A Look at the Fastest Cars form 1950 to Today

Ever wonder what the fastest cars of their times were? This article is great for answering that question. Even a quick flip through shows GM staying right up there with Porsche and Ferrari in many years. The Shelby Fords are right up there to in some years. There are a lot of Corvettes naturally, but some others you may not expect to be the fastest cars of their years. The Buick GNX,  the 1958 Chevrolet 315 Delray at 7.2 seconds in the 0 to 60, and the 1966 Plymouth Satellite 426 Hemi at 5.3 seconds tying with a Porsche 904 at 5.3 seconds are some of the unsung heroes.

One of the pillars of Car and Driver—and Sports Cars Illustrated, which was our name from our founding in 1955 until 1961—has always been recording objective performance data for a wide variety of automobiles. This tradition began in 1955, and our approach progressively became increasingly scientific as manufacturers became ever more adept at wringing performance from their wares. It’s worth a note that in the fast-and-loose ’60s, carmakers regularly sent magazines “ringers” that were far quicker than what someone could buy off a showroom floor, and these same companies also often vastly underreported output figures. One of the most egregious cases of this practice involved a certain 421-cubic-inch 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 that appeared in our March 1965 issue. Capable of demolishing the zero-to-60-mph measure in a blazing 3.9 seconds, that particular Catalina, we openly revealed, had been “properly set up” by famed tuner Royal Pontiac. Massive V-8s began to give way to turbocharged muscle in the ’70s, and the 5.4-second zero-to-60 time put down by the mighty 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 was tied by the 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo. The trend continued in the ’80s, and the ’90s were all about the supercar. But it’s after the turn of the century when things got real—or rather unreal—with every single car on our list of cars from 2000 to present day bursting from zero to 60 mph before the second hand ticks three times. It’s hard to imagine that cars will continue to get quicker at the same pace we’ve witnessed over the decades, but we’re eagerly awaiting the first car that breaks the mile-a-minute barrier in less than two seconds. You know it’s coming—we’re already at 2.2 seconds with the Porsche 918 Spyder. Here, find the quickest cars we tested in each decade, starting with the 1950s and continuing through today. Enjoy!



Massively Fast Duramax Powered Desoto?

001 DSLP 160600 GM Desotomaxx Lead

Like they said, the idea was simple. Put a 6.6 Duramax Diesel engine out of an 03 Chevy truck into a 56 Desoto. It did turn into a large project but the results make for a really interesting car.


Windshield Washer Pump Change on 1500 Chevy


cropped-12-30-15-2-171.jpgI have had this 1997 K-1500 Chevy since 2005 and everything on it works (almost), except the windshield washer pump. It hasn’t worked at anytime in living memory, so it is time for it to. Unfortunately because of deadlines, it had to be changed outside on a minorly chilly February day. But it is a quick fix.

The pump is rather inexpensive too at only $17, plus the cost of Smurf juice. That stuff isn’t cheap, do you have any idea how many Smurfs have to be ground up to make a gallon? They are not that easy to catch either, just ask Gargamel. (Ok, washer fluid is normally blue, hence the joke).

DSC_0012The tank is not hard to find. It is in the front of the left inner fender and the neck is by the upper coolant hose were it goes in the radiator. Only two bolts hold it in, one right by the filler cap that is 8mm and one by the inner fender that is 10mm. Once the bolts are out, the tank will pull out, but it is a bit of a tight squeeze. Pull on the part farthest from the fender to get it out.

DSC_0017.JPGAfter that comes removing the plastic cover that protects the pump from the cold blast of air made by rocketing down the road in sub-freezing temperatures. It is held on by snaps that come apart quickly. Remove the power wire, and the pump just pops out of its holder and slides out of the tank. Remove the hose by turning the pump to loosen it up then pull.

DSC_0019.JPGSince I did this outside, I had to use lung power to make sure the lines were intact and not plugged. If they are broken the fluid won’t go where you want it to, if plugged nothing will come out and put extra strain on the pump, or fly over the windshield and that will just annoy you.

Now assembly is just the reverse order of what was already done. I slid the pump in after putting on the hose and clipped in the power wire. By now, my hands were getting cold, so putting the lines back into their groves was a bit challenging. The plastic cover just snaps on, but make sure to check the back side with your hand. I would like to say slide the tank back in, but it is more like cram. Don’t worry too much about that ground wire on the fender, once the tank goes in, it will be out of the way.

DSC_0023After reinstalling the two bolts fill the tank and try the wipers!

After all that, changing the wipers just makes sense. New ones can set you back $20 or more but they are easy to change. Most have a hinge on them, and the little plastic clip that holds them on is between the arm and the blade. Sometimes they can be stubborn add require a smack on the end to get them to slide off. New ones just click in.

DSC_0014.JPGThis is just one example of some small projects that most car owners can do themselves, but varies from model to model. Some jobs that are easy on one car can be major surgery on another, so know if you should seek help before doing something on your own.

Oh…and making silly faces isn’t always a necessity, but does add to the fun.