The Honda Civic has been around in one form or another since 1972. But before the Civic, there was the Honda N600. The first Honda car in the US was a tiny, lightweight vehicle the size of a Mini Cooper, with a 45-horsepower, two-cylinder engine. It was sold through motorcycle dealerships, in the few years before the first Civic made Honda a real name selling cars in America. So, needless to say, N600s are pretty rare nowadays.
Restoring the First Honda Car in America
Recently, one mechanic discovered that the rusty old N600 he’d rescued from a junk pile was actually the very first N600 prototype ever made: Serial number N600-1000001. The N600 is rare, but these prototypes are even rarer. Only three of them still exist today. Honda has commissioned a full restoration of the historic vehicle, with a web series to document the process. Once it’s complete, the car will eventually be displayed at Honda’s heritage center, right here in Ohio.
You can follow the restoration project at www.serialone.com, where new web series episodes will go up every week. Here’s the first episode, an introduction to the lucky mechanic who’s doing the job: