Some are new, some are old, but these are some worthy attempts at great speed outside a racing track. WARNING: do not attempt to replicate
1.Koenigsegg’s Agera RS record
Koenigsegg test driver Niklas Lija clocked a personal best of 457.5kph, and a two-way average of 447.2kph. And yes, state troopers closed the road for them. Not all of the here have been so legal…
2. Koenigsegg speeding ticket
A far less official speed run allegedly resulted in the fastest speeding ticket ever issued, during the 2003 Gumball rally. A ‘Segg CCR driver was caught running at 389kph in Texas in a 120kph limit. Not big or clever, that.
3. Rudolf Caracciola’s Mercedes Rekordwagen
In the late Thirties, Mercedes and Auto Union battled on new autobahns to set the on-road land-speed record. Merc set the verified record of 432.7kph in 1938 with this 725bhp, twin-s’charged V12 streamliner.
4. Bernd Rosemeyer’s Stromlinienwagen
The forerunner to Audi almost snatched the record from Merc, when young F1 upstart Bernd Rosemeyer took his modified Group C racer to an estimated 433kph, moments before a fatal accident.
5. America’s top speed supercar
Before Hennessey’s Venom arrived, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT was ‘Murica’s fastest supercar. In 2006, the prototype hit a Guinness-certified 412kph on a closed road in Washington State. The driver was 70 years old.
6. The fastest road car at the Ring
Technically the Nordschleife is a one-way toll road, and the fastest street-legal car to lap it is not the 6min 47sec Porsche 911 GT2 RS, but the Chinese Nio EP9 Super-EV, driven by Peter Dumbreck in a verified 6min 45.9sec.
7. The first sub-17min IOM TT lap
Perhaps the most terrifying dice with death on public roads for sport is the Isle of Man Time Trial. In 2016, Michael Dunlop rode the 60.7km course at an average of 214.642kph, and became the first member of the sub-17 minute club.
8. The birth of the UK national limit
UK roads had 30mph urban limits from 1935, but out-of-town was unrestricted. After AC carried out a shakedown of a Le Mans racer up to 298kph on the M1 in 1964, the outrage was the first step to the 113kph limit we know and, um, love. (pic: Kevin Decherf)
9. ‘Smokey Nagata’s Top Secret Supra
In 1999 Top Secret Tuning’s Smokey Nagata brought his 1,000bhp Supra to the UK for a Max Power photoshoot… then tried to hit 322kph on the A1 at 4am. He was caught slowing from a 310kph test run, and promptly deported.