It's been 25 years since the McLaren F1 was crowned world's fastest production car.
It seems difficult to remember a time when the Bugatti Veyron wasn't the fastest car in the world. However, those who are old enough remember the McLaren F1, the car that held the title for nearly a decade. In 1998, McLaren recruited racing driver Andy Wallace, who first drove the F1 GTR at Le Mans in 95 and 96. Wallace was the perfect candidate to validate McLaren's claims that the F1 was the fastest production car in the world. And 25 years later, footage of the attempt has been revealed for the first time.
Like the Bugatti did with the Veyron, McLaren took the F1 to Volkswagen's test track in Ehra-Lessien. Wallace was pushing new ground by taking a car past 350 kph on street tires, and he describes being very nervous during the runs. That doesn't stop him taking the car to a top speed of 391 kph (243.6 mph), however.
After a couple of attempts, the McLaren F1 achieved a final combined record speed of 240.1 mph. These cars are priceless today, and we doubt that any will ever be pushed to these limits ever again. The Veyron was so much more calm at high speed, and seems much less dramatic than the F1 at speeds of over 200 mph. There may never be a car as legendary as the F1 ever again, and we could watch its record-breaking speed run all day long. McLaren may be thinking about reviving the F1 name, which could coincide nicely with the car's speed-record anniversary.