This is going to make me sound very ancient indeed but I can remember the launch of the Honda NSX, not quite as if it were yesterday but pretty damn clearly all the same. Which is a tad worrying given that the NSX is 20 years old this month.
It was at the Nurburgring and all sorts of weird and wonderful people were present, including the legendary car scribe LJK Setright, who the Honda brass treated like some kind of deity. Whatever LJK asked for, he got. He was that well regarded, not just by Honda but seemingly by the entire Japanese car industry at the time.
The car itself was pretty special considering it was 1989, when the Ferrari 348 was what Marenello regarded as a cutting edge mid-engined rival. It was so easy to drive yet at the same time seemed impossibly exotic, and its high revving V6 engine and largely aluminium construction gave it a character all of its own.
It was quick, too, and quite why the powers that be at What Car?, for whom I was working at the time, thought it sensible to send a 21-year-old on the car’s international launch I will never know. I had my first and, to this day, only ever spin on the Nurburgring in it, but this had nothing to do with the NSX’s handling, which was about 500 miles better than any other mid-engined supercar of the era. It was merely a case of youthful exuberance getting the better of someone who shouldn’t really have been there in the first place.