VIDEO: Nissan R381 “Monster Bird” at Fuji Speedway

Nissan built the R381 race car, affectionately known as the Monster Bird, specifically to prevent the equally monstrous Toyota 7 from winning the Japan Grand Prix. At last year’s NISMO Festival Nissan took the car out for a spin around Fuji Speedway, mixing it up with modern SuperGT R35s and even a tour bus filled with lucky fans. It was all captured with on-board cameras in a video Nissan released today. 

If the engine sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a 450-horsepower small block Chevy V8, built at Mooneyes Japan. Nissan’s own in-house engine wouldn’t be ready until the following year when the R382 debuted with a 600-horsepower V12, but the project was a success, in that they managed to hold off a Toyota win with the help of Hakosuka works driver Moto Kitano at the wheel.

Fuji Speedway is different these days — and in fact cars like the R381 ran counter-clockwise back in the day for safety — and Nissan no longer runs the R381 at full tilt, but it’s still a thrill to be strapped into a wing on wheels with little to no safety equipment.

permalink.
This post is filed under: motorsport and
tagged: , , , .

2 Responses to VIDEO: Nissan R381 “Monster Bird” at Fuji Speedway

  1. BlitzPig said:

    Parade laps,

    So sad,

  2. GT R380 said:

    “GIVE IT THE BERRIES SON!!”
    Built at Moon Eyes Japan…… really? Didn’t Sakurai san source the finished 327’s from Dean Moon in SoCal? Was Mooneyes Japan even established in 1968?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *