3. Curtiss V-8 – 1907


On January 23, 1907, Glenn Curtiss unofficially became the world’s fastest man when he piloted his massive 265 cu. in. (4342 cc) V-8 to a new land-speed record of 136.36 mph on the hard-packed sand of Ormond Beach, Florida. Timing for the 26.4-second ¼-mile run began following a two-mile head start in order to get up to top speed. Unable to recreate the run due to a busted driveshaft prevented Curtiss from officially entering the record books, but his first attempt was so widely reported he became a national hero.

1907 Curtiss V-8

Country of Origin USA
Engine Type Four-stroke, air-cooled V-8
Engine Capacity 4342 cc
Horsepower 40 hp @ 1800 rpm
Bore x Stroke 92 x 83 mm
Top Speed 136 mph