Though most Formula One teams are based in the UK, they hail from places all around the world. There are teams from Russia, India and Malaysia, but in the 1960s, the idea of an F1 team coming from as far away as Japan was unthinkable in what was a predominantly European racing series. That's just the notion that Honda aimed to upset when it entered the car you see here in the 1964 Formula One World Championship.

With a 1.5-liter V12 dispensing 220 horsepower through a six-speed manual (its shifter necessitating the steering wheel mounted left-of-center), the 1964 Honda RA271 was built around an aluminum monocoque in a package that looks like a Formula Vee car you could erect in your garage, but it state-of-the-art when it was built. Speaking of which, Honda only built one, and today it's part of the Honda Collection Hall at Motegi, but the priceless racer made the trip down to Japan's capital so we could check it out at the Tokyo Motor Show. Awfully nice of Honda, we'd say. Check it out in our gallery of live shots from the show floor above.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      ShutoSteve
      • 1 Year Ago
      My Gosh. What a pretty little machine. Love the little rivets by the cockpit especially.
      You missed it
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah, sure, I can build Vee car in my garage. I wish... Not in the States, the costs are TOO damn HIGH. Quoting http://formulaveeracing.org/Association.html : What 22-year-old has $700 for a set of tires (three or four times per season) or $2000 - $4000 for a rebuild? In many ways, Formula Vee has become a sport for the well to-do. Without a minimum annual income it just isn’t possible to race a Vee. The original designers of the class, I think, would never have imagined the closed doors that new drivers face today. But it isn’t just the money – it’s more complicated than that. Today’s American Vee is based on the 1200 engine – based on an obsolete vehicle. Spare parts are hard to come by (and thus more expensive), engine rebuilds cost more because some pieces have to be manufactured, and despite efforts by visionary people, the class does not use a spec tire. In Ireland, the class uses the 1600 engine, with Dunlop all-weather racing tires that last an entire season. Forgetting the demographic differences between the two countries for a second, let’s just treat their situation on face value.
        This guy is a tool
        • 1 Year Ago
        @You missed it
        Your a tool and you have no clue what you are talking about at least not on a regional level this is totaly false statement. Engine refresh is $1200-$1500 and that is without lifting a finger just send it to a engine builder and I went 3 years between and tires 1 $700 set gets me through a 8 race weekend season. Please complain about something you know about!
        jjjjjjjes
        • 1 Year Ago
        @You missed it
        Your costs are on the high side for FV racing but not that far off if your a serious racer. If you're really interested in getting into FV racing drop me an e-mail and I'll point you in the right direction to get on track for a lot less. jjjjjjjes@aol.com
      AP1_S2K
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda now lives safely inside the box
      kuntknife
      • 1 Year Ago
      All that pedigree, gone to waste.
      al4gg10
      • 1 Year Ago
      Honda had taken over the motor cycle racing after a tentative start, now it set out to do the same in F1 with this transverse V12 space frame chassis-ed design. By 1965 the next RA272 machine had the most powerful engine & a driver by the name of Ginther easily won the Mexican Gran Prix at the end of the season. Unfortunately for Honda that was the final race for the 1500 cc formula as in 1966 the formula changed to 3 Liter. Had the formula Not changed Honda would have been in great position in 1966. The new V12 3 Liter RA273 Honda came out which was slow & heavy in the corners but had blazing speed in the straight parts of the tracks. Also the engine had a very narrow torque band with only a 5 speed gearbox so it was hard to keep the engine in the top of its rev range.... so at tighter tracks this was a difficult car to drive quickly. Honda would not have the success as they had with that RA272.
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is nice.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      I respect Honda they build great family vehicles plus they have the awesome Honda Jet and lovable quirky Asimo robot but they really need more sporting vehicles. Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota are really cranking up their sporting vehicle credential, seems like Honda has other ideas.