$3K For The Lot: Honda N600 Projects

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When I saw the words on this listing for “First Honda Car”, I wondered if someone had found a super low VIN number on an ancient Civic. Well, these are ancient Civics – specifically N600s – but the seller wasn’t referring to any sort of numeric symbolism when advertising his lot of potential Honda projects here on craigslist. These little N600s are picking up some steam value-wise, but it’s hard to tell if any one of these can be restored. 

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The seller claims these cars are all complete enough that they won’t be scrapped. That’s encouraging, since we have certainly seen other examples where landowners or scrap yard overseers are quick to dispose of anything in their way. Given the popularity of these old Hondas, I don’t think $3K for the lot is a terrible price if you wanted part them out to keep a few others on the road. If you’re just looking to preserve your own fleet, however, that price might seem steep.

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Clearly, the red and tan N600s above are in better shape that this blue one, which is effectively a hulk at this point. But maybe the interior is solid or it has good floors. Obviously, the air-cooled two-cylinder engine derived from Honda’s motorcycle lineup is long-gone, but these cars were always a bit short on power anyway. Perhaps there’s a livelier sportbike engine that could be swapped in? Given the completeness of the other cars by comparison, this blue will likely become a sheet metal donor.

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And if anyone in the Northeast is looking for a good parts donor, I happen to know where one is sitting! Truth be told, I really dig these little cars and I’ve thought long and hard about trying to rescue the one above. It would be a sweet project, especially with the rust-stained paint just begging for a layer of clear-coat to be splashed on it. Well, do you think this seller in Nashville will get his full-price offer? What do you suppose is the best fate for these vintage N600s? And should I try to rescue this one sitting in a junkyard?

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Comments

  1. Gene

    The N-600 with Serial #1 has been found and is now being restored. Honda has set up this website to follow the restoration.

    http://www.serialone.com/

  2. Puhnto

    These are great fun to drive. Lots of shifting and flat out all the time. When they first came out they were $1395.

  3. Mark S Member

    When my wife and I were young and poor we had two 4 cylinder civic drivers a 1975/76 and one parts car. The two drivers were yellow and blue, and at the time my Daughter was about three years old, she referred to the the car as blue berry and mustard. Those two cars were great little cars that served us well for about five years and they were beaters when we got them. Cool find

  4. Thomas Allen

    As a check writer or flipper you might not wanna do it. If you want to just play with it. Do it. Personally, I buy old cars just for the pure joy of fixing them and driving them. That’s something a lot of car builders never get to experience.

  5. z1rider

    I am the original and current owner of one of the last AN 600’s to arrive in the U.S. They came so late mine was incorrectly titled as a 1973, though it is a 1972. Around where I lived they were just known as “Honda cars”, since previously Honda was only known for it’s motorcycles.

    As far as it’s having a “motorcycle engine”, well all you can say is that like Honda motorcycles it is air cooled and certainly the carburetor looked exactly like the 4 Honda would later use on the first Gold Wings, but other than that it was a unique design. The engine it might have reminded most people of was the 450. However, the 450 was DOHC, these 600’s were SOHC. Honda never made a 600 cc vertical twin. Till that time the 450 was the largest. Also, the AN600 had to have a differential and that is in unit with the transmission and engine, all 3 lubed by engine oil.

    These are gaining popularity but I suspect these are parts cars at best. One of the most expensive and hard to find parts is the roller crankshaft so if those are good these could be worthwhile but $3000 seems a stretch to me.

  6. rangeroger

    The first Honda cars were the S600 sports cars of the mid ’60s. 4 cyl inline with 4 speed that ran into a diff and axle assembly that had sprockets and chain drive to the rear wheels.
    That being said, I bought a N600 in 1971 and loved it. Began autocrossing it and met another owner doing the same thing. We proceed to team up and ran his car in SCCA D sedan. I drove my car to the races as the support vehicle and if anything broke on his car we pulled the part off mine to keep him running.
    Biggest thrill I had was running mine at Ontario Motor Speedway to get my Solo license. Nothing quite like being wound out at 85 mph on the back straight and have a Corvette and 911 come past between 160 and 180.
    Talk about getting your doors sucked off.

  7. RobM

    Of course you should rescue the junk yard car! Was that a rhetorical question?

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