The Pirate at the Helm
The HoneyBadger’s own Flagship is, quite literally, the flagship vehicle of the Badger Brigade. Although it has taken many forms over the years – Porsche 944’s, Mazda RX-7’s, and Nissan 240’s – the pirate flag became notorious for the aggressive and clean driving of Joe Freeman, the pirate at the helm.
What began as a Halloween costume for the HoneyBadger’s car (a watercolor painting of a pirate ship, complete with makeshift pirate flag) became somewhat of a running gag, and now evokes groans and exhales from competitors who are pitted against the Flagship, currently taking the form of the white Nissan 240sx. Freeman’s style is technical, smooth but viciously aggressive when the situation calls for it. The scars and dents and paint he steals from competitors can attest to his motto, “HoneyBadger (don’t care)”. Freeman and his Flagship currently tie for second place for the overall 2019 competition season.
His Weight in Salt
The current incarnation of the Flagship car is a 1989 Nissan 240sx, but only so much as the body. Under the hood, a turbocharged RB20DET motor; a dual over head cam 2.0 L inline-6 motor that came factory in both the 1985–1990 HR31 Nissan Skyline and the 1983-1989 Nissan Fairlady 200ZR (Z31 chassis). Originally naturally-aspirated, then turbocharged with a big-boy Mitsubishi Evo turbo, the RB20DET in the Flagship went back to a factory RB20DET turbo after too much power blew out the composite wheels from both ends of the turbo. After adding an aftermarket manifold to the stock turbo, Tial 38mm external wastegate, and while using the same IC piping as before, the RB20 shoots angry flames from the hood, where the exhaust now exits. Under the chassis, performance suspension and custom modified knuckles allow the ship to sail smoothly over rough seas.
Aesthetically, the HoneyBadger is not known for beautiful cars, but as stated before, HoneyBadger don’t care. However, with the performance issues under control and reliability seemingly holding strong, the Badger turned his attention to making competitors cry harder when they were out-driven by a shiny show-quality car. Recently repainted and adorned with a new flag, the Flagship is a pearl, but just as aggressive and dangerous as ever.
As if in protest to its new sparkly look, it didn’t take long for the Badger and Flagship to earn a few battle scars, as if to reassure us that the superficial appearance will not hinder the aggression we have come to expect. Although we are sure to expect changes to the build and appearance, and perhaps even the chassis itself, the Flagship is defined by its HoneyBadger captain and its hoisted Jolly Roger.