Today’s supercars are known to be flashy, eye-catching speed machines that cost a fortune both to own and to run – but what are the supercar’s humble beginnings?
Here are our 5 favourite supercar origin stories to fill out the history of these machines.
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One of the first cars that we could apply the ‘supercar’ moniker to would be the Blitzen Benz.
Made in 1909 had a 21.5litre four cylinder engine and was built to obtain the land speed record. Which it did with aplomb, creating a new record of 142mph which the Blitzen held until 1919.
A classic forerunner to the kind of styles we saw in the 60s, but one of the best supercars of that era.
Built in 1966 the Miura had cutting-edge technology with a mid-engine layout and side-mounted V12, giving it 350bhp. It cost a fortune, was unbelievably fast and never went racing, meaning it meets most criteria for a modern supercar. Also ticking the box of making its owner look very wealthy whenever they rolled into town.
We have to mention this in the list purely because of the gullwings that were on the 1954 model.
The car delivered 200 bhp from its 3L straight six and it was a prominent feature on the racing circuit along with Mercedes’ mechanical direct fuel injection – a feature which it developed to great success in WW2.
We can’t’ have a list of early supercars without mentioning Bugatti. Although now famed for their Veyron monster, the manufacturer was a powerhouse of sports car creation since the 1920s.
Famed for building ridiculously fast cars – something they’ve carried into the 21st century – the 1938 57SC was no different; putting out 200bhp with a 3.3L v8 matched with a touchy, temperamental chassis making it one of the greatest cars of its day.
Auburn Boattail Speedster
One of the original American supercars which wasn’t built for speed or comfort; the Speedster was built for showmanship and appearances alone.
With a signature boattail and a huge flashy chrome grill, the 1935-37 models were perfect status symbols for those wanting to cruise around town flashing the cash. They’d still beat most cars in a straight drag race, but they had no racing pedigree to speak of and were better fared parked outside the best restaurant in town than tearing around a race circuit.