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02Les

First Honda car to the US restored

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Interesting.

Thats the first Honda brought in officially by Honda America. Some servicemen brought some S600 & S800 sports cars before that plus some US motorcycle dealers are reported to have imported some a few years before that.

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I remember going to a Mercury dealer in Cincinnati with my father in 1973. The dealer was selling Hondas probably as a hedge. The gas crisis was on, so land yachts were dropping in value. Interest in subcompacts was accelerating rapidly. I sat in a tiny Honda that was the direct predecessor of the Civic. I was only five foot seven back then and skinny. I filled up that front seat and there was no way that my father would fit in that car. However, I was intrigued with it. I ignored the Cougar, the Marquis and the Lincoln that were prominently displayed in that showroom. The Honda seemed well-built, despite its diminutive stature. I was already fascinated with small cars that promised to deliver more with less. I still admire small cars that are thoughtfully engineered to meet specific goals related to size, weight, performance, fuel economy, price, function, quality, reliability, appearance, etc. The VW Beetle, the Citroen 2CV, the Fiat 500 and the Austin Mini are cars that nailed the target and delivered what was desired in a subcompact. Evidently Honda successfully found the niche for the Civic, then the Accord, the Prelude, the Odyssey and many others.

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