Let’s Go! 1972 Honda Vamos

Since Barn Finds has fans around the globe, not just in the US, this may seem like a head-scratcher for you folks in the US. This is a 1972 Honda Vamos and it’s listed on the Trade Car View website and is located in Tokyo, Japan. They list an unusual asking price of $5,211, but they say that they’ll negotiate with their vehicle prices. And, for those folks who are in the US, they list a price including shipping to Tacoma, Washington as being approximately $6,243. They must take containers full of these Japanese market vehicles over because that’s darn inexpensive shipping from Japan to the US! You’ll still most likely have duties and customs headaches, and another shipping bill to pay to get it to your city. You can plug in different cities where they’ll ship it to in case you’re on the east coast or gulf coast, etc.

Ok, in looking at this vehicle, you may be in fact scratching your head as to why anyone would want a Honda Vamos! The story is that Honda only made about 2,500 of these rear-wheel drive vehicles to compete with the Suzuki Jimny and other more beach-going vehicles, sort of in the vein of a Mini Moke. These small, lightweight utility vehicles were popular in Europe in the 1970s and Honda wanted in on the action. They sure played up the utility and usefulness of the Vamos in their marketing material.

The Vamos, which is Portuguese for “Let’s go”, only came in a soft top version and customers could get a Vamos 2 or a Vamos 4, depending on the seating capacity that they needed. It sure is a cute little thing, isn’t it? The engine is in the middle, behind that door on the side and under an access panel inside, and that engine is a 354 CC air-cooled inline-two-cylinder with 30 hp. Since it had a removable canvas top, the gauges and switches are dust and waterproof. Here’s a YouTube video of a Vamos in the Honda Collection and it sure looks fun to me. It’s not a speed demon or something that you’d pull a horse trailer with, of course, but I think it would be a blast to drive around the neighborhood and I’m pretty sure that you’ll be the only Vamos owner at any car show that you enter it in, at least outside of Japan.

The seat looks a little nutty on the left side but the rest of the seating looks good. The Vamos has a 4-speed and of course it’s right-hand drive, so you’ll be shifting with your left hand unless you can somehow coordinate to have your passenger to do the shifting while you work the clutch. These vehicles aren’t for everyone, but I thought that those of you who enjoy seeing unusual vehicles might like this one. Did any of you know that Honda made such an unusual vehicle like the Vamos?


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  1. Dave Wright

    There were lots of strange little oriental cars built in those years. With left hand drive, this was never intended to leave the homeland. I have a friend in Germany that deals in this type car. They were all imported used from Japan at some point.

    • Dave Wright

      I guess no photos today………..

    • DAN

      it’s rhd Dave….

  2. Dave Wright


  3. Woodie Man

    Gimme a Fiat Jolly

  4. Fogline

    Looks a bit like a mini moke.

  5. JRATT1956

    Vamos = surely no one in their right mind would ever say even in the 1970’s
    Let’s Go to the Honda dealer and by one of these. Is this where VW got the idea for the THING?

  6. JW

    I must say I learn something new every day here on Barn Finds, never seen one of these. Would have been useful at our home in the country.

  7. Richie Rich

    Are you sure Vamos isn’t Spanish for “golf cart”?

  8. DW

    With a crash rating of IDOPIC (Instant Death or Permanent Injury Certain) and all the sex appeal of boiled radish, I can say definitively that I absolutely want one. I can imagine the strip, pulling up behind all the boys in their hot Camaros, Corvettes and Cudas and giving a little “meep meep” on the horn to grab all the babes’ attention. Should do wonders for my street cred.

  9. Jubjub

    Cool, if it’s not all pricy like a Japanese Jolly. I remember the die cast of this. I think it was made by Tomica. Unfortunately, it had a big Lucy or Snoopy in the driver seat.

  10. David

    There’s one in Nashville…

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