Not all classic car enthusiasts care about speed. And most of today’s modern sports cars are much faster than some of the sportier models from the past. That said, some pretty spectacular models in previous decades packed quite a punch. At Classic Auto, we love to dive into the history of classic cars, and today, we are featuring a couple of our favorite and fastest old cars from years gone by.
1949 Jaguar XK120
This vintage model first emerged as a concept car at the London Motor Show in 1948. The 1949 Jaguar XK120 was a petite convertible that was used as a testbed to show off Jaguar’s double overhead cam straight six-cylinder engine that was pushing 160 horsepower. After, the car caused such a sensation that it persuaded Jaguar founder, William Lyons, to put it into production.
The XK120 was available in three body styles: a roadster (OTS), a fixed head coupé (FHC), and a drophead coupé (DHC). In 1949, a prototype of the vehicle was timed by the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium at an average run of 132.6 mph.
In 1950 and 1951, the XK120 averaged over 100 mph for 24 hours and 130 mph for an hour at the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry in France. In 1952, a fixed head coupé model took numerous world records for speed and distance, averaging over 100 mph for a week-long run.
1958 Aston Martin DB4
The Aston Martin DB4 was a grand tourer produced from 1958 until 1963. The body, designed by Carrozzeria Touring in Milan, Italy, featured a lightweight tube frame. The Continental style caused a sensation when unveiled at the 1958 London Motor Show.
The engine was a 3.7 L designed by Polish-born racing driver, Tadek Marek. It featured a double overhead cam straight-6 with a cylinder head and block of R.R.50 aluminum alloy. This powerful engine delivered 240 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque.
In 1960, a model with the British standard 3.54 final drive ratio was tested and had a top speed of 139.3 mph and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds.
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400
You can’t talk about the fastest old cars without mentioning the Lamborghini Miura. The Miura was produced between 1966 and 1973. It was the first supercar with a rear mid-engined two-seat layout. The Lamborghini Miura P400 prototype debuted at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, receiving amazing reception due to its sleek styling and revolutionary mid-engine design.
The designers of the P400 envisioned a road car with a racing pedigree. They wanted a vehicle that could be driven by enthusiasts and win on the track. Power came from a transversely-mounted mid-engine V12 that merged with the transmission and the differential.
The engine produced 345 hp and was able to reach 60 mph in 7.0 seconds. The prototype version of the Miura P400 won the Gran Turismo Trophy at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and has been recreated for use in the Gran Turismo video game.
Protect Your Vintage Vehicle with Classic Auto Insurance
Whether you drive one of the fastest old cars (classic cars) or are a collector of other classic vehicles, you’ll need the right kind of insurance to protect your piece of history. At Classic Auto Insurance, we offer excellent coverage on classic, vintage, sport, and luxury cars and work with each client individually to determine the worth of their particular vehicle to find a plan best suited to their needs.
If you need insurance for your classic car, you can request a quote here today. We are also available by phone at 888-901-1338. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our policies and are ready to help you take the next steps toward preserving your prized vehicle.