These days 200 km/h doesn’t seem like such a big deal, after all even a Hyundai with its long gearing can go 120 MPH. However 100 years ago, back when the automotive industry was in its infancy, achieving a milestone like that was quite an impressive feat. The car that made the enormous leap in performance motoring was the Lightning Benz, powered by a 21.5 Liter four cylinder engine that developed a maximum output of 200 HP and on November 8, 1909 reached a top speed of 200 km/h on the concrete paved Brooklands circuit in the United Kingdom.

Lightning Benz the fastest car on Earth 100 years ago
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Over the half mile oblong oval, starting off with a flying start, the driver of the Lightning Benz achieved an average speed of 205.666 km/h, and 202.648 km/h over one kilometer loop. The brave pilot covered the one kilometer distance from a standing start in just 31.326 seconds, the half mile was eclipsed in 25.566 seconds and the mile came in only 41.268 seconds. These new performance achievements bested the previously set records by Darracq. The Lightning Benz continued life with much success and became an international attraction as it continued chasing new records. On 23 April 1911 Bob Burman drove the car on the sand at Daytona Beach, the location of the original land speed record course in the U.S. Burman was able to achieve an average speed of 228.1 km/h for the flying kilometer and 225.7 km/h over the flying mile, a record that would remain unbroken until 1919.


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  (205) posted on 03.31.2011

I have seen this kind of car on Ford’s production. They call it the most fuel efficient car. And I guess with the lightness of the car no doubt that it is the fastest! 

  (341) posted on 11.22.2010

Good idea! I was actually thinking of Kitt versus Karr when I saw the two of them in the sky. Gives a new meaning to Turbo Boost!

  (619) posted on 09.21.2010

So cool to know..smiley

  (806) posted on 04.27.2010

Such a unique design. This will cost a millions of bucks now!

  (428) posted on 02.21.2010

Cool car. Well, 100 years ago this would worth a few thousand bucks, now, it surely will be millions. I wonder if it had some power steering back at that time.

BMWM6  (488) posted on 11.11.2009

Nice to see how it was back then it probably seemed like how everyone views the veyron today

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