A Frenchman by the name of Joseph Sadi-Lecointe flew a French-built Nieuport 31 monoplaneâ€”made famous as racers and fighters during WWIâ€”to become the first aircraft to fly over 200 mph in level flight.
1927: Daytona Beach
Before Daytona was known for spring break, it was known for outrageous speed. In 1927 Englishmen Henry Segrave got up to 203.79 mph on the packed sand in a 1,000-horse-power, purpose-built Sunbeam.
Since Sikorsky owned the title of worldâ€™s first production helicopter, owning the title of first helo to 200 mph was no big deal when its HSS-2 did 210.6 mph during a sanctioned speed run in Connecticut.
Buddy Baker hit 200.096 mph in a Dodge Daytona on a closed course at Talladega, although a year earlier, during a secret run at the Chrysler Proving Grounds, Charlie Glotzbachran got up to a rumored 243 mph. â€śThat thing got a Hemi?â€ť Yes, yes it does.
1972: Indy Car
Jerry Grant took a Dan Gurney Mystery Eagleâ€”a motorized bullet with 1,100 horsepowerâ€”around Ontario Motor Speedway at an average lap speed of 201.4 mph. The record would be broken the next day by none other than his teammate Bobby Unser.
1987: Production Car
Ferrari came storming into the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show claiming they had achieved the mythical 200 mph mark in a production road car. That would turn out to be true when Italian magazine Quattroruote tested the car to its limit, reaching an indicated 202.5 mph.
Lee Shierts rode a turbo Suzuki Hayabusa running 29 pounds of boost to a relatively insane speed of 260.28863 mph at a WWII runway in Maxton, North Carolina. The record still stands. Oh, and yes, itâ€™s street legal.