Monday, May 17, 2010

1972 Honda N600

This was the first Honda automobile to be officially imported to the United States.It wasn't a huge seller, but it set the tone for things to come.

The N600 was front wheel drive and had a 600cc, 2 cylinder air-cooled engine. The engine was capable of 9000 RPM and put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 HP.It was not quick, 60 MPH took 19 seconds to achieve and it had a top speed of 80 MPH, but it was built as an economy car and it easily got 35 MPG.

Although the suspension was not sophisticated (beam axle/leaf spring in the rear), these cars supposedly handled well. Every now and then you'll see one today at an autocross event.

The car looks like a cross between a Mini and an Autobianchi A112 (which was introduced 2 years after the original N360). There are just enough touches of 1960s Japanese weirdness (such as the rear lights) to make it look unique.

This car appears to be in nice shape, although it doesn't seem like the seller knows much about it or has spent much time on it. The pictures aren't the best, but the body looks to be rust free and complete. (Old Hondas rusted badly, so it would be wise to check this car - or any N360 / N600 - out thoroughly before buying one.) The picture of the interior is blurry, but it seems to show a complete dash and good front seats and door panels. The seller says "the car runs and drives".

Not many of these cars were sold in the US, but it's a huge piece of history. The next car Honda sold in the US (not counting the Z600, which was similar to the N600) was the Civic and, of course, the rest is history.

Located in West Palm Beach, FL, click here to see the eBay listing.

1 comment:

Jon said...

It really depends what the reserve is on this one. It really has those Mini dimensions down pat and really does look like a "cross between a Mini and an Autobianchi A112." Speaking of the 112, I once had a neighbor who had an Abarth model. They were quite common. The "leboncoin" site from France has a number of them up for grabs.

Ebay has a AZ 600 "pregnant roller skate" for sale with a $5500 BIN, and a 1973 "rolling shell" which would be perfect for a Hayabusa conversion. Youtube has a video of such a car autocrossing.