Prince R380 At Amelia Island Japan’s 1st GP Car.
2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance displayed one of the first Japanese competition cars ever produced, the Prince R380, said Bill Warner, chairman and founder of the Amelia Island event.
The Prince R380’s appearance at the 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be the race car’s first appearance in the Americas. A purpose built race car, the R380 won the 1966 Japanese Gran Prix.
Prince Motor Company is considered to be Japan’s original builder of premium automobiles, and its legacy can be traced to INFINITI Motor Company and its current model line.
Historically significant, the Prince R380 broke several land speed records in 1965. Fueled by their success with these land-speed records, and a passion to be number one, the team set out to develop one of Japan’s first purpose-built race cars, resulting in the Prince R380.
Built upon a Brabham BT8 mid-engine chassis, the 1500 LB Prince R380 used unique mechanics and aerodynamic bodywork. The 1996 cubic centimeter, inline six-cylinder engine produced 200-horsepower and was mated to a 5-speed Hewland racing gearbox.
Four R380s beat a trio of Porsche 906s to win the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix. As a result, the Prince R380, in its first official competition, earned its place in history as a very significant race car, destined for the Infiniti Museum.
The R380 that will be shown at “is the actual Japanese Grand Prix winning car, and is believed to be the only surviving R380 in existence.
“The Prince R380 is a very important race car, and we are eager to share it with automotive fans from all over the world attending the Amelia Island Concours,” said Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director for INFINITI. “Prince Motor Company, during its short time, definitely made history, and its engineering and design legacy continues to live on.”