Now, a diesel-powered car has become the fastest of its kind, clocking up a speed of 350mph.
JCB Dieselmax was driven by Cambridgeshire-based Wing Commander Andy Green at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.
It beat its own record set the day before, 328mph, which itself had beaten the old 30-year record of 235mph.
Green said: ‘350mph was always our ultimate goal and that was with a slow start to the second run. There was so much more to come as the car is pulling like a train and we still haven’t used sixth gear.’
The car was the brainchild of JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford.
Audi’s victory at Le Mans in June was its sixth but the first for a diesel-powered car, an R10 TDI powered by a 650bhp V12 TDI engine.
The firm’s chairman, Dr Martin Winterkorn, said the win would persuade more customers to choose TDI power.