Ferrari Enzo Designer Gets Nailed for Speeding—In an Enzo

Japanese authorities tend to take a dim view of speeding, whether you designed your own car or not.
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Many of us have been caught speeding at one point or another. Few of us have ever done so behind the wheel of a car of our own design, let alone a Ferrari. For one Japanese man, though, that hilarious happenstance actually came true.

As reported by the Japan Times, industrial designer Kiyoyuki “Ken” Okuyama was caught speeding in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture on the morning of October 1, 2022. Okuyama was behind the wheel of his Ferrari Enzo, a car he just happened to play a significant role in designing. The Enzo was clocked by police at 128 km/h (79 mph), a full 88 km/h (54 mph) over the posted speed limit of 40 km/h (25 mph).

The 63-year-old received a four-month prison sentence from the Yamagata District Court, suspended for two years. “I will make sure this will never happen again and will contribute to society. I am very sorry,” said Okuyama, expressing contrition after the judgment. His defense had been that he was attempting to cool the Enzo’s engine by traveling at higher speed, with his sentence suspended thanks to his open admission of fault.

Okuyama has had a storied career, and is considered one of Japan’s standout talents in the world of design. As noted by Hagerty, the Japanese government even tips its hat his way, championing his work for exerting “international influence transcending cultural borders.”

Notably, after picking up the role of design director at Pininfarina in 1995, Okuyama would go on to be the first non-Italian charged with the design of a Ferrari when he worked on the Enzo. Other credits of his include the original Porsche Boxster, the 996-generation 911, and the E8-Series Shinkansen bullet train.

As evidenced by this case, Japanese authorities take a dim view of speeding, particularly by such huge margins. Even being a beloved world-famous designer won’t get you out of hot water with the local courts. You’d do well to keep your leadfoot in check on your next Pacific holiday.

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