Honda AN600

Just thought some of you Honda owners would like to see this.
A shot of my Honda AN600, back in the early 70's. This vehicle was one of the first 200 Honda cars ever imported into the USA. I bought
it at Honda of Santa Ana in California in late 1970 or early 71. It was sold as a 1971 model year.
It had a 598 cc. motorcycle engine, top speed just over 80mph, better downhill with a tailwind. It weighed about 1300 lbs., and cost about a dollar a pound at the time.
There was no fanfare when these cars arrived in the US, they just slowly began to appear on the roads. When I first started driving it, some people refused to believe it was a Honda. "Honda doesn't make cars!" was a common remark.
There's an unusual story involving how I first saw the car, but I'll spare you, unless there's any interest.
http://members.cox.net/ljvideo/images/Honda_AN600.jpg
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Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail

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Larry, I am interested in hearing the unusual story!

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Ah-ha... A victim...
Okay. Way back then, I was driving past a huge area at the Port of Long Beach where Japanese cars were parked after being unloaded from the cargo ships. At my distance, I noticed what apeared to be a small field of Mini Coopers.
Too far away to be certain, I drove up to the fence, but still couldn't get a close look. I saw a guard and asked him what was parked there. He was able to check some manifest stickers on the cars, and came back and told me that they were Hondas, and that a number of them were consigned to Honda of Santa Ana, a well-known motorcycle dealership.
A few days later, I went to the dealer and immediately became an owner of one of the first 200 Honda cars ever imported into the US.
I kept the AN600 for about three years, and traded it for a 1974 Civic. I believe that the first year for the Civic was 1973, so I was still an early adopter of Hondas.
I have not had another Honda until this year, when I got a 2005 Pilot.
A sidebar:
I was in the USMC at the time, stationed near Santa Ana. When I drove the car on base, a couple of other officers who had been in Japan told me that they had seen that model there, but it had a chain drive. Before Honda could export to the US, they had to design a more traditional automobile transmission, as the chain would not be allowed here.
Honda's solution included a shift lever which hung off the dashboard, with rather wonky linkage to the transmission. It was quite sloppy and loose, but it got the job done.
The AN600 delivered between 40 and 50mpg.
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Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail

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I wonder how accurate those servicemen were who told you that. What about all those motorcycles on US roads with chain drive?
How's *this* for Honda automotive chain drive? Those clever little Japanese!
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/misc/honda_chains.jpg
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TeGGeR

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Hey, it's the weekend. Time to shoot the shit. Let's hear it.

And here's a view from the front.
http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/misc/honda600.jpg
Weren't those things air-cooled?
Another little historical tidbit: Apparently, the very first Civic ever sold in Canada was sold by Dalt's Honda in Toronto in June 1973. Dalt's later bought the car back from the buyer, and gave him/her/it (I forget) another one. I'm told that this first Civic is still in their showroom, if anyone wants to go look. http://www.daltshonda.com/home.html
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TeGGeR

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said:

It's posted now.

Yes, they were air-cooled. I had forgotten that fact.
That blue does not look like an original color. I remember them coming in yellow (mine), white and red. Could have been more, but I don't remember.
The next model year, 72 maybe, the body was redesigned to be more rounded and coupe-like.
I've got several other photos of my AN600. Maybe I'll scan a few. Wish I still had it. It's gotta be worth something...
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Larry J. - Remove spamtrap in ALLCAPS to e-mail

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Larry J. wrote:
|
http://members.cox.net/ljvideo/images/Honda_AN600.jpg
Thanks much, you and TeGGeR, for sharing those pics. If I had more time I wouldn't mind having one of those (or the N360 ;) Talk about cars with character...
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