Honda is bringing us a new NSX, I should be excited about this but I’m not. The original NSX was a game changing daily drivable exotic that put the supercar makers on notice that a dream car didn’t need to be an unreliable explodey costly to maintain headache. Its sporting capabilities were developed with the help of Ayrton Senna -the NSX was steeped in racing. Here are some photos of an IMSA Camel Lights endurance racer powered by an NSX-derived engine. I saw this car at this past summer’s Northwest Historics.
This is an IMSA Camel Lights car. The Camel Lights cars were the little brothers to the GTP giants; cars like the Porsche 962, the Jaguar XJR-16, and the Toyota (Gurney) Eagle. While a little smaller and slower than GTP, Camel Lights was a highly competitive series with very interesting cars. That big dog GTP cars usually overshadowed the Camel Lights cars shouldn’t diminish the fact that cars like this one were great racers in their own right, although not as impressive as an 800 horsepower Porsche 962.
This car is eye searingly WHITE. I used to see these cars in person and on TV and was always surprised by how the colors differed on screen and in reality. The red bits are day-glow orange. My camera’s image sensor was screaming in pain and accusing me of being a fool for using a fill flash (my camera is often my most vocal critic).
I wish I could have heard this car run, it made the most incredible sounds. Because of their sound and lower cost to maintain, I predict Camel Lights cars gain popularity in vintage racing in the coming decade.
This car won a number of races in the early 90s driven by Parker Johnstone and Dan Marvin
Parker Johnstone was one of my instructors at the Bob Bondurant School when I attended in 1988. By then he was a respected driver for Honda, my first experience seeing him drive was in a first generation Integra that sounded like a Formula Atlantic as it powered out of turn 11 at Sears Point. Seeing Dan Marvin’s name on this car was a bit of a memory jog for me. Mr. Marvin was one of the best drivers in Formula Atlantic in the 1980s.
As Honda shows commercials for the new product marketing department developed NSX on Superbowl Sunday, remember back to the days when the NSX’s sporting intentions were pure. Honda, please prove me wrong about the new NSX.