To some, a collection of cars that were, by and large, produced in droves and that aren't of rare Italian descent may seem all too ordinary, but each twist of the neck within the confines of Honda's own shrine removes such doubts. Standing at the foot of the N600 and looking over the rooftop of a pristine 1990 Accord wagon lies a stream of open-wheeled race cars, a 1974 Civic that—in the late 1980s—claimed its title as the fastest Honda on Earth, and the infamous Speed World Challenge GT NSX and Integra Type R, piloted by Peter Cunningham and Pierre Kleinubing, respectively. CART V8s also pepper themselves throughout the hall alongside factory-issued mills ranging from one of roughly 50 Alex Zanardi-edition NSX C32B1s to more mundane single-cam Civic engines and 90-degree Legend V6 powerplants.  

Bone-stock Civics not your thing? Turn around and one of the most impressive (only?) collections of open-wheeled Honda race cars (and others) awaits.
Below, this particular Lola was never raced, but was instead used to unveil Honda's CART program at the North American International Auto Show in 1993. It was also used as a test chassis to help develop the original Honda FCV Indy V8 engine in an R&D program code named Big Dog.
Honda made its CART racing debut as a works supplier in 1994. Its engines weren't the most competitive that first year, but following extensive development, they went on to help earn six consecutive driver's championships.
Beneath Team Penske's Marlboro Reynard sits former Honda district service representative Bob “Honda Bob” Boileau's championship-winning, 1974 SCCA Civic. At just over 146 mph, Boileau's Civic held the title of the World's Fastest Civic throughout the late-1980s and early 1990s.
Michael Andretti's Team Motorola Reynard atop Gil de Ferran's all-white Acura ARX-02A American Le Mans prototype car, which debuted at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring. 
Lower left: Speed World Challenge GT NSX driven by Peter Cunningham. The car first debuted in 1991, returned in 1996, and retired in 2002 with six wins and a second-place driver's championship that year alone. Naturally aspirated, the engine produced 400 hp but was later supercharged, making more than 500 hp.
Honda's 2.65L HRH V8 CART engine produced 780 hp at 13,000 rpm running about 22 psi of boost pressure. Honda's HRH was the most powerful engine in 1995, and became the champion platform the following year.
Lower right: Comptech Racing, Acura Spice GTP-Light car driven by Parker Johnstone from 1991 to 1993. Inside sits a 450hp, naturally aspirated C30A1 NSX engine that earned three consecutive manufacturer's and driver's championships in the IMSA Camel GTP Lights series as well as securing the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1993.
Up top sits Team KOOL Green's 1999 Reynard driven by Dario Franchitti. The 900hp, turbo-V8-powered, 16,000rpm engine helped Franchitti and Honda secure three victories and two poles.
Honda moved its efforts from CART to the IRL IndyCar series in 2003 and with it came the all-new H13R engine. Honda-powered cars dominated the series the following year, claiming a slew of titles. Two years later Honda became the sole engine supplier for the series at which time the 2006 Indianapolis 500 concluded for its first time ever without a single engine problem. Honda IndyCar engines are available to race teams under lease-only arrangements at just under $1,000,000 per season.
Realtime Racing's Speed World Challenge Integra Type R driven by Pierre Kleinubing. The 1997 ITR's engine produces 225 hp and was good for 16 wins and 39 top-five finishes over the course of six seasons. It also claimed the title as SCCA World Challenge T/2 Touring Driver's Championship Winner from 1997 to 2002.

Leave a Reply

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