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Japan Day Seven, Part Three: Twin Ring Motegi

Sep 27, 2017

We make our way through the Collection Hall and to the room that hold some classic and significant cars in the history of Honda.

This is an old Honda fold up scooter. If you’ve been reading all of the blogs, this might look familiar because Suzuki-San from Back Yard Special has one of these sitting in the front window of his shop.

Brand new Honda Beat.

It was cool to see all of these cars in brand new condition.

Oh yes.

This thing is beautiful… and perfect.

One of the first fuel cell cars that Honda released back in the early 2000′s. Technology learned from this car was used to develop the newer FCX Concept (shown in the previous blog) and ultimately the FCX Clarity that was leased in California.

A slightly blurry picture of the revolutionary Honda Insight.

This is the Honda EV Plus which was made for a few years in the late 90′s (97-99 I believe.) This was the first production EV car that had batteries that didn’t contain lead. Only a few hundred were sold and the project was canceled upon the release of the Insight in early 2000.

One of the first Civic’s produced and known for it’s fuel economy in the mid 1970′s. This is a 1974 model which is has slightly different bumpers and side mirrors than the US model.

This is a really cool display of the Honda CVCC engine which stands for “Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion. This engine put emphasis on burning lean which would not only improve fuel economy but it would also reduce the amount of toxic emissions. If I recall correctly, the first variant of this engine was used partly in the N600. Granted it was a much smaller version but the evolution of the CVCC came from that.

One of my favorite cars in the museum was this red Honda Ballade Sports CR-X. We know it simply as the Honda CR-X.

The plaid style interior of this car was awesome looking. I wish I could have taken better pictures of it.

Such a great looking little car and not to mention, this one was nearly brand new.

This is a first generation Honda City, I’m not sure exactly what year, but early 80′s though.

Another awesome time capsule. A third generation Civic hatchback in all of it’s 1980′s glory.

I don’t think I would do it, but the the silver bumpers on this car look great. It’s just interesting to see that Honda chose to paint the front and rear bumpers silver and yet, leave the sides all blue. Either way, the condition of this car is impeccable. You can tell it has lived it’s entire life indoors.

This particular model is the Civic 25i. If it doesn’t ring any bells, you can find this car in the used car section of Gran Turismo 4.

This is a first generation Honda Civic RS.

I can’t help but to relate this car to the newest generation Honda Fit RS. Of course we won’t get it in America, but in Japan the Fit RS is offered in this same color with the emblem looking very similar as well. Look back to when we visited SEEKER and you can see Teraoka-San’s car. If they are related in some way, that is pretty cool.

This is a first generation Honda Accord. When Honda developed the Accord, it was originally set to be designed like a Ford Mustang as Soichiro Honda enjoyed the sportiness and power. However with the sucess that the Civic had, Honda decided to focus the Accord similar to that of the Civic. They equipped it with their new CVCC engine and kept shooting for fuel economy and efficiency.

This is a Honda 1300 from the late 1960′s. This car came before the Accord and was really build to compete with other auto manufacturers in Japan like Nissan and Toyota.

It was the largest car Honda had built at the time, you can tell what it was going for as it looks similar to a Datsun 510 sedan.

This is a Honda 1300 S Coupe. It reminds me of the early Toyota cars from the late 60′s but ironically enough, Soichiro Honda owned and a Pontiac Firebird and loved the front end design. So when time came to design the 1300 S Coupe, you can see a little bit of Pontiac’s design work incorporated into the front grill.

Sadly… I lack front shots of this car. The Honda Quint. It was marketed as an upscale version of the Civic and offered a 5 door chassis. This car was never offered in America.

Technically… this car is the predecessor to the Honda Integra.

A first generation Honda Prelude.

A first generation Honda Quint Integra. We know it as the first generation Acura Integra. This car was only offered in America as a hatchback, but the Japanese market got the hatchback as well as a 4 door sedan.

This is a very rare car as it was only made in 1985 and then I believe the name was changed to just, Honda Integra.

First generation Honda Legend, it was also the first Honda to ever offer a v6 engine throughout the worldwide market.

You can see the Quint Integra in the back ground.

A line of pastel colored Honda classics.

Honda 1300′s and a small utility pickup.

First generation Honda Life.

The next generation Honda S800 convertible, this is the successor to the S600 which is located downstairs in the main lobby of the Collection Hall.

The inside of this car was super nice given it’s old age. It also had a tick over 38,000kms on the odometer.

This is an extremely rare Honda S600 Coupe. Over the 3 years that Honda made the S600 only 1800 coupes were built.

This is a cool little Honda utility vehicle. I imagine it was used mainly on farms or rice fields.

Here is a terrible picture of some of the Honda power equipment that was on display. I’ll be honest… I didn’t really look at it.

It turns out I didn’t take any good pictures of the CB7 Accord wagon that was next to the NSX-R. You might be able to spot it in some of the back ground pictures. I did notice that this was on the dashboard though… pretty interesting considering that all of these were made in Ohio and shipped to Japan.

More on that Accord Wagon.

There was a case with some advertisements hanging out in the middle of the showroom.

There was also a screen on the wall that showed you some of the advertisements that have been published over the last 30 or so years. We looked at a few.

The S2000 blood line.

I’m not sure if it’s the picture, but the middle of seats look cloth which is something specific to the Japanese market S2000.

After spending two or so hours walking around in this room, it was time to move on, as hard as it would be. We made it to the last room which contained hundreds of scooters and bicycles.

Just like upstairs with the racing NSX’s, there are MotoGP bikes on display.

Scooters, bikes, ATV’s…ect. Sorry, I didn’t take many pictures nor did I spend much time in here.

I don’t know what this thing is… but it was huge, old and made of wood and brass.

This was pretty cool. An orignal box that was used to ship stuff in.

Our time at the Collection Hall was up. It was getting late and we still had other things to do, so we headed to the Kart track to race.

We signed up and sat through the instruction class, where Tim had to translate. We had to start off in the slower karts and if we beat a certain time, we get to move up to the next class. Our arrogance caught up with us when none of us came close to beating the time. Tim Won, William was second and I took up the rear as drifting them seemed to be much more fun than racing for time. haha.

There were slower karts for children in the shape of the Honda S2000. There was also a kid part where you could sit in a toy NSX and it would roll you around a track. Pretty awesome.

The property map.

We walked to the main gate and went to the gift shop. I bought a few things and then we walked to see the grandstands.

On the other side of the blue wall, you can see the seats and pit area.

Once we got to the stands, I spotted something special in the pit.

Honda owns the track… of course they have Honda pace and emergency cars.

More tuner cars were parked in the paddock area… we must investigate.

We made it back to the DC5 and headed down into the middle of the infield.

We parked and got out to walk around. Tim went to check with the membership dept to see what it would cost to join a track day.

Nissan S15 Silvia on Advan wheels.

Civic EK9 Type R on TE37s.

This EVO VII was pulling out of the paddock when I walked by. It sounded awesome!

A modded Honda Orthia on SSR Type X’s!

Even though it’s pretty haggard, it’s totally cool.

Mazda MX5 Miata

Toyota FT-86 on Advan AND TE37′s haha.

This EVO IX looked amazing.

More EVOs!

Honda Integra DC2 Type R on SSR Type X wheels.

This car wasn’t in terrible shape, but it was certainly more beat up than most that I had seen during my stay. It reminded me of what you average Integra would look like in the states. haha

It was the end of the day so most of the people here were packing up. These guys were no different.

Toyota Corolla AE86.

MR2, DC2 and FT-86.

Vitz race cars loaded up.

You can’t say that Spoon doesn’t track test their parts.

Another shot of the awesome looking EVO IX.

This is the EVO VII that pulled out of the paddock.

As we were leaving I spotted this DB Integra off in the parking lot. It’s ugly compared to the ones near the paddock.

After spending the day at Twin Ring Motegi, we headed north to Nikko. Tim set us up with a traditional style Japanese hotel, complete with a bath house and everything. I don’t have many pictures of it because I was exhausted, but there are a few.

On the way out of Motegi, I spotted a Honda R&D bus. This brings workers to and from the plant and to their dorms. Yes, most of them live in a Honda owned dorm.

I don’t know what this is about… a pet shop perhaps?

This place certainly had an American western theme.

The best part about this place was the food. It was amazing and it was all cooked by the lady that owned the house.

I had a few bottles of their local beer, brewed with the water from the stream that runs through the town.

Some sort of soup, not really sure what kind but it was great.

It was a homely place for sure, but very quiet and nice.

Desert may have been the best part!

After dinner we went out for a drive, and since we were so close to one of the touge passes written into Intital D, we HAD to go drive it. So we unloaded all of the junk out of the DC5 and traveled to the mountain pass.

The is the route that we took and at the top of the mountain you can see a parking lot where the road does a 180* turn. When we arrived there, it was an empty parking lot next to some sort of market.

We pulled in and this was the only car in the parking lot. I don’t know if it’s normally parked here, but it was a pretty weird coincidence that there just happens to be a panda AE86 Tureno just like in Inital D.

Not only was it on the same sort of Wanatabe’s but it also has the yellow fogs.

The only thing it was missing is the Fugiwara Tofu company on the side!

It was in really great shape too…

That’s all for this week. This is going to be the last serious blog post from our trip, I have some small things for next week and a few pics of Nikko before we headed back to Tokyo that I’ll share.

Thanks for looking and hopefully I’ll have more stuff to share in the future!

David C





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