Restoring the First U.S. Honda N600 – Serial #1

Discussion in 'In the News' started by ALS, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    [​IMG] This is one for the Honda guys to add to their favorites. You can follow the complete restoration of the very first Honda automobile imported to the United States, N600-1000001.

    Al S. – CleanMPG – Mar. 21, 2016

    The story of American Honda's first N600 vehicle in the United States in 1969 unfolds through the eyes of a determined mechanic, taking viewers on a journey to restore the first American Honda VIN, "Serial One." Launching today on Honda's social channels and at, Honda's new weekly online content series pays homage to the company's roots in America and reflects the challenging spirit of Honda by featuring an in-depth look at the step-by-step restoration of the N600 by Los Angeles-based mechanic Tim Mings.

    In 1969, after a decade of growth that led to Honda becoming the top-selling motorcycle manufacturer in America and the world, Honda embarked on a new mission to sell cars in the United States. Honda entered the U.S. market with the Honda N600, which was just 122 inches in length and could actually fit between the wheels of some full size vehicles in America, which measured up to 225 inches in length and weighed nearly twice as much as the NSX.

    The N600 had an all-alloy engine that could achieve 9000 rpm and reach speeds of 81 miles per hour. A simple, yet skillfully designed vehicle, the N600 was nimble and fuel-efficient, characteristics it shares with today's Honda's, and helped paved the way for the quality and reliability for which Honda vehicles have become known.

    SerialOne - Honda N600 Restoration Campaign

    Are you ready for the journey?​

    Alicia Jones, Honda social media manager:
    Episode one begins with an introduction to acclaimed mechanic Tim Mings, known for his incredible ability to bring the most destructed of vehicles back to life, specifically for his experience in working with N600's, having owned one himself, and having restored more than 1,000 N600 vehicles throughout his career, but none as special as Serial One. After collecting dust in a junk pile for almost 50 years, a twist of fate helps "Serial One" find its way to Honda and the right man who can restore it to its former glory.

    The "Serial One" series documents the very first N600's journey to make an incredible comeback, sharing Mings' progress and some special surprises along the way. Each week fans can follow the journey as Honda brings an important piece of its history back to life. Fans can follow the progress on the Honda social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram in addition to

    You can follow its progress over at this website
    Jay likes this.
  2. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Any vids of a small over lap crash test?
  3. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    THIS is cool!
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi George:

    Here is the 1969 Honda N600 IIHS Small Overlap Crash Test result. ;)

    Smashed Tomato.jpg

    priusCpilot, BillLin and rhwinger like this.
  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The Honda 600 sedan was my first car. I bought it used for $300 when I started college. New, it was $1200--less than a new driver seat for my Acura RSX. I loved that car! It was so fun to drive and handled beautifully! It had an air-cooled 600cc twin about 35hp and a non-syncromesh 4-speed which really slowed it down because you had to wait for revs to match before you could shift to the next gear. I got 50mpg and used it mostly for highway driving. I even did a top-end overhaul on it during Christmas break. They're very special cars and well worth preserving.
    TheStepChild and xcel like this.
  6. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I saw one pretty close up at a local auto show. I like it a lot. Never saw one on the street , but I did see a Subaru 360 on the street in 1972 in Utah. Not sure if that car was ever sold in "civilized" parts of the country.
    xcel likes this.
  7. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot George

    Nice Tomatoes are great for your prostate but not the N600 lol.
    xcel likes this.
  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    So , I'm probably safer getting hit on my bicycle ?
    xcel likes this.
  9. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    xcel and Jay like this.
  10. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Now see; that craigslist guy wants $7500 for a used-up, wrecked-out Honda 600 that only cost $1200 new. How many other crapped-out economy cars are worth 6x their new purchase price 46 years later?
    xcel likes this.
  11. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Mings finished his restoration of this car. What a gem!

    ALS and xcel like this.
  12. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    One of the few Hondas i actually like.....
    xcel likes this.
  13. I remember sitting in the back seat of one of these. So small back there I would sit sideways as we cruised around looking for trouble
  14. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    I've had 4 adults in mine. Two of them were short and sat in the back. The heater really had trouble keeping up in the winter because it just blew a little hot air off the exhaust manifold. With 4 guys the windows would fog pretty badly in winter. Another problem was that I would park it in the college parking lot and sometimes it would be in a different spot when I went back to my car. Pranksters would pick it up by the bumpers and move it.
  15. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    I have a feeling alcohol might have been involved in your cars late night meanderings....
    As to the heat, that's pretty much the same as driving a beetle. The old joke was;
    Q; how do you double the amount of heat inside a beetle in the winter?
    A: waive the cigarette lighter around.
    Jay likes this.

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