Hang on to Your Hat: The 20 Fastest Land-Based Vehicles Ever


Supercars have been around for generations, driven by man’s desire to go faster and further than ever before. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes have been used to test the limits of humankind’s engineering abilities with vehicles that look like they may as well have come from another planet. Despite what form these supercars take, the common goal behind them is to send a human being rocketing toward barriers that were once-thought to be unattainable.

The feats human ingenuity have been able to conquer are astounding. Landing robots on distant planets, breaking the sound barrier, and even leaving the solar system are all accomplishments under mankind’s belt. Aircrafts have represented the pinnacle of man’s speed and distance achievements, and there have even been incredibly impressive accomplishments made on the surface of water. However, on land is where the major battle between man and the infinite has taken place.

Next year, a team will attempt to build the first ground-based vehicle to break the 1,000 miles per hour mark. It will beat the next-fastest vehicle by a long shot, and no doubt inspire a new generation of mechanics and engineers to try and topple whatever speed it manages to hit. The Bloodhound SSC will build off decades of prior engineering in its attempt, which will be watched closely by designers, engineers and speed enthusiasts around the world.

What has led us to the point where we might actually be able to top 1,000 miles per hour in a manned, ground-based vehicle? It has taken a lot of time and energy, but there have been some valiant efforts at taking on land speed records for many years. We’ve compiled a list of the twenty fastest land-based vehicles ever, which have paved the way for the Bloodhound SSC’s attempt at history. There have been some, as in the case of the Budweiser Rocket Car, which posted times that could not be verified, and thus will not be included. Also, motorcycles are being excluded from the list as well, as we’ll cover them more in-depth in another post.

Here are the top twenty fastest land-based vehicles through the years.