The video above is Doug Hayashi attempting to chase down an F50 GT1 LM in his F355 circa 2002 @ California Speedway. THAT sound still gives me chills, even today.
I often struggle with my identity as a writer, it tends to vary from informative geek to delirious journliast with turrets – but if there’s one person whose style I really admire, it’s Doug Hayashi’s.
Doug Hayashi is not by trade an automotive journalist. At some point in his mid-life, he had an epiphany. He became “convinced that real estate is a stupid investment, since you could put your house down payment into high tech stocks instead of a house/condo that you can’t drive.” Sound logic in my book. So instead of buying property, he bought a brand new NSX and dumped the rest of his money into Microsoft stock, instead living in a rented townhome. It’s like the backstory of Batman, except he’s Japanese, doesn’t live in Gotham and has an arch-enemy named Raceaflais instead of Joker. Okay, so it’s not like the backstory of Batman – but to a racer, ANY REAL RACER, it’s about as epic as it gets.
Before WordPress, YouTube and Jalopnik, there was NSXfiles.com – an extremely simple, javaless, scriptless, so-html-it-hurts corner of the infantile internet where Doug would regale his readers with tales of his racing adventures. Comparing his website to a modern blog is like going through a time machine. It looks like an Angelfire page without the glittery cursor and pixelated dancing cat gifs. But like many of the antiquated things our elders told us not to knock, it is truly buried treasure, filled with some of the greatest grassroots racing tales possibly ever told.
“But when we die, we won’t have any regrets…..” -Doug Hayashi
He started NSXfiles as a way to document his infatuation with the never ending pursuit of speed. Hayashi eventually trademarked his obsession into a phrase now widespread but rarely credited to its originator: Hitting The Go-Fast Crack Pipe.
Doug travelled all over the US – primarily the West Coast – participating in time trials, hill climbs and open competition in search of what he called ‘another hit of the go-fast crack pipe.’ His drug/racing addiction analogies drove me into fits of laughter time and time again as did his candid, witty writing style.
But the absolute best parts of his stories detailed exchanges between he and his wife, Dagmar, who had a somehow uncanny ability to call him out whenever he made excuses to spend money racing.
Doug: Uhhh…nice business suit honey. By the way, how much did THAT cost?
Dagmar: Less than your tire budget for last weekend’s race.
Dagmar: And I can wear this suit over and over. Your tires are now corded
Doug: uhhh..well…ahhh….oh never mind.
Excerpt taken from www.nsxfiles.com/stories.htm “Chapter 32 – NSX-Files Cast of Characters.”
This is but a small sample of the written gold over at NSXfiles.com.
Other adventures include his purchase of a brand new F355 along with his fellow go-fast crack addicted accomplice, Wayne Mello. They proceed to drive their brand new $100k+ exotics – literally, like they stole them – power braking while blipping the throttle to induce F1-sounding downshifts. Doug chronicles in hilarious fashion a host of problems and maintenance woes with his new Italian girlfriend, admitting he drove the car harder than ‘anyone except for people racing in the F355 Challenge Series’, but in true Pulp Racing fashion justified his motoring insanity, adding: “But when we die, we won’t have any regrets…..”
And basically, I think that’s why his stories were so fun to read. He never took himself too seriously and always made light of any situation he encountered.
As a fairly well-read auto journo, I’m not afraid to say that I’ve enjoyed Doug’s writing more than any other big name out there. He’s not the most eloquent or technically skilled composer – but if you’re a true car guy, I dare you to read any of his stories and not laugh your ass off. I’ll end with quote from Doug’s theory which he called: ‘The Pyramid of Speed’:
The Wheel-to-Wheel racers are at the top of the pyramid. They have big heads, big egos, they think they are cool, and they can be tremendously condescending. They think Street Racers are ricockulous, and that the Fast and The Furious is the second stupidest movie they ever seen, with Driven being the stupidest. Freeway racers are viewed as unskilled morons, but Wheel-to-Wheel racers have been known to occasionally “bait” the Freeway Racers into following them through an offramp at triple digits speeds, and when the Freeway Racer suddenly realizes that he can’t control his car that fast in a turn, the Freeway Racer panics, hits the brakes hard while turning, and ends up spinning and crashing into the guard rail, while the Wheel-to-Wheel racer looks in his rear view mirror, and calmly puts another mark on his dashboard, keeping score of “reverse-kills”.