「The Case of the Ferrari F40 Blasting Down Public Roads」A Video Capturing a 320km/h Street Run?!
Arrested for a video of a high speed attack in a Ferrari F40
「I’m glad that I am the only one arrested for this incident」
The year was 1990. A video entitled “320km Ultra High Speed Ferrari F40” surfaced.
The video showed a Ferrari F40 running at high speed on a public highway, and the man arrested was Tohru Kirikae, a representative of Racing Service Dino.
The result shown in the video was widely shown near and far but what was the truth behind the incident? We interviewed the man once again. (An excerpt from November 2018 issue of OPTION magazine)
It was the early 70s. A young Mr. Kirikae enjoyed driving his Dino 246GT, but an unexpected trouble on the car occurred. Even with a skilled repairman, it was difficult to procure parts in Japan at the time. There was no Ferrari dealer around. So, he decided to travel to Italy.
The shop owner handling Ferraris locally taught him many mechanical tricks of the trade including carburator settings. He saw the passion Mr. Kirikae had and urged him to stay in close contact. He urged him to buy a Ferrari from his shop someday in the future.
Then, in 1973, he opened “Car Shop Dino” which was the early makings of “Racing Service Dino”. He devoted his life to repairing and maintaining Ferraris and continued to spend his money buying new Ferraris.
Time passed into the latter half of the 80s. Mr. Kirikae realized a long standing dream and was finally able to buy an F40.
A video production company that knew about Mr. Kirikae said, “Why not make a hard-running F40 video”? Perhaps the Ferrari shop owner in Italy would see it and come to understand his hard work in Japan.
It was planned that the high speed run video would be done at Yatabe test course (JARI: Japan Automobile Research Institute). However, Mr. Kirikae had no experience in high banked corners and could not set a higher speed than 280km/h.
The plan couldn’t continue. There was obviously a proposal to use a racing driver, but he didn’t want anyone touching the wheel of his treasured F40.
Then things got out of order. One idea was to splice in video of the car’s speedometer running 300 km/h on the highway with other footage of the car driving at speed on closed course at Yatabe.
Mr. Kirikae did it. He ran full speed on a public motorway.
When shooting was completed, the production company was to take care of the rest. When completed, he was asked to check the video but couldn’t confirm because he was extremely busy at the time. It was the footage that appeared however, that led to his arrest.
The production company explained that the expressway footage and the test course footage were so different in speed that they could not be believable when spliced together. The truth was that almost all the test course footage was cut in favor of highway footage. At this point, Mr. Kirikae’s hands were tied.
Major newspaper and news outlets were struck by the video. When asked by a reporter, Mr. Kirikae could only confirm his involvement as the driver. The next day it was treated as headline news. The police were hesitant to get involved at first because of the public reaction from the article.
Mr. Kirikae got a call from the police station. Wanting to avoid further trouble, he admitted to everything. Evidence in the video of 317km/h (217km/h over the legal speed limit) was verified by the police.
Mr. Kirikae said that he did not want to disappoint the owner of the Italian car shop, especially after struggling so hard and finally buying the Ferrari new from there. However, he understood that from the world’s perspective, he was just seen as a speed junkie.
He didn’t make any excuses. He knew that it was his foot on the accelerator and that he pushed it to the limit.
“I just feel glad that its only me who can take responsibility for that.” he said
Mr. Kirikae still currently represents “Racing Service Dino” in Ibaraki prefecture. He has never been arrested for speeding after this single incident. His main battlefield is the closed circuit.