Honda has come a good distance through the years. Showing on a current episode of “Jay Leno’s Storage,” this Honda Z600 is an instance of one of many automaker’s earliest manufacturing fashions.
Both a 1970 or 1971 mannequin, the automobile was rebuilt by Buck Woodruff and his son Harrison. The elder Woodruff was one of many first Honda sellers within the U.S., and nonetheless sells the automaker’s wares in the present day in Georgia. The 2 thought it might be good to seek out an early Honda to show within the showroom to symbolize each their household historical past and Honda’s.
The Z600 was marketed as a coupe model of the N600, the first Honda automobile offered within the U.S., which in flip was a larger-engined model of the Japanese-market N360. The N360 launched in 1967 with a 360-cc twin to adjust to the then-current model of Japan’s kei-car requirements which incentivize small vehicles with small-displacement engines. For export markets just like the U.S., Honda developed a 598-cc model of the N360’s engine, which went into each the N600 and the Z600 and developed a mighty 36 hp within the N600. And, as you will hear within the video it does that with a buzz of revs.
This automobile hasn’t been restored, however merely returned to operating situation with its authentic paint and plenty of authentic elements—together with, remarkably, a Seventies-vintage washer fluid bag. It had sat for 3 years earlier than the Woodruffs obtained their fingers on it and nonetheless wants some shaking down, as proven in the course of the take a look at drive when a blocked gas vent precipitated the circulate of gas to be interrupted.
Honda solely offered the Z600 within the U.S. from 1970-1972, after which it was pulled from this market to make method for the Civic, which launched in 1973 with Honda’s revolutionary CVCC engine. Brief for “Compound Vortex Managed Combustion,” it used intelligent engineering methods like pre-chamber combustion to fulfill the primary spherical of U.S. emissions requirements (which got here into impact for the 1975 mannequin yr) with no catalytic converter. However that is a narrative for an additional time.
Whereas it did not have as a lot of an affect because the first-generation Civic, the Z600 helped Honda set up itself as a world automaker. Watch the complete video for extra on this ignored little bit of Honda historical past.