Barn Find Microcar: 1972 Honda N600

It’s hard to tell just how small these Hondas are even if I say that they’re just under ten-feet long. They’re about an inch or so longer than a Subaru 360, that’s small. This barn dweller is a 1972 Honda N600 and the seller has it listed here on eBay in Sugar Land, Texas. The current bid price is $1,075 and there is no reserve. Thanks to T.J. for sending in this tip!

“Yeah, what are the date codes on the tires?”, as someone always asks on another website. This one needs tires as a lot of old cars do, just plan on laying out $400-$800 for new tires with whatever four-wheeled vehicle that you buy online. It’s easier to plan for the worst as oftentimes when a vehicle shows up on a trailer and you go out in your driveway to see it for the first time… well, we’ve all been there to know that it can be disappointing.

That being said, this N600 does look incredibly solid and dent-free as far as I can tell from the vertical (my brain is on fire!) photos. The seller gives almost zero information on the car other than the Honda is original, the tires are flat, it’s been sitting for the last decade or decade-and-a-half, and it needs work. Oh yeah, they don’t know if the engine runs or not, or even turns over. Bummer.

The Honda N600 was a bigger-engine version of the Honda N360 which was made for Japan’s Kei car era where vehicles had certain tax and insurance advantages if their engines were under 360 CC. They hit the US market in 1969 as a 1970 model and hung out until 1973 or so, selling leftover 1972 cars. After that, the new Civic came out which was exponentially a much better car.

Sadly, it appears that there is a lot of squirrel debris and/or other rodent debris inside which is rarely good, but this whole car looks as if could be cleaned up to almost look like new again inside and out. That’s no doubt why the bid price is so high for a car that’s been sitting so long and looks so unloved. The seats do look almost perfect, though, and if not, early VW textured vinyl is as close of a match as you’ll find and is what many N600 restorers use.

The engine is pretty unique for a vehicle in the American market, it’s Honda’s 599 CC air-cooled, single-overhead-cam twin-cylinder with 42 horsepower. I’d like to own an N600 someday, have any of you had one? Would you take a risk on this one given how solid it looks?

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Ask the man who owned TWO 600s (one N like this, one Z coupe): these were beyond tiny! The same size as an original Mini, in fact. For all that, I (6’2″, 175 pounds) was comfortable in mine….

    The parts situation these days would bother me. I know some engine and brake parts are still available, but I know of no sources for trim items, original-style upholstery/carpets (never thought of the VW vinyl) or other things I’d want to lavish on this one if I lived closer to Texas and could haul it home.

    Which, BTW, I’d love to do. The fun-to-drive factor was strong with these; you could drive them at 10/10ths all day without attracting attention. I did, and got only one ticket in four years of 600 stewardship, when I should have gotten more. They were remarkably easy to work on as well, though so reliable that I didn’t spend much time wrenching.

    Like 20
  2. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    That is great information, RayT, thanks for sharing that!

    Like 7
  3. David Zornig

    Our Texaco had a `71.
    We mounted a bus battery in the back with 20 foot cables.
    Used it for service calls to reach cars our tow truck couldn’t after Chicago’s blizzard in `79.

    Like 7
  4. Bob

    A Scion IQ is 2 inches shorter than this car. 120.1 inches vs 122.1 inches for Honda. Scions are very dependable and have great parts availability

    Like 3
  5. Sam61

    One way U-Haul 12 foot box truck or long bed PU with some ramps to straddle the wheel humps. Ba dah bing… you’re home.

    Like 7
    • xrotaryguy

      You are very correct. I’ve done versions of both.

      Like 1
    • Frank M

      You are exactly right. I’ve see one in the back of a pickup.

      Like 1
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I still remember seeing a guy pushing his orange Z600 down the side of the rode with ease as we passed by in the bus on our way to school.

      Like 1
  6. Big C

    That’s nice that the seller left that chipmunk feeder in the back seat.

    Like 4
  7. John

    I read about Merciless Ming finding the first of these in America. Took him a year and a half to ink a deal with Honda to restore and sell it.
    I surmise that Merciless lived up to his name.

    Like 1
  8. princeofprussia

    The very first time I ever saw one of these, I was walking out of my junior high school to get on the school bus, and there was a 600 parked behind the bus picking up another student. Behind the school bus, this tiny car looked even tinier! It was my first sighting, and honestly, I don’t recall seeing another ever again, but I remember the early Civics with the overriders on the bumpers. Much more sophisticated, but not nearly as alien in the mid-’70’s. I’d love to acquire this, but it’s too far away, and I’m in the middle of another restoration, so someone else will get a fun and unique project!

    Like 2
  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    This is screaming for a Hayabusa engine swap. It’d be fun to drop an old H2 750 2 stroker in it but those have gotten to be too collectible.

    Like 3
  10. Patrick H Latunski

    I owned one in the 80″s. It had mini flares and mag wheels a huge leather steering wheel and full roll bar. Super fun to drive.

  11. Fernando Abruña

    Scotty:
    I’ve been following your interest in microcars for a while now. If you ever come down to Puerto Rico, let me know. I’ll be happy to show you my 28 microcar collection with some well known specimens like the BMW Isetta and Messerschmit KR, to other more obscure micros like the Cub Commuter and the Zoe Zipper. Unfortunately I don’t have a Honda 360 (which I like better than the 600…but can’ fit anymore in my storage space.
    Fernando Abruña

    Like 8
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You are too kind, sir. We had a trip planned to Puerto Rico a couple of years ago but it fell apart as a lot of things did in 2020. It would be an honor to visit! someday.

  12. Showbiz

    hello Barn Find Members
    I had a 1971 N600 got from a Awesome brother in 1973 who bought new ,was a awesome car would love to buy this and restore to bring back the awesome memories .. went through three girlfriends and a many hwy trips to lakes ,fun car that never let us down …..loved that little Honda Car and when back in the day always had to say Honda Car when telling any one about this little car

    Like 4
  13. Glenn Salada

    Very cool!!..I have owned a lot of collector cars, but one of my favorites was a 87′ Honda CRX SI…..it was funner than driving alot of other cars I owned…..a 87′ Toyota Van Wagon was my daily driver, that was very fun also to drive because the front wheels were directly under the driver and passenger seats, I could turn on a dime…..😊👍.happy bidding, this Honda looks fun.

    Like 1
  14. Aaaltered

    A neighbor used a small fleet of these for his newspaper delivery service. I remember seeing him bring a broken one home in the back of a 70’s pickup…

    Like 2
  15. Gary

    I had a Civic CVCC, it was a great little car. Probably hard to find 12″ tires to fix it now.

    Like 1
  16. Alida Baird

    I had a 72 like this in red/ black. Loved it. I was working as a Public Health Nurse and got reimbursed for my mileage by my employer. I made a tidy profit every month! It was a total blast to drive and I still am amazed that the CHP never got me for speeding.

    Like 1
  17. Rick in Oregon Rick in Oregon

    Ray T brings up a good point, having had a pair of these 20 years ago, they were difficult at best then to get parts for, I cannot imagine things have improved on that point today. Fun as hell to drive, my room mate at the time was 6’7″ and fit into the car with zero problems. TireRack.com was the only source for the 10″ tires when I looked years ago. EBay was about the only source finding parts that I had required for my repairs and that was spotty then……

    Like 1
  18. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one sold for $3,250.

  19. Chuck

    This is a 1971, not a 72.

    Like 1
  20. Showbiz

    Bringing back the memories again Chuck. yes the 72 was a different shape with smaller quarter windows and a different backend, another thing the kids did in Hi School to me , the dick heads ! was they picked my little Honda car up and put it on the boulevard , while thinking way back then… had the little Honda while building my sweet 67 SS Chevelle , I do believe I transported the 396 bare block to mechanics school in the Honda N600

    Like 1

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