VIDEO: Japan’s best drivers compete in Japan’s slowest car

The brilliant thing about Best Motoring is that one day you get an epic AE86 track battle, and the next day you get antics rivaling 2002-era Top Gear in silliness. Take this 1996 episode, for example. Daihatsu had just resurrected the Midget II delivery truck, a bug-eyed, 31-horsepower kei pickup offered mostly in green. Still, it was quite a technological leap from the Midget I, which had only three wheels. Best Motoring then raided the local Daihatsu dealer and put Japan’s top drivers in a flock of them.

Motorharu Kurosawa may have won the 1962 All-Japan Championship motorcycle series, piloted a Skyline GT-R to multiple wins as a Nissan works driver during the Hakosuka‘s glory years, and clinched the checkered flag in the V12 Nissan R382 at the 1969 Japan Grand Prix, but that was clearly no preparation for the greatest challenge of his lifetime — flogging a one-seater delivery truck with a spare tire mounted on its hood. It is one of the most hilarious races we’ve ever seen, and we firmly believe this episode is the only reason the Midget II appeared in Gran Turismo.

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7 Responses to VIDEO: Japan’s best drivers compete in Japan’s slowest car

  1. Ant says:

    Glad to see this has been officially uploaded to BM’s YouTube channel. It’s been online unofficially for years, and I completely agree regarding Gran Turismo – it’s just a shame the official Midget races don’t exist in the franchise any more (GT2 and GT4 both had single-model, single-race Midget events).

  2. Lupus says:

    O love that machine!

    How i would love to own one. Here, in Europe it would be a total eye-cacher in every town, from small suburbs to the the biggest capitals. And it’s RWD. 😀

    As to GT4, my PS2 is currently broken so i cant, confirm that, but i think that it could’ve been tuned to over 100HP. I’ve own (proabobly) such one on my mem-card, fully-modded, dropped and with SSR Mk2 rims.

    • Ant says:

      You’re right – a quick search suggests you could tune it to 114hp in the end, which I recall made for quite an entertaining drift machine in something so light.

      I remember seeing one in the metal not long after first playing Gran Turismo 2. Wanted one ever since – I see imported examples occasionally, but people seem to charge quite a lot for them sadly.

      • Lupus says:

        You’r right. I found latly one example for sale at my neighbourhs, in Germany. It’s green, it’s stock, it’s in good condition. But it’s listed at 8k EUR (@ current exch. rate ~8400 USD). Quite a lot of money.

        But it’s listed as two seater. There are two headrests and also automatic transmission and air-con. All that witch ~20k km millage and half tank of fuel. 😉

  3. Cesariojpn says:

    I rocked a Midget II in GT4. It was hilarious pitting this against City Cars and older low HP cars on the Green Hell and winning by miles.

  4. Frank says:

    That’s funny! I wish I understood Japanese. The drivers comments probably make it more humorous.

    I liked how the driver in the white truck made sure he stayed in the slipstream. You can see them gain some speed in the draft but as soon as they move to pass, there’s no power to complete the pass. 🙂

    I wonder how much speed they lose from the flags? I was thinking, I’d want a tear away for a slight reduction in drag.

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