This decrepit looking Honda N600 was one of the most important cars at the Japanese Classic Car Show last weekend. Why? Because it is the very first Honda automobile built for the US. That’s right, this faded lime green hatch barely larger than a picnic basket is the one that blazed the trail for all your beloved Civics, Integras, and NSXes.
The little pioneer was purchased by Honda N and Z600 restoration specialist Tim Mings at the Pomona Swap Meet about 10 years ago. Tim didn’t even realize what he had until years later, when he cleaned the grime off of the VIN stamping to reveal the serial number: N600-1000001, making it the first car Honda built for US export.
If you want to hear Tim tell the story in his own words, check out the Petersen Museum’s CarStories podcast (in which I make a cameo as well). The car was on display at Honda’s booth, and Tim will soon be restoring it for American Honda. Mings is the nation’s foremost expert on these cars and has restored others for Honda before. Here’s a blue one he worked on and showed at SEMA a few years ago. You’ll be able to follow along this project with the hashtag #HondaSerialOne. The goal is to show the finished car at JCCS next year.
That Ming guy was a terrible interviewee.
The “Ming guy” your commented on (Tim Mings) is not a movie star, he is the master Honda N/Z 600 Honda restorer in the US. His Honda cars and old Honda motorcycle restorations speak for themselves.
How do you figure it was a bad interview? I just listened and enjoyed the whole podcast quite a bit. Mr Mings was well spoken, enthusiastic, and excited.
I mean, I’ve spoken with hundreds of car guys who couldn’t put three words together in a coherent manner.
There is a great article in Hemmings. This dude is a great Honda guy – good article on Tim.
Amazing that it survived! Such a cool piece of history.
I almost don’t want it restored. It was so cool to see though
Having the opinion of not restoring it is certainly valid.
Unrestored cars definitely have their place and people who appreciate them:
I wouldn’t do it.
Just the thought of being under the scrutiny of Honda enthusiasts worldwide to restore it PERFECTLY makes me nauseous.
It’s a masochist’s dream come true though…”bring the pain!”
Best of luck to him.
Glad I’m not the only one here. I’m sure Mings is magnificent and all but when it’s done, you’ve lost more than you’ve gained.
Agreed. Not sure what the goal is, but I like it as it is.
wow, brilliant find!
It is great that this Honda was found !!
His restorations are as good as factory original. He just got done restoring an AA600 (that’s right, an automatic) for Honda and you could almost smell the new.
What an awesome little car! It’s almost a shame to restore it, but it’ll be neat to see how it looks when it’s done.
Lot of pressure from you guys……But I’m up to the challenge! If the car still had its original paint, I would have to do some soul searching……But, since somewhere down the line it was painted that “pleasant” shade of Kermit the frog green, pretty sure I’m doing the rite thing.Stay tuned….
What were the chances of finding this? Awesome find and restoration!