1950 Fiat Centauro Dropped Its Daimler Engine for a Rolls-Royce One

1950 Fiat Centauro 6 photos
Photo: Platinum Figthters
1950 Fiat Centauro1950 Fiat Centauro1950 Fiat Centauro1950 Fiat Centauro1950 Fiat Centauro
Like it or not, the Axis forces (that would be the military of Germany, Italy, and Japan during the Second World War) had on their side during the war some of the best technology around. As far as airplanes were concerned, between the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Japanese Mitsubishi Zero, there wasn’t much the Allies could do to, at least in the early years of the war, to achieve the air supremacy they badly needed.
But the Italians made their contribution to the war efforts of the Axis as well. As a nation known to have been involved with making cars pretty much since cars started being made, the country must have felt it’s a matter of national pride to make its own aerial fighters.

The Fiat G.55 Centauro was perhaps the best they had in this respect. Introduced in 1943, after being benchmarked against the Messerschmitt Bf 109, the plane (of which under 300 examples were ever made in several variants, making it one of the rarest such machines around) served with the Italian Regia Aeronautica, but it would also end up being deployed by the Argentine and Egyptian Air Forces. It faced off over serious opponents, including the British Spitfire or the American Mustang.

The Centauro shown here is of the G.59 variety made in 1950, meaning instead of the stock engine fitted inside these planes, Daimler-made ones, it uses a Rolls-Royce powerplant. Centauro planes, obviously, started being converted this way after the war ended, in 1948 to be precise.

There is no info on whether this particular Centauro saw any action during the war, but we do know it was restored and started flying again in 1992. Apparently one of just two of its kind to still be airworthy, the Centauro is for sale for 1.05 million euros, which would be close to $1.3 million at today’s exchange rates.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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