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The fastest production car in each decade

Autocar Logo By Autocar of Autocar | Slide 1 of 13: Our approach has always been rigorous, putting through cars through a gruelling series of tests to assess every aspect. And that includes top speed. In 1928 the land speed record stood at 207mph. In 300,000 years of human history it was the fastest any person had travelled whilst still in contact with the surface of the earth. In 2018, meanwhile, any one of us who can afford to do so can walk into a Bentley showroom and buy a car that is capable of exactly the same top speed. Today, the luxurious, opulent, fully-warrantied and entirely undemanding Continental GT W12 is capable of reaching the same terminal velocity as the very fastest wheel-driven machine mankind had yet devised in 1928. That is how far road car performance has come in 90 years. We recently looked at the history of the land speed record; here we’re looking at the fastest cars anyone could actually go out and buy. We start in the 1900s, and work forward decade-by-decade from there:

In 2018, Autocar is celebrating 90 years of it conducting road tests.

Our approach has always been rigorous, putting through cars through a gruelling series of tests to assess every aspect. And that includes top speed.

In 1928 the land speed record stood at 207mph. In 300,000 years of human history it was the fastest any person had travelled whilst still in contact with the surface of the earth.

In 2018, meanwhile, any one of us who can afford to do so can walk into a Bentley showroom and buy a car that is capable of exactly the same top speed. Today, the luxurious, opulent, fully-warrantied and entirely undemanding Continental GT W12 is capable of reaching the same terminal velocity as the very fastest wheel-driven machine mankind had yet devised in 1928. That is how far road car performance has come in 90 years.

We recently looked at the history of the land speed record; here we’re looking at the fastest cars anyone could actually go out and buy. We start in the 1900s, and work forward decade-by-decade from there:

© Autocar

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