Fast Five: The Fastest Five Supercars of the Last Five Decades

Bugatti Veyron

1. 1966 Lamborghini Miura: Lamborghini essentially invented the modern mid-engine supercar with the insanely gorgeous Miura of 1966. Rival Ferrari reserved its best handling mid-engine cars like the 250 LM for racing customers. Lamborghini eschewed a costly racing program and gave its best stuff to its street customers. Top Speed: 171 mph.

2. 1976 Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer: It took Ferrari a full 10 years to respond to the Miura, preferring instead to put its performance flagship eggs in the basked of the front-engine V12 Daytona. The mid-engine flat twelve 512 BB was Ferrari’s first mid-engine flagship road car. It was never sold in the U.S., although some were privately imported. Top Speed: 175 mph.

3. 1984 Ferrari 288 GTO: The 288 GTO revived a revered name for Ferrari (one that Pontiac famously borrowed) for what was basically a heavily modified version of the famous 308 GTB. Conceived for a stillborn race series, 272 cars were built, all for street use. Top speed: 186 mph.

4. 1992 McLaren F1: The McLaren F1 may well be the greatest car of the latter part of the 20th century. Chock full of state-of-the-art race technology and devoid of unnecessary frills (even anti-lock brakes were vetoed), the F1 is a serious sports car for serious drivers. Celebrity collectors of automotive fashion accessories stayed away from the F1 in droves, only adding to its street cred. Its original price was a staggering $1.2 million. Now it takes almost $8.5 million to buy one of the 106 built. Top speed: 231 mph.

5. 2006 Bugatti Veyron: Picking up where the McLaren F1 left off, the Bugatti Veyron wasn’t the relatively austere package of the F1; you really could have it all with the Veyron, including 16 cylinders to the F1’s 12, 10 radiators and all of the expected comforts and driver’s aids. While the Veyron weighed more than 4,000 lbs. to the F1’s 2,300 lbs., the Veyron’s 40 percent more power meant that it could best the F1 in a straight line. Top speed: 254 mph.