The Mach Five is the racing car Speed Racer drives in the anime series of the same name. The car was designed, built, and created by "Pops Racer", Speed Racer's father. It features a set of special devices which Speed Racer uses throughout the series. In the original 1967 series, the Mach Five is a white racing car with an 'M' written on its hood. In the 1993 American remake, the design was completely changed.
Its name probably derives from the fact that speeds above Mach 5 are known as hypersonic. However, the Mach Five cannot reach Mach speeds. The name is also a pun in two languages: the word for "five" in Japanese is "go". However, the "go" used for the car's name is a suffix attached to the names of ships, etc. Thus, the car is known in the Japanese version as simply the "Mach".
An actual race car that most closely resembles the Mach Five would be an early Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, designed by Scaglietti around 1958 through 1961. Another possibility of inspiration could be the Ford GT40, which was a very popular and successful racecar, mainly in Le Mans and other Touring series, in the 1960s. Another similar car is the Chaparral 2C.
The car is designed to compete in a type of "open formula" racing, where cars are usually built with the maximum power and minimum of weight.