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The first commercially available sports car "Honda S500" improved from the Dream S360 (Part 1)

table of contents
●Honda's first sports car S500
●Originally, it took longer to advance to the fourth round
●The "Sport 360 and Sport 500" released in 1962
●Why only launch S500, but not S360?
●Although the lifespan of the S500 is not long, it gives a straightforward and sharp impression

Honda's first sports car S500

S500 on display in the Toyota Museum

In 1963, Honda was the latest manufacturer to enter the four-wheel business at that time. It launched the S500 two months after releasing the light truck T360 (launched in August).

The S500 is Honda's first small car and sports car. It is also the first generation of Honda's early S series roadsters. The S series did not come to an end until the S800 was discontinued in 1970.

Later, Honda released the "S360, S500" at the All Japan Motor Show (later the Tokyo Motor Show) in October 1962.

So, why is only the S500 listed in the end? And what kind of car is the S500?

Next, we will introduce the S500 photos displayed in the Honda Collection and Toyota Museum.

Originally, it took longer to enter the four rounds

The rear of the car is longer than the S360, and the body balance is more suitable for sports cars

In 1946, the Honda Technical Research Institute was established, and in 1948, it was reorganized as Honda Technical Research Industry. It grew steadily as a motorcycle manufacturer. It was not Honda's original intention to enter the four-wheel business in 1963.

From the end of 1957 to 1958, about 50 engineers who had manufactured airplanes and tricycles were hired, and then 7 young members including technicians in the two-wheel department formed the "Third Research Section". This was the starting point of Honda's four-wheel vehicles. They completed the first test car XA170 in January 1959.

However founder Soichiro Honda made the following statement in December 1959.
"We should conduct in-depth research on cars, and we should not rush to commercialize them until we have absolute confidence and satisfaction in performance and equipment." Commentary in Newspaper No. 50)

Honda believes that it is necessary to develop a practical light vehicle that conforms to the "National Car Concept" issued by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1955. If people who are slow-footed want to succeed, they must expand new needs and convert them into A two-seater light sports car and joins the most in-demand light-duty trucks.

In the summer of 1960, Honda had completed two models of the light sports car XA190 and the light truck XA120. In order to make the products more mature, a number of tests were carried out. Honda originally planned to spend several years on development including the production system and sales system. When the opportunity is ripe Then safely enter the four-wheel business.

However, in May 1961, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry launched the "Basic Automobile Administration Policy" and stated that it would propose the "Special Measures Act" on the premise of restricting entry into the passenger car industry and merging existing companies (designating passenger cars, special steel and petrochemicals as "Specific Industry Promotion Interim Measures Act" for specific industries).

Although Soichiro Honda was angry about this matter, he knew that once the bill was passed, it would become an obstacle to enter the four-wheel business. In order to hand over the results of four-wheel manufacturing before the bill passed, he told the development team in January 1962 Issue an order to make a quadricycle.

"Sport 360 and Sport 500" released in 1962

In addition to the speedometer and tachometer, the not-wide driver's seat is also equipped with a voltage gauge, a fuel gauge, and a water temperature gauge.

The 11th Honda Conference (National Honda Conference) was decided to be held on June 5, 1962, at the Suzuka Circuit under construction. Honda asked the development team to manufacture two prototypes of light sports cars and light trucks, and planned to release them at the meeting. At this time, the development team only had four and a half months left.

Based on the vehicle under development at that time, the development team finally completed it in the middle of the night on June 4, the day before the announcement.

In December of the same year, Honda launched the Sport 360, the Sport 500 with a 492cc engine, and the light truck T360 at the All Japan Motor Show (after the Tokyo Motor Show). The two sports cars were surrounded by crowds and were quite popular.

In the end, the Sport 360 was not released, and the Sport 500 was launched in October 1963 under the name of S500.

Original source:The first commercially available sports that refined the "original S" phantom S360! 《Honda S500》
Want to see more:MOBY

The first commercially available sports car "Honda S500" improved from the Dream S360 (Part 2)


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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