Well I picked myself up a new project. The car itself is in pretty dire condition but is reasonably rare (1 of 7,261 roadster for 1965). It is a 1965 Honda S600 roadster but a rather hacked up and then neglected example. While not worth restoring to factory condition I plan to fit a four cylinder or perhaps small V6 drive train. It will be a custom roadster crossed with a bit of a rat rod vibe.
A left hand drive S600? The S600 Honda’s first mass market car and was a continuation of the smaller engined S500. It was sold in a few markets other than Japan including Canada. They are rare to be sure but there are several S600s left here.
photo from Rex Gray – Creative Commons license
Stock it would have a motorcycle derived 606 cc four cylinder DOHC engine putting out 57hp at 8,500 rpm. Pretty amazing stuff for the day and a far cry from the more agricultural engines seen in MG Midgets or Triumph Spitfires of the era.
Another neat engineering tricks was the rear suspension which was made independent with a straight axle connected to a sealed roller chain drive at each side. A bit hard to see but the above photo shows the arrangement reasonably well. The later S800 converted to a live axle set up with the exception of a few very early ones. Mine is unfortunately missing the chain drive.
The builder had fit a Chevrolet V8 engine with triple carbs and a late 50s Chevrolet rear axle when in high school back in 1977 or so. It looks like there wasn’t even room for a radiator so he didn’t fit one. I guess you could get away with that if you only used it on short trips. It would have been a bit of a death trap though as he tossed in this seat and a milk crate without bolting them down in anyway and it had the holes in the floor!
So I’ve got some cleaning to do obviously to see what I’m working with. Updates to come.