Rewrite history: The rare fire-fighting Honda Acty remembers the Nagano Olympics

Rewrite history, we are Olympic champions. One refuses to believe how much time has passed since the 1998 Winter Olympics. Now for sale is a veteran who remembers the historic event – a Honda four-wheel drive vehicle.

But it’s no sports car – it’s a 1996 Honda Acty in a crawler version. The red color and gold lettering in Japanese indicate where the car came from, but the current owner and enthusiast had it imported all the way to the United States for its uniqueness, and now it’s car for sale.

It is not a refined sports car, but it is a rarity in its own way – these specially modified fire trucks were created for the Nagano Olympics and only five of them were made in this specification.

The drive is provided by a modest in-line three-cylinder with a volume of 656 cubic cm, which drives “all” four wheels via a 4-speed manual. The joke is that there are additional middle wheels and rubber tracks to increase adhesion on unpaved surfaces.

In practice, therefore, the power goes only to the very front and rear 12-inch diameter steel wheels with Toyo Observe SV-1 tires. Equipment includes useful extras – disc brakes, anchorage for firefighting equipment, rear body with surface-treated seats for technical personnel, siren and warning lights.

The interior is mostly original, including the radio, but in front of the passenger is the control of the warning system with siren. The drive is only 3,600 km.

A peek into the interior reveals two seats upholstered in patterned gray fabric, with rubber floor mats underneath. The comfort equipment is simple to the point of spartan – it actually only consists of manually retractable windows and heating. On the other hand, there is a warning system with a siren from the Japanese brand Osaka, whose controls can be found in front of the passenger.

Behind the two-spoke steering wheel hides a good old analog instrument display with a speedometer rated up to 130 km/h, but given the purpose and “power” transmission of the car, this is a rather optimistic value. The tachometer shows only 3,600 km, the radio has surprisingly remained the original one with which the car left the race in Suzuka.

The three-cylinder engine is located above the rear axle, hidden under a steel cover on the body. The car has had an oil service and a coolant change, the documentation includes, in addition to the service history, the original instruction literature.

Thanks to the 4-speed gearbox with reduction, rear differential lock and additional rubber belts, the vehicle promises excellent off-road properties. The reason for these modifications is precisely the reason why the vehicle is rare – this little Honda served as a fire and support vehicle at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, from which the Czech hockey team brought home gold medals.

All in all, five pieces were created, and this is one of them – even though it is not a sports or otherwise exclusive car, it is actually very attractive, especially for domestic collectors. The car was available through an internet auction through the Bring a Trailer company and changed hands for $26,000 (currently CZK 572,000).

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