Honda N600 Spotted at Local Cruise-In With Nissan Friend In Tow
This tiny Honda N600 may not look like much, but it paved the way for the company’s success in America.
We’re hoping that your Memorial Day weekend was a good one, spent relaxing, being with family and friends, and remembering the sacrifices made by our fallen troops. After a parade in the morning and grilling in the afternoon, we went to a car show in the evening.
The Riverfront Cruise-In is held every Monday evening in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a suburb of Akron. As you might expect, most of the cars in attendance were chrome-laden, V8-powered behemoths from the golden age of American cars.
We were shocked to see this Honda N600 and Nissan Pao, alongside it. Naturally, the two “outcasts” of the show gravitated towards each other and parked side by side. They might even be friends who came together – we’re not sure, as we couldn’t find the owners.
However, we did notice a ton of positive comments about both cars from attendees. The two small Japanese cars were certainly attracting a lot of attention in a sea of Corvettes, Mustangs, and classic pickup trucks.
Seeing a pair of classic Japanese cars in the heart of the Rust Belt is a rare occasion – especially when one of the cars (The Nissan Pao) was never even sold here in the first place. The Honda N600, on the other hand, is a very important part of Honda’s history in America.
The N600 was the very first Honda car sold in the United States. Sold here between 1970 and 1972, it offered something of a stepping stone from Honda’s burgeoning success in the American motorcycle market to the automobile market.
The N600 is a pretty advanced piece of machinery, with an all-aluminum, overhead-cam 600cc engine producing up to 45 horsepower with a 9,000 RPM redline.
This particular example, displayed with its original window sticker, was originally sold new at an Oldsmobile dealer in Portland, Oregon. We learn a few other pieces of info, too: the subdued, non-metallic red color was officially called “Magna Red,” and the base price was $1,473. That’s roughly equivalent to just under $10,000 today – talk about a bargain!
At that price, many skeptical Americans took a chance on the tiny Japanese car. About 25,000 folks bought N600s in the three years they were sold here. Sales started in late 1969, stopping in 1972 to make way for a larger, more powerful car better suited for American roads: the Civic. It’s hard to overstate how important this tiny car really is.