1963 Honda S500

Honda was in business 15 years before it started making cars. Developing into an important part of the global motor industry took a further 10. By the dawn of the 1980s it was a leading multi-national, which matched quality and engineering with a sense of responsibility to its associates (employees) and the environment. In 1963 Honda made 136 vehicles, in 1964, 5,210 and in 1965, 8,779 of which a quarter was exported. Output fell back to 3,209 before recovering again to 87,000 in 1967. The key was a strong home market, and production built up to 186,500 in 1968, and 232,000 in 1969, of which 1 in 20 were exported.

First production four wheelers were the S500 sports 2-seater and T360 truck, followed by the evolutionary S600 coupe and in October 1965 the L700 estate car. A Honda S500 was entered for the 1964 Liege-Sofia-Liege rally and an S600, driven by 1967 world champion driver Denny Hulme, won its class in the ADAC 600Kms endurance race at the Nürburgring in September giving Honda its first success in a car race.

Story by Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

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