Honda S500 and S600

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Honda S500 and S600

1963 - 1966
4-cylinder, 4 stroke, water-cooled, in-line, inclined 45° (S600)
606cc (37.2 cu in) (S600)
57 bhp (S600)
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
90 mph / 145 km/h (S600)
Number Built:
4 star
A plaque in the Honda Collection Hall recalls the days when Soichiro Honda went from being a motorcycle manufacturer to a maverick carmaker. "I didn't want to build a car like everyone else's" Honda said.

So his first car, the 1963 S500, was a sports car, a two-seat roadster that borrowed its styling and its front-engine/rear-drive architecture, but not much else, from British roadsters.

While other Japanese carmakers used cast-iron engines, Honda developed a water-cooled, double-overhead-cam, four-cylinder aluminum power plant, fed by four carburetors.

The half-liter engine spun to 8000 rpm - Honda hadn't gone grand prix motorcycle racing without learning a few things about high-revving engines. The engine drove the rear wheels through an innovative chain-drive system.

Instead of a solid rear axle, the S500 had an independent rear suspension, with aluminum cases that served a dual purpose: They housed the chain drives and acted as motorcycle-style suspension swing arms.

The S600 was the first Honda car offered in two trims Engine capacity 606 cc Horse power: 57 at 8500 rpm Top speed: 90 mph Redline: 9,500 RPM Carburetors: 4 Convertible weight: 1576 pounds.

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