1970 Honda N600: 25 Year Hiatus

1970 Honda N600

I can understand a car sitting for 5 years. Heck, maybe even 10. But some of the numbers I see on classifieds listing really surprise me, as I generally can’t let 2 or 3 days go by before I feel guilty not running one of my two project cars. Still, that hasn’t stopped this classic Honda N600 commuter from sitting 25 years indoors waiting to see the light of day, and it’s available here on Houston’s craigslist for only $1,700. These little cars may not look like much, but their values continue to increase. There’s one on eBay right now with a starting bid of $5,000, so this seems cheap in comparison even with its non-running status. I’d optimistically guess it’s a simple problem since these cars weren’t too complicated. Throw on some modest fender flares and lower it onto a set of Minilites and you’ve got a great alternative to the Mini Cooper. Have these gas-sippers aged well enough that you’d take on a cheap project like this long-stored 1970 example?

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Comments

  1. MH

    Fun little car. Check for rust before buying.

  2. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    I almost purchased one of these a while back. A lady had one that had been restored by a guy who was into Minis. She had it parked outside under a tarp and it was killing me to know that it was quickly deteriorating out there. I couldn’t come up with any other reason to buy it though. She was asking $4k and ended up selling to some guy back east who wanted to park it in front of his business. They are unique, but it’s a hard sell. What do you do with them? They are not worth enough to qualify as an investment and not capable enough to drive everyday. The larger engine does help though I guess, so maybe you could do it if you started off the highway. See, I want to like them!

  3. RayT Member

    Jesse, they are not as slow as they seem! I owned a ’70 N600, followed by a ’72 Z600, and fervently wish I still had either/both. I used them for commuting all over Southern California, plus a number of jaunts to San Francisco in the N. If you had the nerve to slipstream 18-wheelers, the little thing would scoot along quite nicely.

    The only mechanical problem I had with either was a bent valve on the N. Replaced that in the driveway and was back on the road the same day.

    A few years ago I nosed around a bit, and found the parts situation pretty desperate. A lot of mechanical bits and trim are simply unavailable. I’m not a fan of replacing wear parts used bits in engine or brakes. And most of the cars I saw were in pretty poor shape.

    But yes, I would drive one every day if necessary. One can push it to its limit just about anywhere without attracting attention, which I consider a real plus.

    • MikeH

      I drove a Citroen 2CV [600 cc as well] around Europe and you’re right, it does take real nerve to slipstream 18 wheelers. You can’t see anything except the back of the truck about 5m in front of you.

  4. John

    I had a red one. It was a fun little car, but it was made out of water soluble steel. Its little two-cylinder motor buzzed along in town OK, but on the highway it was challenged — and that was in the 55 mph speed limit era. The plastic they used on the interior had the most awful odor. The motor looked much like a motorcycle motor with its little Mikuni carburetor but apparently, there were no parts that interchanged with anything with two wheels. I drove it my last two years of grad school and traded it even for a 1968 Volvo 144 that didn’t run. The Volvo had both throttle dampers corroded to where they would not let the pistons move. When I cleaned them it ran perfectly. Fortunately, we had already signed the titles over and I was headed back to Colorado. the Honda was a fun little car, but I never missed it when it was gone. I had the Volvo for 15 years.

  5. Randy

    I had 2 of these also, back in the early 80’s when I was in the USAF @ Dyess AFB. I’d drive the good one back and forth from abilene to Dallas! It would do 85 mph behind a truck, but if I tried to pass a truck, I’d get pushed back. The timing chain wore a hole between the cyinders on the block. I bought a new block from Honda of North America for $90.00.

  6. DT

    A few years back I was rolling down the freeway, and was passed by a N600,Well that didnt sit too well with me,so I sped up but never did catch him. That didnt sit too well either.

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