Early this year, we reported that Honda commissioned a restoration of a very special N600, Vin #001. This N600 is one of the first 50 built in 1967, but more importantly, it's the first Honda automobile to ever hit U.S. soil. It sat dormant for nearly 50 years, but thanks to the work of an expert mechanic, N600 #001 is back.
Tim Mings, a Los Angeles-based Honda restorer, brought the N600 back to life as documented in a called Serial One. Mings had the car sitting outside his shop in unrestored shape for years before discovering that it was the first Honda brought to the U.S.
"I will never restore another car as important as this one," said Mings. To that effect, he went over every single nut and bolt on the car, bringing it back to factory-fresh condition.
Honda brought this N600 to the U.S. in 1969 initially for testing. The N600 was quite a revolutionary car, as it was significantly smaller and more efficient than the typical cars Americans drove at that time.
It was a precursor to the larger Honda Civic, a car that changed the auto industry when it debuted in 1972. It's fitting, then, that this N600 was restored to commemorate Honda's bold bet to convince Americans to buy a small, well engineered car.