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Driving Ayrton Senna’s Honda NSX

3 weeks ago

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Writer:

Ben Oliver | Journalist

Date:

1 May 2024

There is a particular intimacy about sharing a driving seat. Your hands – usually bare when driving a road car – are in direct, constant contact with the same steering wheel as all who have driven this car before you, some long passed. Your feet work the same pedals, and the bolsters and belts clamp you into exactly the same physical space.

I was once lucky enough to drive the Aston Martin DB5 used to film the action scenes on the Furka Pass in Goldfinger. The knowledge that the young Sean Connery’s somewhat firmer buttocks had once graced the same patinated hide made it seem worth the huge premium being asked for it at auction: to a Bond obsessive, at least.

That connection is more significant when you’re in a seat once occupied by one of the greatest drivers ever to turn a wheel, and one who was killed far too soon 30 years ago today. Ayrton Senna raced Honda engines at both Lotus and McLaren in the six Formula 1 seasons between 1987 and 1992, and he had the regular use of three examples of the company’s seminal NSX supercar, launched to surprise and acclaim in the midst of that long relationship.

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