QotW: What’s your most memorable rainy day car story?

Today is National Wiper Day in Japan, a date to remind drivers to replace their wiper blades in the name of safety. A date with the same month and day numeral was chosen because wipers are replaced in pairs, and June was chosen because it marks the start of the rainy season in Japan. In fact, some of Japan’s most famous races have been held in and decided by the rain, and every time we’ve been to Fuji Speedway it’s been soaked in rain (not that it ever held the drivers back).

What’s your most memorable rainy day car story?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What should the plot of the Gran Turismo TV show be?“.

We should start off by saying that we would watch any of the TV shows proposed by these readers. We only hope the real Gran Turismo TV show is as good as any of these pitches.

Lakdasa‘s proposal of a bridge between Initial D and MF Ghost was good, but his Bunta Fujiwara prequel is even better. That’s something we desperately hope gets made someday. Lupus‘ idea of a zero-to-hero anime starring a mix of Bryan O’Connor and Akio Asakura building his way up to an 800-horsepower Mitsubishi GTO is also extremely compelling (and the 3000GT could use a Supra-like bump in the collector car scene). We can’t tell if Ian Gopez‘s parody(?) of the Everyday Driver YouTube channel was serious or not, but we would watch it just for the automotive ASMR.

TomW nearly won the week with his opening scene of an R32 pinballing off the guardrails at over 100 mph. That was a deep cut describing the real life fate of Kazunori Yamauchi’s beloved Skyline GT-R, the car that put him on the path to creating Gran Turismo in the first place. However, the answer that made us laugh the most was RamenEater3000‘s description of the agonizing slog of gold medal completion in the racing licenses.

I imagine it’s about a young guy just grinding through the licenses. One license per episode, and we just watch him driving them hopelessly over and over again, swearing and beating on the car. He stops and pulls his phone out from time to time to watch tutorial videos on youtube when he can’t make the target time. When he finally has all golds, the screen fades to black and he wakes up. It was all a dream, he’s still waiting for PS5’s to be in stock.

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

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8 Responses to QotW: What’s your most memorable rainy day car story?

  1. Ian G. says:

    Sadly, my most memorable rainy day story is a bad one. It took place maybe 15+ years ago when I was driving home from work in Miami in my already then rare ’89 Toyota MR2 SC on a wet FL Turnpike 5 miles from home in Ft. Lauderdale. It was sprinking and then a full on downpour and the roads were slick. But at one point I was starting to smell what seemed like oil from the ac. It was from the outside and at one point I felt the back end of my mid-engined ride swing out oh so suddenly, I caught it and counter-steered to track straight. I then started to switch lanes to move towards the service lane and that’s when the car went into a spin towards the concrete center guard rail. i was okay but then I saw 2 other cars, one in front and one in back and we all spun and nailed the guard rail but no contact with earchother. We were all convinced there was oil on the road.
    The car was totalled (but I brought it home for parts). That was my my absolute favorite car I’ve owned.and I still miss her. I’ve owned other MR2’s and MX-5’s. I love my current NB2 but its no MKI SC.

  2. MWC70 says:

    The day I realized that the splashed water pressure coming off your tires when driving through a puddle increases with the speed you drive:
    Many, many years ago I deliberately hit a puddle at speed, my steering went dead and charging light came on. confused, i pulled over in the pouring rain – the accessory drive belt came off. scrounging for tools, i managed to find a 9/16 wrench, and a stick on the ground. An unlikely combination for success, the “stick-wrench” managed to get the belt back on after some considerable time and effort – again, all in the pouring rain.
    At that point i realized 2 things:
    1) water sprays on both sides of your tires, inside and outside – so be careful!
    2) water spray pressure off your tires can be as high as a pressure washer and have
    higher volume – so be careful!!
    That was an uncomfortable situation that could have been easily avoided – and i learned that lesson well.

  3. Keith says:

    I was on the way back from the tail of the dragon in my 280z and ran into a very isolated thunderstorm. My wiper motor started acting up and then the passenger side wiper bailed on me and hit the Lexus behind me. No place to pull over couldn’t see !@#$, luckily it passed and a very angry Lexus driver passed me.

  4. Curtis says:

    So this around 2010 in SoCal. For anyone who grew up here, we know that we don’t get a lot of rainfall. However, this particular winter we happened to get 3-6 days of nonstop rain. Freeways had standing water about 8 inches deep and some streets were completely flooded to the point that the only vehicles able to safely cross them were those lifted brotrucks without running the risk of getting completely stuck. Schools and homes were being flooded due to the lack of clean storm drains to let the water run through safely. Even part of my school was flooded to the point that buildings used for Kinesiology classes
    were flooded and classes had to be canceled for the 2010 Spring semsster while they looked for alternative locations. It was a bad time to be in Long Beach.

    I was driving to my part time job at the time located at a school in West Long Beach that required me to take one of these freeways and also cross under a train track elevated above a valley-like street. At the time, I was driving my zenki S13 fastback with some cheapo all season fronts and Falken 615+s rears. Even driving well below the speed limit, I was passed up by folks in SUVs and pickup trucks driving as if it were 90 and sunny outside. So much water hit my windows that I was so afraid of getting run over by something I couldn’t see approaching me if I didn’t hydroplane into a wall or someone else first. I decided to get off the freeway and take surface streets instead. The only problem was that by doing that, I had to take drive down the street with the valley. I had a hunch that it would be bad but I knew it was the only way for me to get to work at the time. I figured I played enough Oregon Trail and thought that if I had to ford the water it wouldn’t be that hard. I get down there and I’m looking at nearly 5 feet of standing water. Absolutely no way I was going to cross it. Rather than risk my car, I called in to work and just went home trying to wait it out. This lasted like I mentioned above for days. Video links below to show just how bad it was.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LWtmrvcPAA (Potato video quality but good idea of what it was like around CSULB)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da8-SqTPREM (The freeways I had to use)

  5. Yuri says:

    For me it was definitely the first time I went to Usui Touge. I had rented a black kouki 86 GT package from Toyota rent-a-car near Shinjuku, and had met up with a friend I had met on instagram, who owned a red zenki 86, who wanted to show me around.

    After a great day of hitting up famous mountain passes, and communicating completely through around two dozen words of shared Japanese and English mixed with Google translate, we decided to hit up one more touge, Usui, before heading back to Tokyo.

    Driving up it was a lot of fun, and it was super tight and technical even by Japanese mountain pass standards. We hit the top of the touge, and park for a bit to let the cars cool and relax. It’s starting to get overcast, and we notice water droplets forming on the cars from a light sprinkle.

    We then see a patrol car leading a procession of kei cars and an S2000 down the mountain, with his PA system blaring. My Japanese friend yells “Taifu!” over his shoulder at me. Taifu?! Typhoon??!! Apparently the remnants of a Typhoon were making its way inland, and we needed to be off the mountain.

    We start down the mountain, following the Toyota Crown police car, the S2000, two kei cars I couldn’t identify at the time, and what appeared to be a Daihatsu Move Aerodown. The police car is absolutely flying down the mountain, and the procession of 1-box kei cars and sports cars is sticking to its rear bumper, as the rain and wind starts to ramp up. Soon, I’m only able to see a faint outline of friend’s taillights, and a pulse in the rain that is the flashing lights of the police car. And we still aren’t slowing. The wind is ripping branches from trees, and the rain is hitting with gusts of passing Shinkansen strength. The wipers can’t keep up, the car is being pulled to one side by wind gusts, and I’m very thankful that my rental is running the stock Michelin Premacy tires.

    Finally we make it to the bottom, and our little high-speed touge convoy breaks off to get safely to their homes. Unbelievably the Police car turns around to go back up the mountain to hunt for additional stragglers, we shout “Sumimasen!” at him, and he waves, intent on adhering to his duty of protecting the population of Japan.

    We get onto the Expressway, and the rain and wind is so bad we actually have to stop at a PA, and have some vending machine coffee while watching the Hinos and Fusos rock on their springs in the PA, blown by gusts of wind.

    Finally things die down enough where we were able to arrive in the outskirts of Tokyo, have a nice warm meal at Bikkaru Donkey, and make a toast to the brave Police officer who served as our “pace car.”

  6. BroettoNavarro says:

    I have my share of experiences as a driver, and wet conditions. But none is so intense as that one day I was seating at the passenger seat.

    I can’t really recall how old I was. Probably 10 years old…
    One day, my family and friends decided to spend a weekend at the ranch. The adults decided that yeah, let the kids (me included) go all in the same car, let them have fun together.

    The car was a deep-green Honda Accord Sedan, year/model 1997 (yeah, that info I still recall), I always found these pretty sleek. By the time, it was a rather new ride.

    So the driver takes the Accord to the highway. The road soaked wet after an afternoon summer shower. The sunlight reflected beautifully on the asfault, the sky was colored in those pretty shades of dusk. I was seated up front, simply because I demanded so.
    I already loved cars and the co-pilot seat was mine, period.

    Then, Mr. Driver drove by some water in the middle of a corner.
    The rear end of the Honda swung to one side, the driver tried to counter-steer.
    I thought “It’s gonna spin just like in Gran Turismo!”

    The Accord suddenly pointed to where the driver intended, but that would take us to the wrong side of the road. Mr. Driver tries to negotiate the pendulum effect, but overreacts and the car loses control. It spins on the highway.

    I was there up front, and couldn’t be closer to the action! I had the best seat possible at the moment (for a kid, that is).

    The Accord gets out of the road, goes up in a grassy hill, and rests next to a lamp post. The car stopped. No one is injured. The car was ok.

    I could sense Mr. Driver was a mixture of terror and shame.
    At the backseat, my brother wasn’t happy, and my other two friends had mixed feelings.
    … and I had the biggest grin in the entire car!

  7. f31roger says:

    Growing in the PNW, where weather is overcast and rain happens a lot (but not all the time)… driving in the rain is common.

    Being a car guy, FWD burn outs and Ebrake drifts were always happening. When I got my rwd cars running (cressida, rx7 and 240x) I did cautious drifts around the Kent and Renton industrial area behind buildings.

    But my favorite memories were off roading with friends who chopped up Samurais and put in Chev 350s with custom lift kits. And that was the fun times I went ‘muddin’ in the rain.

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