Home » What’s The Fastest You’ve Driven And In What? Autopian Asks

What’s The Fastest You’ve Driven And In What? Autopian Asks

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One of the greatest joys in driving is being able to max out your vehicle, be it hitting apexes or clocking in low numbers at the drag strip. We often champion the idea of “slow car fast,” or a vehicle you can push to its limit without hitting Warp. Still, the far end of a speedometer is a temptress, and sometimes a car enthusiast just wants to register triple-digit speeds. What’s the fastest you’ve driven? What were you driving or riding when you hit it?

Now, to be clear here, we are not the police. At least, when I pinched myself this morning I was pretty sure I still work at a transportation publication. I’m not going to tattle on you. That said, you should always be careful what you say on the Internet!

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I’ve lived with slow vehicles all of my life. My first car, a 2001 Kia Rio, wouldn’t go any faster than 110 mph indicated, which was probably closer to 105 mph actual. Things got slower from there. The fastest I’ve gotten in my 2012 Smart Fortwo was 98 mph, beating the electronic limiter by 8 mph. GPS confirmed that as well as uh … the police officer who pulled me over. As a twist, he was laughing way so hard at the thought of my car going that fast that he didn’t even give me a ticket for it. The Honda Prelude driver that blew by going even faster wasn’t as lucky.

Ok, so Peter made this as the original topshot and I have to put it here. It’s not a 2012 Smart but it makes me giggle:

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I’m generally familiar with the far end of the speedometers of everything I drive. I’ve hit 83 mph in my Honda Beat, 70 mph in my Suzuki Every, 70 mph in my bus, and about 130 mph in my Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI.

The absolute fastest I’ve been in a car was about 155 mph behind the wheel of the second-generation Acura NSX. Sadly, the course was too short for more, but there’s only one other time in life when my heart pumped that hard, and that had nothing to do with cars.

Weirdly, I have owned some fast-ish motorcycles, but haven’t gone that fast on them. At one point, I owned a Honda CBR600F3, which could theoretically hit around 173 mph. However, mine never went faster than the speed limit during my ownership. Instead, the fastest I’ve been on a bike was my Triumph Rocket III, which hit a touch over 130 mph before my senses kicked in and I slowed down. Before that, it was 120 mph on a modified and naked 1980 Honda GL1100.

A part of me is afraid to own my “unattainable” dream car, a first-generation Audi R8 V10. Will I bury the needle and end up under a jail somewhere? Will I become an insatiable speed junkie and have to tie myself to faster and faster vehicles? I don’t have the answers to these questions right now. For now, I will happily continue putt-putting around on 20 HP Royal Enfields and giving myself occasional blasts of speed via Triumphs with threatening auras and supercharged Ford trucks that exist to convert rubber into smoke.

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What about you? What’s the fastest you’ve gone and in what vehicle?

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Martin Ibert
Martin Ibert
17 days ago

Long ago, I worked for a company that had an agreement with a completely bonkers car rental company (Budget in Germany, at the time), and I used to rent cars from them on a regular basis (like, weekly). I had all kinds of cool and whacky cars, but I think the fastest I have ever gone in a car was in a rented (from them) Mercedes-Benz S Class, flat out into the speed limiter, at 250 km/h down a completely empty German autobahn from Cologne towards Aachen.

Deathspeed
Deathspeed
17 days ago

I got my 1995 Z-28 up to indicated 135 west of Plains, Kansas before I chickened out and lifted. After midnight, nearly full moon, road straight and level for 16 miles. I had set the cruise at 105 just because, then decided to see if I could top it out. I was in an automatic and was guessing maybe I could hit 150-155. It had just shifted to 4th at 130 and was still pulling strong, when I saw a coyote off the shoulder. It did not move toward the road, but I did get nervous and had thoughts of recreating “The Six Million Dollar Man” opening sequence if I hit one.

More recently, but still several years ago, I got my 5-speed 2005 Stratus R/T coupe up to 130 in broad daylight before I ran out of straight road.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
19 days ago

Learned the Germans apparently forgot to install the limiter on my E63 when I looked down at ~190. Not sure if I went higher cause I didn’t look back down. It was 3 am. Hand to God thought I was going maybe 110. I punched it at 70 on a deserted road and let it ride.

LostinTransit
LostinTransit
20 days ago

92 mph uphill in a 35 mph zone.. cop got me too. I said “but officer i just dropped a new engien in my 63 VW bug was just testing it’s pull” he let me off with a warning.

Alec Harvey
Alec Harvey
20 days ago

I hit 200kph in my 94 Nissan Cefiro in the late 90’s. It was on the foxton straight in New Zealand. Had the good old Valentine one radar detector to look out for cops.

Yngve
Yngve
20 days ago

Somewhere between 125-130 in a 95 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T while driving from Vegas to Southern Utah in the late 1990s. There would generally be only one trooper patrolling the Arizona Strip at any given time, so if you saw them going the other direction, you likely had a free run until you hit the state line.

Last edited 20 days ago by Yngve
Bruce H
Bruce H
20 days ago

125 MPH in my 1974 Ford Galaxie 500 in 1987 on Clinton Parkway in Lawrence, KS at 2:00 AM. Nose to tail with two friends in their 1967 Dodge Coronet and 1972 Dodge Challenger NASCAR style. 3 different brands of tires on my car, and I burned more than a quart of oil that night.

I sometimes wonder how we survived to adulthood.

Robert Parks
Robert Parks
20 days ago

Got a speeding ticket in Cambridge md for doing 152 mph in a 73 chevy nova they impounded my car and the mustang I was racing

Matt Hardigree
Matt Hardigree
20 days ago
Reply to  Robert Parks

Good?

Adam Browne
Adam Browne
20 days ago

A little over 140mph in my VW Golf VR6 – soon after 2000, on a deserted autoroute in northern France.

Óscar Morales Vivó
Óscar Morales Vivó
20 days ago

I got ticketed for 95 on the long downhill from Mammoth Lakes to Bishop, CA.

I’m so, so glad the cop wasn’t posted two miles earlier.

Matthew Tesch
Matthew Tesch
20 days ago

Fastest I’ve been (so far) is an indicated speed of 131mph in my first car (and only so far), a beat to shit 2003 Pontiac Grand Am 3.4L. This was back when I didn’t have a radar detector too. Thank god for dumb luck.

Ryan L
Ryan L
20 days ago

1996 z28 in 1996 in Montana when the speed limit was “Reasonable & Prudent” I came over a hill had a nice straight in front of me where i could see the horizon and it was relatively straight with no cars in front of me.

154 is where I lifted. Tapping the brakes anything over 120 emitted a terrible smell but the aero drag alone brought you from 150ish to 120 pretty darn quick when you lifted.

Was a buddies car and we were driving from MN to Seattle to bring a friend whose family had recently moved out west home after graduation. I still remember that 6 speed v8 would do 120 at like 2k rpms.

Ben Chia
Ben Chia
20 days ago

I’ve hit the double ton (200km/h) a few times. Probably the one I remember most (because it was my first) was the first-gen Audi R8 V10 down the straights of the Sepang (Malaysia) F1 circuit. I can’t remember how fast precisely but I think I saw an indicated 230km/h or so on the speedo.

Elhigh
Elhigh
20 days ago

I’ve never driven very fast, but I hit triple digits on a couple of occasions:

108mph in an 80s Accord. My boss was taking a couple of cars to the auto auction with me as one of the ferry drivers, and he neither let me put another gallon of gas in the car (it died of fuel starvation as I was parking), nor did he tell me where the place was. He drove like his hair was on fire and I stayed right on his ass the whole way, crossing my fingers the close draft would offset the higher fuel burn rate at that speed, and that I wouldn’t wind up on the side of the road. I was pretty fucking furious with him by the time we got there.

120mph in an early 80s Supra. Coming back from the same auction place – I was familiar with where it was by this time – I noticed the tach read exactly 2000rpm at 60mph. “Nice coincidence,” I thought, and then held down the cruise control ACCEL button while watching the tach climb. At 4000rpm my fourth-grade math reminded me of a certain relationship and I was startled to see 120mph on the speedo. The Supra was as stable as a table, humming along and whistling past everything. I held it that way for a couple of miles and then backed off again to a steady 60. Less than a half-mile later, there was a trooper on the side of the road with his radar gun out, looking at me like maybe he’d gotten a bit of me, but from that distance couldn’t nail me down for it. Didn’t saddle up so I went on my way.

Driving through Illinois, the cheapass shielding (a cut-down drinking straw, I discovered later) my mechanic had put on my aftermarket cruise control cable got snagged on a bracket, and my 1987 Hyundai Excel got stuck at WOT. Given sufficient room to run, that wretched little shitbox eventually cracked about 105 on a long, shallow downhill. It sounded like it was having its eyes gouged out by ravens, its balls eaten by dogs. Horrific. As much as I disliked it, I didn’t want to actually hurt it. Turning the ignition off one click turned the engine off without locking the steering, and we clattered to an angry, dieseling slow 20mph. As hot as that with the throttle wide open, the engine wouldn’t stop running until I stepped on the brake. We tore off the straw and finished our trip with no further issues.

I’ve had a late-80s Toyota Truck up to about 90, it sounds like the world is coming to an end. The air vents behind the doors suck open with a sound like American jobs going to Mexico.

Last edited 20 days ago by Elhigh
Matthew Binns
Matthew Binns
20 days ago

I once attained 74 mph in a Citroen Ami 6 with three passengers. The 0.625 litre air-cooled flat twin then developed a light knock that became a hard knock and 10 miles later a singular THUMP that stranded us. Took about 2 miles to get to 70 even with its mirrors folded back.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
21 days ago

67,000 mph. On a pretty blue bag of mostly magma.

Last edited 20 days ago by Cheap Bastard
Jb996
Jb996
20 days ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

1.3 million mph (galaxy moving compared to the cosmic microwave background radiation)

+/- the 483,000 mph around the galactic center
+/- the 67,000mph around the sun
https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/docs/HowFast.pdf

… all on same said ball of magma.

Wagonsarethebestanswer
Wagonsarethebestanswer
21 days ago

150 mph in my old ’91 Audi 200 20v turbo wagon, on a 20-30 mile stretch of open, empty highway crossing the Great Basin in northern Nevada. Didn’t even feel Fast or Exciting in such a desolate, featureless landscape.

LandspeedWrecker
LandspeedWrecker
21 days ago

269mph on a turbo Hayabusa, officially timed at a decommissioned AFB runway. Fun stuff 🙂

Last edited 21 days ago by LandspeedWrecker
BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
19 days ago

Are you crazy?

LandspeedWrecker
LandspeedWrecker
19 days ago
Reply to  BigThingsComin

That’s a tricky question, isn’t it? I take all the precautions I can.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
18 days ago

Every motorcycle racer I’ve ever met has had at least one screw loose.

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