$4,500 Brown Shoe: 1972 Honda AZ600 Coupe

081016 Barn Finds - 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe - 1

This Phoenix, Arizona car is a 1972 Honda AZ600 Coupe. It can be found on Craigslist with an asking price of $4,500 or best offer! I love how coincidental it is that a car called an AZ600 is in Arizona. Technically, the 600s sold in the US were designated AZ600 or AN600, but the A is typically dropped off for some odd reason.

081016 Barn Finds - 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe - 2

The Honda AZ600 Coupe was available in the US a few months after the Honda AN600 Sedan was introduced in 1970. It had a short run of only two years and they’re rare little buggers to get a hold of now, especially for anywhere near this price in anywhere near this nice condition. In 1973, Honda introduced the four-cylinder Civic and it was the end of the 600 series, at least in the gas-crunched US. There are no interior photos included in the ad, but the seller says that an interior kit is included. It should look like this in there.

081016 Barn Finds - 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe - 3

This car looks too nice to be priced at just $4,500 to me. And, I know some (most?) of you will say that you wouldn’t pay $4.50 for this car it were like new. But, unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you know that vintage/nostalgic Japanese cars have taken off and are hot, hot, hot right now. These regularly sell for $15,000+ on a bad day in restored condition. 15,500 of these AZ600 Coupes were sold in the US and a good portion of those have rusted away by now, which makes this such a good find with probably less than 1,000 of these left in either coupe or sedan form. You can see that this was a yellow car by the interior painted portions seen through the windows. I like brown cars but I’m a purist by heart so I would want this to be its original yellow color. So, add in a couple of grand for prep and paint; bummer.

081016 Barn Finds - 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe - 4

This is Honda’s 598 cc twin-cylinder engine with around 36 hp; basically a Honda motorcycle engine. The seller says that this car “runs and drives pretty good”. I’m not sure what it needs but if it doesn’t run and drive excellently than it needs some work. You can pull this and rebuild it on your kitchen table, and you should do that. The thought is with these engines that if it works it’s good, but it typically will need to be gone through with new gaskets and other things. These engines rev like a hummingbird up to 6,000 rpm and if they aren’t maintained there could be a problem. I think this is a great deal, especially in today’s vintage/nostalgic Japanese car market. Have any of you owned or driven one of these little twin-cylinder Hondas?

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Comments

  1. dirtyharry

    I can’t find any appeal in a “clown” car. What would you do with it, besides take it to a car show? Likely nothing. The first time a suburban with a mom and her cell phone in one hand almost took me out, I was so glad I was driving big American iron.

    • Scotty Staff

      This isn’t a car for everyone, dirtyharry. I don’t expect everyone to like these things, and that’s ok, as long as I like them and a few folks share my interests that’s what this site is all about. If we just showed the same cars every day, day in and day out, things may get a little dull. This is a car for goofing around the neighborhood in and for taking to car shows as you mention, not for driving cross-country on the freeway.

  2. RayT Member

    I owned one, but mine came from the factory in a gloss-olive-drab color. It replaced a 600 sedan in which I racked up the better part of 100K trouble-free miles in two years. I would have kept the sedan, but the Coupe looked so much zoomier! For the price, you couldn’t go wrong.

    It could cruise all day at 60-70 mph, except on steep hills, got great gas mileage, and never caused me a problem. Being young and naive, I drove it on several round-trip runs between L.A. and San Francisco. By the time I’d done that a couple of times, I could “draft” 18-wheelers like Dale Earnhardt drafted Darryl Waltrip!

    This is tempting, though as Scotty says the paint needs to go and just for peace-of-mind I’d go through the engine and make sure everything is copacetic before putting it on the road.

    The only drawback I can see is that finding parts can be a problem. Granted, I haven’t spent much time looking (don’t have another 600 yet) but cursory searches suggest a lot of items you’d want for a proper restoration simply aren’t out there.

  3. Tony

    I’ve driven one and they are very fun-definately a slow car fast sort of thing.
    They sound good too when you are trying to squeeze every last bhp out

    • RayT Member

      There is nothing like a car you can drive flat-out to practice your “racing” skills without anyone noticing! The only other car I know of that fits in that class is the Citroen 2CV….

  4. Fred w.

    Wish I had a crystal ball. We go from “who would want to collect any of this junk we’re driving now” to “wish I had put several of those in a barn” in the span of just 30 years.

    • RayT Member

      Fred, I wish I had stashed my two — coupe and sedan — in a barn and kept them for later revival!

      Of course I can say that about quite a few of the cars I’ve disposed of over the years: no “classics” to speak of — except for the Healey 100, 3000 and Frogeye Sprite — but many were far better than I gave them credit for at the time.

  5. bradshaw

    It was great fun. Got rubber in first and second…hit almost 80….handled like a go cart…could drive on a sidewalk right up to front doors….in a bad rain drove under a store awning (store was closed!) …..fun car…
    driving a slow car fast is more fun than having to drive a fast car slow….

  6. Ben T Spanner

    My friend sold them new at a Chevy dealer. Price out the door with tax etc was $1967. I wanted a V6 Capri and they became available. I kept the Capri 1 year and sold it for just about what I paid. I then found a used 1972 Z600 in orange. The owner’s manual said “when encountering a pedestrian on the roadway, one should tootle one’s horn trumpet.”

    I drove my friend’s 1972 yellow Z600 150 miles on the interstate. The only thing I passed was a Subaru 360. My friend’s brother just had to have a Z600, so I sold mine to him.

  7. wynkin

    I just learned a new word ‘copacetic’ – never heard it used in English, English.

  8. Scott

    My Dad had a motorcycle shop & we a AZ600 we used to run parts down. Let’s look at some other micro cars like a Smart Car they say starts @ $12,500 but your going to end up on the north side of $20,000, talk about depreciation they have no resale value what so ever. How about a Nash Metropolitan a neat car these all have a following. In October 1973 OPEC raised oil from $3.00 a barrel to $12.00 you couldn’t find a AZ600. ’79 if you had a ’72 AZ600 you could get double what you paid for it new. A over used phrase in the car industry is,well it was a car ahead of its time the AZ600 was. In 2010 Barrett Jackson sold one for $27,500 was it worth it? Who knows? Value is based on what somebody is willing to pay, just like in the corporate world your only worth what somebody is willing to pay you.

  9. dr.d Member

    These are very cool little cars to drive. it’s a streetable go cart with enough go to leave you grinning for hours.

  10. Chas

    These little Z600’s are a blast to drive! Definitely NOT a clown car at all.
    Pretty much stone cold reliable, so long as the timing chain rollers have been replaced or are not too dried out. They are fast, fun and handle just like a go-kart. Do not dismiss one of these until you have actually driven one. They are the most fun that you can have with your pants on, and even more fun without them.
    This looks like a very nice example at a very fair price, although I prefer the original colors on these cars, and brown is certainly not one of them.
    I have owned eight of these over the years. I still have four Z600s, and am considering selling two of them to help fund my daughters’ college tuition and the completion of our new building.
    One is a very nice original which has just had the entire engine gone through, and the other is a restoration project that is about 85% completed including gorgeous fresh paint in the original “Pop Orange” color.
    So, if you are serious about buying a Z600 in the original color, give me a shout at chasgould@mac.com.

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