The engine is a Type 9 V.O.S. built in 1962 by the Duvant company. Only three were ever produced, each measuring 11-feet tall by 18-feet long and consumes approximately 92.5 gallons of diesel every hour to generate its 1600HP. This engine spent its productive years in the race track's basement attached to a massive flywheel. If the power ever failed, this could cut in and supply the stadium's electrical needs for as long as necessary.
However, after years of service, the Type 9 was eventually retired in 1990. It lay dormant for a decade until Association des Amoureux des Vieux Moteurs (Vintage Engines Appreciation Society) obtained the engine and spent another decade moving and overhauling it.
If you happen to be reading this in France, good news! It's currently on display—and running—at the Rétromobile 2012 show in Paris, which runs until Sunday, February 5th. [Gizmag]