The tiny S600 and S800 were Soichiro Honda’s original sports cars

The tiny Honda S600 and S800 are among Honda’s first production cars, and they’re also the purest representation of what Soichiro Honda wanted from his automaker.

Fans of Japanese small sports cars should head to BH Auction’s Collection No. 9 sale, as two of the first and finest examples of the breed are currently on sale until February 27. While you’ll notice a drool-worthy Hakosuka Nissan Skyline GTR is also up for grabs, what really caught our attention were the Honda S600 and S800 – some of Honda’s original sports cars and ancestors of performance icons such as the NSX and S2000. Let’s start with the older of the two: a 1964 Honda S600 that has just benefited from a complete restoration. This car came just as Honda was making the transition from motorcycle production to a full-fledged automaker. As a result, it has a few features you’d expect to see on something two-wheeled rather than four-wheeled, like a chain drive rather than a shaft drive and a small, high-revving 606cc engine, as per Japanese regulations on Kei cars. Despite the lack of engine capacity, this little wonder develops an impressive 57 hp (keep in mind that was in the 60s) and weighs only 695 kg.

Next up is this stunning 1968 Honda S800 M Coupe, a hardtop development of the S600 featuring a larger 791cc engine that can howl at up to 9,500 rpm. Equipped with quadruple carburettors and 70 raging Shetland ponies, the S800 could reach an impressive speed of 160 km/h. Still weighing just 720kg, the S800, like the S600, represented Soichiro Honda’s original vision for a fun, lightweight sports car – a recipe that lives on today in the form of the Mazda MX-5 and Lotus. Elise. Both of these cars are from a time when Honda was determined to wow the world and put itself on the map, and given how good these little cars look and how fun they are to drive, it’s no surprise that Honda has achieved the global dominance it enjoys. today.

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