Sunday morning at around 10:15 a.m., a convoy of 20 supercars was speeding down the Chūgoku Expressway in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, trying to get to a supercar gathering in Hiroshima. The mere sight of such an apparition in normal times can turn heads and cause accidents. The convoy entered a left-hand bend at 90–100 mph, according to witnesses. The posted speed limit was 50 mph. And the highway was wet.
The lead driver, a 60-year-old guy living out his fantasies, tried to pass another vehicle, lost control over his Ferrari, skidded into the guardrail, and rebounded into traffic. Instant chaos: those behind slammed on their brakes and plowed into each other.
Fourteen cars in total were involved in the pile up: eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini Diablo, a Nissan GT-R, three Mercedes-Benz, and a Toyota Prius. A Prius? Wait a minute. Turns out, the Prius, despite what some people might think, wasn’t a supercar, and wasn’t part of the convoy. It was an innocent bystander, so to speak. Ten people were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
TV footage from the aftermath:
In the end, there was a quarter mile of exotic debris and crumpled sheet metal—um, upon closer inspection, make that plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Torn-open engine compartments revealed noble and elegant components that were never meant to be seen by commoners. Dominant color: racing red.
Some of the Ferraris were totaled, including a 348, a 360 Modena, a 360 Challenge Stradale and an F430. Cost of the supercars: up to ¥300 million. Apparently, the costliest supercar pileup ever in Japan.
But Japan is heading into another pileup, this one vastly more treacherous.... The Endgame: Japan Inc. Plays By Its Own Rules.