One Sunday about a month ago, I was driving my family to Himeji. It was a drizzly early morning on the Chugoku Expressway, and I just cleared Kobe. To my right, a trio of Lancia Delta Integrales came whizzing by.
Within moments, an Aston Martin zoomed by, being tailed by an Alfa Romeo Alfasud, splashing through the rain.
While younger Japanese are less interested in cars, older Japanese still love them — especially foreign cars. Being a gearhead is an "ossan" ("old dude") pursuit, largely because of all the money involved. It wasn't always like that here, with young men, now old, spending all their money and free time on their cars.
Knowing how car enthusiasts like to use rural strips of the motorway for their own version of Ridge Racer, I wasn't surprised when I saw that exotic car carnage on the news: dead Ferraris.
The result was a super car super smash-up. This Sunday morning on the Chugoku Expressway, 14 cars were involved in a major pile-up on a rainy expressway. Included in the crash, according to the Yomiuri News, were eight Ferraris, three Mercedes, one Lamborghini and two Toyotas, one of which was a Prius.
The sports cars were part of a convey, NHK reported, headed to a Hiroshima from Kyushu. Mitsuyoshi Isejima, executive officer for Yamaguchi Prefecture's Expressway Traffic Police unit, told Bloomberg that this was a "gathering of narcissists".
Ten people were hurt in the wreck, with superficial injuries. Six of the Ferraris fared far worse and were totalled in the crash, including a Ferrari F-360. (Happy to see that the little Fiat Abarth looks like it made it out OK!)
One bystander recalled hearing a "tremendous noise" when the Ferraris came speeding by on the slick expressway.
The wreck was caused when a 60-year-old driver lost control of his Ferrari and sent it into the guard rails. According to Bloomberg, the 60-year-old could face up to three months jail time or a $US1280 fine.
That's a drop in the bucket compared to the repair costs.
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