Images are from the Hemmings Motor News brochure collection
Everybody has to start somewhere. And although the Honda Motor Company‘s first four-wheeled products were the brilliantly designed S(port)500/S600/S800 roadsters of the mid-1960s, Americans buyers weren’t able to purchase those through official channels. The first Honda cars that we could -and did- buy in those pre-Civic days were the Z600 Coupe and S600 Sedan, the front-wheel drive pair that were virtually dwarfed by the contemporary best selling import, the Volkswagen.
1970 was the first model year that Honda cars were sold here, and this charming eight-page brochure is from the automaker’s sophomore year. We particularly love the flower power-painted Coupe, fresh off the showroom floor.
VTEC was decades off: the Coupe and Sedan shared a tiny 42-hp, 599-cc SOHC two-cylinder engine, and their circa-1,330-pound curb weights allowed them to reach a respectable 75 MPH on the freeway and up to 40 MPG. That this last figure is almost achievable today (39 MPG highway) in a 2,811-pound, 143-hp 2015 Civic sedan shows you how far we’ve come in 44 years.
Have you ever driven an air-cooled Honda car, like an early Sedan?
Click on the brochure images below to enlarge.