In less than 60 years, airplane speeds increased from 30 mph to 3,300 mph. As long as there are those who are willing to push the limits, records will be broken. Such was the case 15 years ago when our friends at Bugatti stood poised to make history.

Ferdinand Piëch designed the Porsche 917 to honor his grandfather. It took first place at LeMans with a sustained top speed of 242 mph on the Hunaudières Straight. He knew something more was needed to go faster, so as the Chairman of VW, he arranged the purchase of Bugatti in 1998. His goal was not to beat any previous record, it was to build the fastest car in the world.

Bugatti Veyron Specs, Price, Photos & Review

Seven years of development led to this moment. Test driver Uwe Novacki strapped into the final Veyron prototype. Production was scheduled to begin in just a few weeks, so the company (and the world) looked on. After passing 136 mph, the computer changes the spoilers and inlets for maximum acceleration. Pressing on, it became the first production car to exceed 400 kph (248 mph).

He knew the boss was watching, so with 1,000 horsepower at all wheels, he topped out at 407 kph (almost 253 mph). Not only faster than the 917, it ushered in the era of the hypercar. Even faster cars are in the works, so click the link below to find a Bugatti of your own and stay with us for all your Bugatti news.