powerful road car. Learn more at