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The Fastest Cars Of Each Decade Since Cars Began

The Bugatti Veyron was the first car to really take the term ‘fastest car in the world’ mainstream. It was posted all over shows such as Top Gear, and since then, it’s the first go-to fact in the world of car Top Trumps. Now, the SSC Tuatara has taken the record. But be aware, this list only consists of road-legal production cars so no Henessey Venom to be seen here! We’ll keep them for next time, but until then, here’s the list you’ve all been waiting for.

1880-1889 | BENZ MOTORWAGEN | 10 MPH

While this certainly was the fastest car of the decade, a horse and carriage was faster. But it paved the way for the hypercars further down this list. Kinda.

1890-1899 | STANLEY RUNABOUT | 35 MPH

This photo doesn’t only show the car speeding past a horse, but it shows that road rage towards slower traffic (and horses) was ripe even over 100 years ago.

1900-1909 | MERCEDES-SIMPLEX 60HP | 73 MPH

Originally, this car was made to be a race car by Mercedes but while it wasn’t overly successful on track, it became the fastest car on the road. So fast in fact, that it could easily stay with the majority of highway traffic these days!


Again, this was another race car before it went on the road. The engine was developed by Ferdinand Porsche so it had performance flowing through its veins from the get go.

1920-1929 | DUESENBERG MODEL J | 119 MPH

Indiana once produced the fastest car in the world filling the USA with pride. It also became the daily driver of the Great Gatsby!

1930-1939 | DUESENBERG MODEL SJ | 140 MPH

Add on a supercharger to the previous car and you’ve got yourself something even faster than before. This beauty could do 140mph, and a one-off version called the Mormon Meteor ended up doing 170 mph and held the 24-hour speed average until 1990.

1940-1949 | JAGUAR XK 120 | 126 MPH

With JAguar’s prominent straight-six engine being dropped into the XK’s body, it quickly rose to stardom with a top speed of 120mph. Apparently, if you dropped the windshield and covered the passenger compartment, it would go 15mph even faster than that!

1950-1959 | ASTON MARTIN DB4 GT | 153 MPH

Not just a car of luxury, the DB4 GT also became the fastest in the world. No wonder it was good enough for James Bond!

1960-1969 | FERRARI 365 GTB/4 “DAYTONA” | 174 MPH

With a powerful V12 under the bonnet, this Ferrari took the top spot from Lamborghini’s Miura. Sorry Lambo!


Ferrar once again takes the lead in this decade, again, beating Lamborghini and their Countach which was said to reach 200mph but… it couldn’t.

1980-1989 | FERRARI F40 | 202 MPH

The one we all recognise, the legendary F40. It beat the Porsche 959 to 200mph, but only by an inch. More than that, it became probably the most well known Ferrari, ever.

1990-1999 | MCLAREN F1 | 240 MPH

Onto another legend now – the McLaren F1. It dominated the streets with its racing car inspired central seating position and took top spot reaching 240mph. To race in Le Mans, McLaren had to make it a lot slower to stay within regulations.

2000-2009 | SHELBY SSC AERO | 268 MPH

Built specifically to hold the speed record, this hypercar did. Albeit for a very short amount of time.

2010-2019 | Koenigsegg Agera RS | 277.87MPH

The Agera RS beat both the Chiron and the Hennessey Venom F5 to the number one place on this list. The Swedish car company took the car to Nevada where it gained its record. You can watch it below:

2020 (so far) | SSC Tuatara | 316.11MPH

With a recorded top speed of 331mph, but a two-way average of 316.11mph, the Tuatara took the production car world record on Saturday 10 October from the Agera RS on the very same road in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can see the full video below:

Alex Harrington

Alex started racing at a young age so certainly knows his way around a car and a track. He can just about put a sentence together too, which helps. He has a great interest in the latest models, but would throw all of his money at a rusty old French classic and a 300ZX. Contact: [email protected]

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