Norm Reeves Honda Show
December 2, 2007 -
Words by Ben Hsu, Photos by Dan Hsu
kay, so despite dominating the sport compact scene for much of the 90s, Honda doesn't quite have the same following as old school Datsuns and Toyotas. You'd be mistaken to interpret this as a lack of heritage or engineering virtuosity, however. More likely, Honda's diminutive presence has to do with the size of their cars and their lateness to market. Unlike most other Japanese marques, Honda didn't even exist as a company until after World War II, and their initial foray into the US was with a tiny 36hp car.
Clearly, the average vintage Honda owner is no less fanatical about his or her car. There's just fewer of them. After all, it takes devotion - and nerves of titanium - to drive cars of limited practicality weighing only 1200 pounds on SUV and 18-wheeler clogged freeways. Although it's not clear from this photo
, even the Fit, one of the smallest cars on the road today, absolutely towers over the N600 in person.
We met Tim Mings of Merciless Mings
, the Honda N600 and Z600 specialist. If he doesn't have a part for your compact Honda classic, it probably doesn't exist. The man is a character all right, and his reputation for mercilessness is not unwarranted. Like a banana republic dictator, he once threatened to cut off his supply of parts to an owner who wanted to paint his car an non-factory bright yellow. Faced with that choice, the owner immediately saw the brilliance of Mings' argument. However, if there's one thing Mings' mercilessness is surpassed by, it's his support for the vintage Japanese car scene. He's a true supporter, even if Datsun and Toyota owners don't exactly have overflowing love for Hondas.
This show was the second such event for Norm Reeves Honda, but the first to include vintage cars. For that, we have first-time organizer Brian Khou, who wasn't yet born when these cars were new, and the enlisted help of the JCCS crew
to thank, for hoping to school the tuner crowd about the old school itself.