Human achievements have been celebrated in record books for decades and we find ourselves fascinated by just how far we’re able to push the boundaries of possibility.
From the longest road trip ever to the fastest car in the world, we’ve put together a list of some car-related records that will surprise you:
1. Smallest production car
This honour goes to the tiny Peel P50 which held the Guinness World Record of smallest car for half a century. The P50 was produced in the Isle of Man, an island more famous for motorbikes than it is for cars.
In order to achieve a length of just 134cm and a width of only 99cm, several cutbacks needed to be made, such as a single headlight, just one door and no reverse gear (the car is light enough to be lifted and turned around manually).
Originally manufactured between 1962 and 1965, the P50 is now a great collector’s car as few original examples are still in existence.
2. Best-selling car of all time
The Toyota Corolla first went into production in 1966 and has sold over 44 million units worldwide since then.
The original model sported a humble 1100cc pushrod K-series engine. The Corolla’s reliability and logical layout enhanced its appeal across the world.
The Corolla is now in its twelfth generation and continues to evolve to meet motorists’ needs. Sales are showing no signs of slowing down either, with the latest generation being offered in various shapes and engine types. In the first three months of this year, 1205 new Corollas were imported to New Zealand.
The Ford F-150 and Volkswagen Golf come in second and third, with over 40 million and 30 million models sold respectively.
3. Fastest production car
Based on the Lotus Exige, the Hennessey Venom F5 possesses a lightweight, 1338kg carbon fibre chassis which allows the ‘hypercar’ to travel from 0 to 299kph in less than 10 seconds. Hennessey claim the Venom F5 is capable of a top speed of 484kph, which would make it the holder of the coveted label of ‘fastest production car in the world’.
However, until this is officially confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records the title will be held proudly by Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg for their Agera RS, which was recorded hitting 447.19kph.
4. Longest road trip
When Swiss couple Emil and Liliana Schmid set off from Switzerland to New York to start a road trip in October 1984, they only planned on being away from home for one year.
Thirty-five years later and they’re still on the road, visiting over 186 countries in a Toyota Land Cruiser. They’ve driven well over 740,000km, and have overseen a total of three refurbishments on their trusty car.
5. Highest mileage recorded on a car
When Volvo was rolling the sporty 1800S off the production line back in 1966, they probably didn’t expect one of the cars to travel over five million kilometres in its lifetime.
However, American owner Irving Gordon did just that over 52 years, and over the last couple of decades he averaged between 140,000km and 160,000km every year visiting various car shows.
The original clutch lasted over 720,000km and Irving put the cars apparent immortality down to regular maintenance and using genuine Volvo parts for repairs.
The car even outlived Irving, who sadly passed away at the end of last year. The odometer had a final figure of 3,260,257 miles (5,246,875km).