A Honda Odyssey and a 1973 Datsun 1200 ute aren’t the cars you’d expect to see at a drag strip. However, that’s precisely the pairing in the video above, as the Land Down Under has no shortage of wild, high-powered builds.
The Datsun can’t even contain its engine underneath the bodywork. Thanks to its massive blower, the supercharged 6.0-litre V8 is as tall as the car’s roof. The ute is rear-wheel drive with much-needed Mickey Thompsons tyres, as the engine makes 950 bhp at the crank. Inside are a carbon-fibre dashboard, racing seats, and an inconspicuous roll cage.
The third-generation RB1 Odyssey featured Honda’s 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine rated at making just 158 bhp when it launched. That engine is long gone in this Odyssey, which now packs a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six 2JZ engine with a six-speed manual gearbox and is destined to become a drift car once it completes school drop-off duty.
The owner didn’t know the official horsepower, pegging it at 500 bhp. It’s down on power and heavier than the Datsun, tipping the scales at almost 1,815 kilograms (4,000 pounds) compared to the ute’s 1,088 kg (2,400-lb) rating.
The first 1,000-foot race set the tone for the others. The Honda and Datsun struggled for traction, but the ute’s more potent engine and better tires helped it earn its first win. The Datsun driver even let off the accelerator during the race but still won by a couple of car lengths.
The pair then competed in a rolling race, hoping that that would level the playing field. However, the more potent Datsun had no trouble putting distance between it and the Odyssey again, winning by several car lengths. The two raced in a bonus round, with the Honda getting a sizeable advantage. But it was still no match for the Datsun, which won the third bout.
The 2023 Honda Odyssey available in the US today also has a V6 engine, but it only makes 280 bhp from its 3.5 litres of displacement. It also lacks a turbocharger and a manual gearbox, but it is available with paddle shifters for that sporty feeling. It’s also more expensive, with Honda dropping the entry-level LX trim for the current model year.