On May 23, 2002 Honda launched the NSX-R. It was the ultimate manifestation of Japan’s ultimate car at the time. It offered true racing technology in a production road car — carbon fiber body panels, flow-through aero creating negative lift downforce, and fully balanced crankshaft assembly from pulley to clutch. Despite its engineering accomplishments, there are faster, more expensive, more beautiful cars that can also claim the title of “ultimate”. Feel free to define the term however you wish, but…
What is the ultimate Japanese car?
The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Where do you want to travel, and with which car?“.
The world is a vast and glorious place. All of the trips from last W’s Q sound epic, and it bring us sadness to know that we will never be able to accomplish them all in our lifetimes.
For example, we had never heard of the term “around the pearl” to describe a coastal route around Sri Lanka until reader Lakdasa brought it to our attention. A non-highway trip around the country in a Suzuki Samurai sounds like the perfect car-trip combo.
Americans are fortunate enough to live in a country that’s so big you can take some pretty ambitious trips within its borders. Take Jacob Durbin‘s Kentucky to NorCal to SoCal (via PCH) trip in an AE86, for example. It’s not necessarily comfortable to drive four-digit mileages in a Hachiroku, but there is something charming about the sparseness of the steed. Similarly, Land Ark has planned a few routes for a potential Miata RF purchase, from where it’s sold to home in Virginia. Nuttiest of all might be Scotty G‘s coast-to-coast journey on a Honda Motocompo.
Not surprisingly, for those demanding a bit more comfort and perhaps mobile sleeping quarters, the Toyota HiAce was a good choice. It certainly sounds like Taylor C. has thought about a Boston to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska trip in a Toyota HiAce Super Custom 4×4 more than once. Meanwhile, Lee L‘s Route 1 trip from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida, requires a HiAce for the family, or a Datsun 280ZX if flying solo.
The Mother Road, Route 66, was also brought up. We wish Jonathan P. a speedy restoration of his Chrysler Conquest so he can take his dream trek. We also enjoyed Mike P.‘s simple, down-to-earth choice of the car he happened to have in his driveway, a Nissan Frontier.
Elsewhere in the world you might find エーイダン crossing Europe in an awe-inspiring trip to visit ancestral homelands in a Toyota HiLux camper. Meanwhile, Ian N and f31roger plan to ship their own JNCs, a Subaru Young SS and Infiniti M30, respectively, back to the motherland for cross-Japan tours.
The winner this week, however, is someone who has accomplished his dream run. We’d say Fred Langille‘s surprising a spouse with an imported car purchase during a visit to in-laws is more dangerous than his actual Montreal to West Virginia road trip in an untested Nissan S-Cargo, but it looks like he made it with car and marriage in tact: