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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Rare, tiny 1971 Honda N600, fully restored

Pick of the Day: Rare, tiny 1971 Honda N600, fully restored

The 2-cylinder sedan was the Japanese automaker’s first entry to the US market

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The diminutive Honda N600 was the first automobile officially sold in the United States by the Japanese company, arriving in 1969 as a 1970 model, and it seemed weird at the time since the Honda name had become so indelibly associated with motorcycles. 

So they became known as Honda cars and because of their tiny size and 600cc engines, were seen more as oddities than actual automobiles, like the bigger and better-established Datsuns and Toyotas of the time.  The N600 was the small start of something big, however, as Honda’s popularity took off with its next generation of cars imported to the U.S. and the Civic nameplate that’s still with us.

honda

The Honda N600 is the kind of quirky craft targeted by today’s collectors of little cars, many of whom gather every year in Pacific Grove, California, for the Little Car Show held during Monterey Car Week. 

The Pick of the Day is a great-looking example of a 1971 Honda N600, that has undergone a “nut-and-bolt restoration with no expense spared,” according to the Gladstone, Oregon, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.

honda, Pick of the Day: Rare, tiny 1971 Honda N600, fully restored, ClassicCars.com Journal

“Equipped with its original inline two-cylinder 600cc air-cooled engine, runs and drives excellent with no issues,” the seller says in the ad. “Painted in a high-quality Candy Apple Red paint job to show-quality standards.

“The stainless and chrome are all just like how it came from the factory. Equipped with disc brakes in the front, brand new wheels and tires, and custom rag top.”

honda, Pick of the Day: Rare, tiny 1971 Honda N600, fully restored, ClassicCars.com Journal

This would be such a fun car for tooling around town, sort of along the lines of a Fiat 500 – like Saturday’s Pick of the Day – or a Citroen 2CV, not going real fast or real far but enjoying the eye-catching style and novelty of the Honda N600, which was imported to the US for only three model years, 1970-72. 

The photos show that the wee Honda is in immaculate condition and apparently in perfect running order as well.

honda

“The interior was also restored and still presents very well with clean upholstery, matching door panels and a crack-free dash,” the seller notes. “All lights, gauges, switches and controls work properly.”

The asking price for this rare piece of Japanese car culture is $18,500.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Quote,
    “The diminutive Honda N600 was the first automobile officially sold in the United States by the Japanese company, arriving in 1969 as a 1970 model, and it seemed weird at the time since the Honda name had become so indelibly associated with motorcycles. ”

    I remember taking a Honda S600 sports car for a demo drive in 1965, so wouldn’t the S600 & the S800 be the first Honda vehicles to arrive at least here in Canada if not the States?
    I pulled up in my Austin Healey Sprite MK1 and when I drove the Honda the same way redlining at 4500RPM the salesman asked to take over to show what this baby could do and blew me away with his shifts at 9000RPM!

    • There were some gray-market S600s brought into the US — I knew a guy who had one — but the N600 was the first car that Honda officially exported to the US.

  2. My good friend and neighbor bought one of these brand new. He didn’t even make it home from the dealership when the engine blew. If I remember correctly, it had 14 miles on it.
    He had it towed back to the dealership expecting to get a replacement car because it was “brand new” and of course, they said no, he was stuck with the one he bought.
    The factory, not the dealership kept dragging their feet and blaming delays on shipping from Japan, After having to work with numerous consumer agencies, he finally got his car back from the dealer after almost 4 months.
    He was not a happy Honda owner

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