Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi..

For anyone who happens to be into vintage Honda's, racing, or... vintage racing Honda's; the Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi is definitely something you should set about visiting..  

A Honda Museum, at a racetrack, in the countryside? Finding this combination especially appealing means that last month, that's exactly what I did..

The museum itself is located right on the site of the Twin Ring Motegi tracks - shown on the above map in relation to Tokyo.
While possible..ish.. to get there from Tokyo by train, you would be pushing it, and likely have better luck than me at lining up your train with a bus at Motegi station..

..So for me, a hire-car it was!

Since this is a Honda museum after all, it was only right to go in a Honda (had done this only days before in a Mark X on a trip to Toyota..).. and why not go in something interesting? Tiny cars are hilariously fun right?
Just how small a 'small car' was, was a bit of a struggle to get across to the rental company (..over the phone); when there are three classes of car below a Honda Fit/Jazz. What I wanted was a 'Sub-compact, Class K-A' - a class which (in the rental car companies world) consists of the Daihatsu Move and Tanto, Suzuki Wagon R... and the Honda N-One.

Wikipedia gave me this gem of a picture, skillfully used to then sell the idea to my mates.
Its a Honda.. It's got a 660cc twin-cam three-cylinder.. and could potentially be yellow..!

So off in a train to Shinjuku station, in order to reserve a Honda N-One for the next day. The best we could do was tell them we want the Honda, and simply hope its going to be one of the a good colour...

Here is the ferocious little beast we got. Unfortunately not a rad bright yellow.. or even a pale buttercup yellow. Nope, this was yellow so pale.. its technically Metallic Silver...

..But hey, it was an N-One..!

After a struggle-filled scenic tour escaping Tokyo's expressway network, we're off to Motegi..

2-3hours later; depending on the route you take (we went there via the west/north), and skill level (extremely low in our case..) - Motegi.
...and the Honda Collection Hall.
These three floors of all things Honda, opened in 1998; following the opening of the race track late the year before..

The above layout gives you a good idea of what we're working with here..

The building itself was beautifully done, and the whole layout really works well..

Everything is absolutely spotless.

Racing cars on the elevator..

Honda Motors and Mowers among the hundreds of items on display..

Small selection of the bikes..

1988 Honda Africa Twin..

'INBOARD VENTILATED DISC' complete with slatted intakes, on the 1982 Honda VT250F.
Loved the red frame and matching seat..

Opposite the bikes on the first floor, were the cars; starting with the S500/600's at the entrance to the wing..

..working around and back to the late 90's Type-R cars.

There were posters/brochures/catalogues around the walls of every room. Against one of the columns in this room, glass-topped drawers displaying brochures..

Conga line in this early City advertisment.. complete with sneaky Motocompo!

At this point I have to mention this is just a tiny sample of the brilliant cars there, and as usual, I'll be simply trying to focus on all things 1980's..

..starting with this rad 'woody' 2nd generation Civic wagon..

..and a big step-up in design to this early third-generation hatch, in a really nice solid blue.

1985 Honda Accord Aerodeck LXR-S. Sadly the first time I had ever seen one of these in person. A shooting-brake Accord with popup headlights.. very cool..

..and having only seen these in pictures before, I hadn't noticed the rear hatch glass extends way onto the roof, to above the rear seats.

The 1983 Prelude XX from the opening picture. First year for the second generation model.
I'm a big fan of these, and have posted about them before here.

I'll be posting more pics of this one later!

Beside the Prelude; a 1985 Honda (Quint) Integra ZS - first year of the first generation Integra (but second generation of the Quint name..).
Loving the look of this one in red on the silver steelies..

First generation City, with matching Motocompo! Well, matching-ish... and oddly too, as most Motocompo's seem to be red..
Regardless, an optional foldaway motorbike that fit in the back of the City - I have seriously considered (..and still struggle to resist) picking one of these up. Just so, so, awesome..

Exchanging the roof for the City Turbo's flares - the 1984 (Pininfarina) City Cabriolet!

I'll be posting a heap more pics of this one later too..

..as well as of this one; a red 1983 (Ballade Sports) CR-X!

A little later than the usual, but hard to resist; the 1991-1996 Honda Beat - A Kei-sized, mid-engine roadster.


That's all for this room/wing, which also included an '85 Today, '85 Legend , and '89 Accord rounding up the somewhat-80's examples.
Moving upstairs and into the next wing..
Racing bikes..

...and opposite; racing cars.

Two of three Civics down the far wall. I'll be posting a few more detailed pics of these ones later on..!

Also in this room, the 1983 Honda City Turbo IIR.
Orange, gold decals, large text..

...and some wide, colourmatched, SSR MKIII's filling out the impressively-aggressive flares!

I really liked this.


Line of NSX's across from the wide City..

Unfortunately (and will struggle to put enough emphasis on this..) at this point I was running out of time, so made my way back downstairs...

 ...Where along with the Museum Shop; selling the usual pens, stickers, models, shirts, and so on..

..was the Reading Room.

Shelves and shelves of neatly organised books and magazines.

In just one randomly selected issue; a two-page ad showing Autopista parts on a 3rd generation Prelude.

This gets me back to something I mentioned above: I had unfortunately run out of time here.. which I was absolutely shattered about. I wish I had come here earlier in the day. I was still there a for a solid few hours, but could have easily spent the day (..or more..) going through things. I love this stuff.
Everything was all just so well presented, everything so clean, the building so nice, and what a location..

I obviously cant speak for everyone who would visit this place, but I seriously loved it.

So with a fair bit of sadness, off we went..
 ..and that's all for the N-One, and the Honda Museum for now. I will be posting a little more on some of these individual cars in detail later!

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