Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Honda S600/S800 - or how the Japanese reinvented the sportscar

The Honda S600/S800 is one of the smallest real sportscars in existence. 3.3 m length, 1.43 m width and 1.2 m height, combined with a 531 ccm, later 606 ccm and 798 ccm engine and an open or closed body. Can this really be a sportscar? Sounds more like a Mini doesn't it? Well, if you have ever driven (or at least heard) one then you won't doubt. The high revving engine (ca. 8'000 rpm) is able to generate an impressive performance. These cars were so good that they were used as race cars in the sixties, Denis Hulme for example won his class in 1964 at the Nurburgring 500 km race with an S600. And the journal Hobby even achieved a world speed record while test driving the car. Between 1963 and 1970 Honda built roughly 26'000 cars, of which one third were Coup├ęs. Good cars are quite valuable these days, you can easily pay 15'000 Euros for an S600/S800 today in Europe.
The pictures shown here stem from an early sales brochure for the S500/S600.

No comments: