The driver says he did it to prove a point.
Long before the days of online viral videos, a notorious video was doing the rounds in the 1990s showing a guy pushing a Ferrari F40 to the limit on a Japanese highway. His name is Toru Kirikae, a renowned Ferrari collector known to his friends as "Mr. Ferrari” and a former president of the Japanese Ferrari owners club. The video was released way back in 1990 when the F40 was still in production, but it’s still scary to watch today.
The infamous video shows Kirikae-san filming himself attempting to max out his F40 on a Japanese highway. Amazingly, he maintains a speed of over 124 mph for several minutes before flooring it and reaching a speed of 197 mph. Back then, Japanese highways had a 62-mph speed limit, so he was driving over three-times the legal limit.
Because this was before the days of YouTube, Kirikae-san made a VHS of the video and it attracted a lot of attention in Japan. According to a recent interview by Jalopnik, Japanese newspapers were contacting him as word of the top speed run was spreading.
He proudly admitted it was him behind the wheel, but the video unintentionally leaked. Unsurprisingly, this caught the attention of the police, who arrested him. He was charged for reckless driving and fined 200,000 yen ($1,800 in today’s money).
Kirikae wanted to prove people who doubted Ferrari's claim that the F40 could do 200 mph, so he filmed himself trying to max out the F40 on a banked circuit. At the time, he didn’t film the speedometer. But instead of redoing the run on the banked circuit, he did the top speed run on the highway, achieving 317 kph (197 mph). Civilian drivers even politely pull over out of his way.
Driving on a public road at triple-digit speeds is clearly dangerous and irresponsible, but Kirikae has no regrets about the film. "I was able to show the power of Ferrari and it boosted my popularity,” he said. However, he said every time the story resurfaces it "agitates his haters more,” as the video attracted an extremely negative response in Japan. He also added it was "different time back then” when Midnight Club street races were regularly held.