October 24, 2016
It’s been nearly 50 years since the first Honda N600, nicknamed the Serial One and sporting a modest 0.6-liter two-cylinder engine, made its way across the ocean to the United States.
As the first Honda automobile imported for sale in the North America, the N600 helped launch a major market shift that saw small Japanese cars successfully challenge the hegemony of gas guzzlers from the ‘Big Three’ American manufacturers.
Today, the effort to restore that very first N600 is nearly finished. The restoration process, documented in a 12-part video series entitled, ‘Serial One,’ has taken well over a year to complete. After collecting dust in a junk pile for nearly 50 years, it’s safe to say this hidden gem has seen better days.
According to an interview with Tim Mings, the owner of the Serial One, the serial number one vehicle was acquired through a stroke of good luck. Tim Mings originally bought the car along with another older model without realizing that the Serial One was now in his possession. It was not until he began restoring the car that he realized he’d inadvertently purchased the historic vehicle. Honda is currently supporting Mings’ ongoing project to properly restore the Serial One, the Honda N600, to pristine condition.
Frank Ancona Honda President Michael Ancona shares Mings’ vision on preserving the history of Honda, saying:
“We love the history of the cars which is why we have an extensive collection of Historic Honda projects. We enjoy reminiscing on our history as we look forward to the future with new vehicles.”
In the years since the Serial One’s arrival on American shores, Honda has established itself as an international brand that will stand the test of time. To that point, Frank Ancona Honda is lucky enough to own an extensive showroom of classic Honda products like their 1971 Honda Z600 Coupe.
Stop by Frank Ancona Honda today to see this and other pieces of Honda history.
July 21, 2016
July 21, 2016
Tim Mings, the mechanic famous for his knowledge of classic Honda vehicles, continues to work hard on restoring the classic Serial One. Honda has announced that Mings has nearly completed restoring the engine of the vehicle. According to Digital Trends, the car being restored is the first Honda vehicle sold in the United States and is one of 50 N600s imported to the U.S. during the car’s first year on the market. The most recent video shows Mings attempting to remove the flywheel of the car. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t have the right type of tool on hand due to the fact that the flywheel used in the first 50 models were different then the later production models.
On the Honda Serial One website, Honda provides additional information and explains the history of the car. According to Honda, most cars had high emissions in 1969 and were not even close to being fuel-efficient. The N600 fought to change this perception as it was nearly 3 feet shorter than most cars on the road in America and weighed nearly half of what the best-selling car at the time did. As Mings states in a video located on The News Wheel, “It’s interesting to see when Honda changed things. They always changed it for a reason. They always made it better, that’s just what they do.”
Frank Ancona shares Tim’s sentiments about Honda, “We love the history of the cars which is why we have an extensive collection of Historic Honda projects. We enjoy reminiscing on our history as we look forward to the future with new vehicles.” If you would like to see our collection or test drive one of our new vehicles, please stop by our dealership and we would be happy to help you.
May 13, 2016
This year marks an exciting point in Honda’s history, as the first Z600 is being professionally restored by Tim Mings and backed by Honda. This exciting project got us at Frank Ancona Honda thinking about our own historic vehicles.
According to an interview with Mings by Hemmings Daily, the serial number one vehicle was acquired through a stroke of good luck. It wasn’t until Mings began restoring one of the two models he acquired in a single deal that he realized what he had. Honda is supporting an ongoing project to properly restore the Honda N600 to pristine condition. Every week, Honda is posting updates on the project and sharing a piece of its history through social media channels.
Honda has established itself as a brand that will last. On Kelley Blue Book’s list of the 10 top-purchased cars of 2015, the Honda Civic came in at number eight, the CR-V at number seven, and the Accord at number six. With such impressive results, it is important to look back at the roots of the company to understand the desire to engineer a solid vehicle.
Frank Ancona Honda is lucky enough to own an extensive showroom that showcases the rich history of Honda. Many different historical vehicles are on display to welcome guests who come into our dealership. Included in the collection are a few motorcycles, scooters and our very own 1971 Honda 600 Coupe.
We also are excited to showcase several other vintage creations from Honda, such as the 1975 Honda MR50 Elsinore, a special edition mini dirt bike only made in 1974 and 1975.
Additional vintage items in our showroom include the Honda Kick-N-Go 2, a 1983 Honda Express bike, a 1986 Honda Spree scooter and some portable generators created by Honda in the ’60s.
To see these vintage items, come in to our dealership, and maybe take some time to test drive a new 2016 Honda Civic. Our featured special lease for the 2016 Civic Sedan CVT LX requires $2,320 total due at signing and only $169.50 per month for 36 months/36,000 miles. See dealership for additional details and information.