We live in an age of unprecedented automotive performance. That doesn’t mean that a car from decades past can’t show up and embarrass new ones.

In their wonderful new 60th anniversary issue — a highly recommended read, by the way — Car and Driver celebrates six decades of existence by running a bunch of comparison tests between famous historic cars and their modern equivalents.

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One of them is a test of the current halo hybrid hypercar the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Porsche 959, the king of the 1980s. There’s no question at all that the 918 Spyder is faster, benefitting from three decades of technological improvements.

But their data reveals that back in the day, the twin-turbocharged, all-wheel drive 959 did zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and the quarter mile in 12 flat.

In the 80s, that was mind-blowing, and even by today’s standards it’s damned fast. There’s a lot of new sports cars that a 959 could probably put to shame.

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What other older cars could give new ones a hard time in the speed department? Feel free to define “older” however you want.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.