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

Why not launch the S360, only the S500?

The small and bold left and right exhaust pipes have a strong "S" style, and the double round taillights also give people a good impression

The "Sport 500" exhibited at the All Japan Motor Show has a total length (3,195mm) longer than that of the light-duty vehicle specification (3,000mm in total length, 1,300mm in total width), and a width within the light-duty vehicle specification, with a displacement of 492cc Unlike the 531cc of the S500.

Previously, "even if it is made according to the specifications of light vehicles, it will not sell well in Japan. If it is to be done, it must be a model that can be used globally" and "in response to special measures, in addition to light vehicles, small cars should also be produced, creating a model for producing small cars. Performance" and other comments.

In terms of actual export, the S500 is not strong enough. It was replaced by the S600 in just five months, and exports began with this model. Therefore, the main purpose of the S500 is more like "creating the production performance of small cars as soon as possible."

Later, the "Special Measures Act" was not passed by the 46th Congress in January 1964 and became abolished. Some people may think that if they knew the result earlier, it would be good to launch the S360 first and then the S500; since the S360 was made as a physical car at the beginning, it should be launched in accordance with the trend. In any case, it is an indisputable fact that entering the four-wheel business is several years ahead of the original plan, and many parts are still not perfect, and the production system cannot keep up with it at all.

Honda's first official four-wheeled vehicle mass production plant was Sayama Works (now Saitama Works Sayama Plant), which was completed in November 1964. Prior to this, the two-wheeled production facilities of Suzuka Works, Saitama Works (now abolished Wako Factory), and Hamamatsu Works were used, and the final assembly of the S500 was completed by Hamamatsu Works.

Later, the delivery date of the S500 commercially available car launched in October 1963 was extended to January 1964. There was no time to make the S360. In addition, after improving the production system, Honda focused on the N360 (1967), so the S360 was launched. This is nothing.

Although the lifespan of S500 is not long, it gives a straightforward and sharp impression

Compared with the S600 and S800 on the left, the S500 feels like a freshman with a straight back

Judging from the press materials at the time and the S500 currently displayed in the Honda Collection and Toyota Museum, the exterior design adopts a large-size water tank guard, and the chrome-plated bumper is also sharper than the S600/800 with a curved design.

In terms of richness of expression, S600/800 is even better. The chrome-plated bumper on both sides of S500 looks like tight lips, giving people a sense of "a very nervous freshman in the commemorative photo of the beginning of school", which is very interesting.

Although the DOHC engine with 44 horsepower/8,000rpm is not high in specification compared with the naturally aspirated engine of light vehicles today, but it is said that the S360 with 33 horsepower can reach 100km/h, and it was quite enough in Japan at that time except for the weight increase. .

In addition, all the S500s exhibited were red. At that time, red was the special color for fire trucks, and ordinary vehicles were not allowed to use it. It was the person in charge of Honda who visited the Ministry of Transport every day to obtain permission. This is what Honda encountered when it entered the four-wheel industry. One of the obstacles.

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 1)


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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