Rare finds: RA270 F1 prototype
Well protected yet not forgotten, this old footage of the RA270 Prototype was discovered in a warehouse from Saitama Prefecture, Japan – this is known as the only footage of the prototyped vehicle.
The RA270 is presented while tested on the Suzuka circuit, while the video is supposed to be dated around 18 February of that year.
But the lovely part of this video is not the RA, nor than the fact that the prototype is tested by Yoshio Nakamura – later to be the first manager of Honda’s Formula 1 racing and soon after, executive of the company, while Soichiro Honda can be observed in a corner, watching closely the reaction of this machinery. No, the greatest thing is that this video represents a great moment in the history of the brand – this was the time when a line of legends was born. I mean when the RA was born.
How was, in fact, the RA born? Well, Honda wasn’t actually planning in entering Formula 1 directly, as the RA270 prototype was originally a project meant to be sold to the British Team Lotus. The engines, nothing more. But at one point, the deal fell and Soichiro decided to have the RA270 transformed into reality and to put his foot into this world – the world of racing machines.
“Whether that horsepower could be achieved was not the question. He just told us we must produce this much power in order to win. For example, the code name for the engine, RA270, was assigned by Mr. Honda, who probably wanted to remind us that the engine had to produce 270 horsepower.”
When Soichiro Honda was asked by Yoshiro Nakamura whether he wanted to enter the F1 circuit, he is said to have replied, “I don’t know if we can do it or not, but I sure as hell want to try!”
But about the beautiful history of Honda’s racing pedigree in another article.
P.s. seems that the videotape was well hidden so that not even the Honda Co. personnel knew about it. The footage was discovered almost a month ago and officially released by Honda.