Fastest Land Speed

Plane-cars don't count


Speed Demon Streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It goes faster than most jet airplanes. An aftermarket wing accessory kit is not currently available. 

While some sources accept land speed records of up to 763 mph, such records will not be included here. That is because the recent generation of record-setting vehicles are essentially planes that don’t take off, using jet engines to thrust the vehicle forward.

In order to be considered here, the method of propulsion must be contact with the earth. Historically, the most popular methods of propulsion via ground-contact use piston engines or hooved animals to power the vehicle’s wheels.

The fastest hoof-driven vehicles were likely chariots, with some experts estimating speeds of up to 40mph. This was validated in the filming of the 1959 movie “Ben Hur” when the Italian-made camera cars could not keep up with the full-speed chariots. But this might also be a reflection of the state of the Italian auto industry.

A much higher land-speed of 470.015mph was reached by George Poteet on Aug 13, 2020 at the Bonneville Salt Flats--recognized here as the world record. His vehicle, the “Speed Demon Streamliner” was powered by a piston engine. Presumably, Mr. Poteet determined that a piston engine delivering 2,000 horsepower would be superior to using the equivalent number of actual horses. 

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