Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
Commercial vehicles’ need started to rise in the ’60s on the Japanese market, and Honda didn’t have a good offer on the table.
So it came with the L700.
The first automobile built by Honda was the 1963 T500 pickup, followed by the S500 roadster just a few months later. Soichiro Honda, the father of Honda Motor Company, knew that he needs to expand its lineup to increase the market share, but with minimum R&D costs. So it started to develop a new vehicle, based on the S500 model: it was the L700.
The closed body concept featured a station-wagon shape but two doors in the front and a tailgate in the rear. The idea was that the car could have been used as a utility wagon and a passenger car as well. With its large rear windows and a split-open tailgate, it could serve as a mobile shop as well, with the upper side going up and the lower side going down and be used as a bench. The small, vertical taillights were installed on the sides to not affect if the back was opened or not.
The dashboard and three-spoke steering wheel were carried over from the sporty S600 roadster, but the rest of the interior was completely new.
By enlarging the engine’s bore in the S600, Honda engineers obtained a 0.7-liter inline-four unit. It used the same cylinder head with double-overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four Keihin carburetors. With the help of a 4-speed manual gearbox, it sent all the power to the front wheels. Honda produced the L700 for only 11 months. It was not the Honda area of expertise.