Fifty years ago, Honda introduced the RA301 race car at the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix. It hailed from the first generation of Honda’s Formula One efforts, and was powered by a 3.0-liter V12 in an aluminum body. The original car was piloted by John Surtees, but to mark the half century of the RA301 former Honda F1 driver Jensen Button had the honor of running it up the hill.
“It’s very different from anything I’ve driven because it doesn’t have seatbelts,” Button explains in the video. “But the thing that surprised me was the position of the driver in the car. It’s just like a modern F1 car. You’re lying down… I didn’t expect that from back in the day,” Button says.
Here’s a bonus video of the Honda arriving via air cargo from Japan. Stay till the end for an audio clip of the glorious V12 firing to life.