Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Blac Chyna Source Says She and Rob are Still Together: 'They're Not Broken Up'
- Read the Cover Story: JFK Jr.: The John We Loved
- Christina Grimmie to Posthumously Release Four New Music Videos
- Revolt at the DNC: Sarah Silverman Scolds Sanders Supporters for Booing, 'You're Being Ridiculous'
- Bernie Sanders Supports Hillary Clinton in DNC Speech Amid Controversy: 'I Am Proud to Stand with Her'
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- September 05, 1988
- Vol. 30
- No. 10
When Do the Four Designers of This Japanese Wonder Car Say 'Fill 'er Up'? Very Infrequently
But don't expect to see this little baby at your new-car showroom anytime soon. It's a one-of-a-kind vehicle—and not a very practical one at that. "An engine that can operate on a starvation diet Is almost like a person on a starvation diet," explains Hiroyuki Ogura, 40, one of the car's four designers. "It's too moody and temperamental to be useful. It needs constant care from engineers."
Luckily that's what Ogura and his three associates—Masaki Oka, 28, Masanori Umeda, 37, and Toru Hamanaka, 38—happen to be. All four design motorcycle engines for Honda in the city of Suzaka, more than 200 miles from Tokyo. Competing not as Honda employees but as private citizens, they spent four years perfecting their tiny fuel sipper. Countless thousands of hours went into their quest for superhigh mileage. "We became nuts," says Ogura. "We did all the designing and building in the backyard of a friend who runs an auto shop."
What they came up with was a 63-pound car built of ultrastrong carbon fiber and powered by a single piston engine the size of a small pumpkin. Averaging a stately 9.3 mph, the wonder car cruised 141 miles on 100 cubic centimeters of gas—barely enough to fill a coffee cup. Aside from their splendid engineering talent, the design team was aided in the British competition by one further factor, the lean and hungry attitude of Oka, their designated driver. "English foods were so terrible," says Ogura, "that Oka could hardly eat." Oka weighed just 84 lbs. when he stepped into the gasmiser's cockpit on the day of the trial.
So far the car has no name, so here's a suggestion: The Honda Lite—as in "Drives great! Less filling!"
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!