SPOTLIGHT: Fastest “car” at the Tokyo Bayside Classic Cup

50-Sk466_Honda T360 S600 motor

What’s mid-engined, twin-cam, hits 11,000rpm, and laps Sodeguara Forest Raceway faster than most things that were on the track at the recent Tokyo Bayside Classic Cup season closer? 

46-Sk443_Honda T360 S600 motor

If you guessed a Honda T360, you’d be right. Perhaps the fender mirror placement and trademark light blue paint gave it away. The signature on the dashboard, incidentally, is that of motorcycle racer Kenny Roberts, who built his career riding Yamahas over a decades-long rivalry with Honda.

49-Sk465_Honda T360 S600 motor

It may surprise some to know that Honda — the company that bestowed a generation’s worth of tune-able front-drive sports coupes unto the world — built as its first four-wheeled vehicle a RWD commercial pickup. Stock, it would come equipped with a kei-friendly 360cc motor. Or, if you needed something burlier you’d go with the half-liter T500. This has neither.

47-Sk463_Honda T360 S600 motor

Beneath its blue skin and massive classic Honda logo, this particular example rides on semi-slicks and is equipped with a modified engine plucked from a Honda S600 roadster. It was insanely fast.

48-Sk464_Honda T360 S600 motor

It was passing cars all over the place: inside line, outside line, catching much bigger and faster cars regularly. It lacked a bit on the straights, but was very agile under brakes and through the corners.

51-KL1100_Honda T360 S600 motor

I would guess most drivers were taking it easy, yet Mr mid-engined T360 was going all out. It was certainly entertaining to watch! And thus the magic of Japan’s automotive culture is encapsulated by some old gearhead who takes the most unassuming, unloved, unlikely platform and, engineers a perfectly balanced track-destroying monster out of it. And then is humble enough to ask for the autograph of a guy who spent his career playing for the other team.

Skorj is a photographer living in Japan and co-founder of Filmwasters.com.

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11 Responses to SPOTLIGHT: Fastest “car” at the Tokyo Bayside Classic Cup

  1. dankan said:

    This is insane. In a very good way. But you failed to mention la pièce de résistance. It looks like it has a column shifter.

    What an awesome little truck.

  2. Nigel said:

    A very cool machine !!

  3. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    I love old Kei Trucks! This thing’s a kick in the Oshiri!

  4. Shea Laking said:

    Damn! Just… DAMN!!! 😀

  5. Iwakuni91 said:

    Hey Skorj or Ben, can you tell us anything about those steelies(?) this truck is sitting on? It seems like a simple thing but I am absolutely smitten!

  6. Seiko The Neko said:

    The amount of ‘want’ is strong.

  7. JHMBB2 said:

    Sweetness

  8. Artsyken said:

    I think somebody mentioned that a Kei truck’s license plate should be yellow. This is the case when Kei’s became 550 cc and above from 1976 to current models. However, when Kei’s were 360 cc and below the license plates were smaller and white with green numbers (like the one in the picture above). Hope this helps.

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