A Frenchman by the name of Joseph Sadi-Lecointe flew a French-built Nieuport 31 monoplane—made famous as racers and fighters during WWI—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 world’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. “That thing got a Hemi?” Yes, yes it does.
1972: Indy Car
Jerry Grant took a Dan Gurney Mystery Eagle—a motorized bullet with 1,100 horsepower—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, it’s street legal.