Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures


Body style:

HONDA S500   1963 1964
1963 1964

Just a few months after the T360 small truck was introduced to the market, Honda launched its first car: the S500.
It was the roadster that raised the name.

The legend said that Soichiro Honda was advised not to show its new products in white and red colors used on their national flag. But Mr. Honda didn’t listen, and it showed its car white with a red interior. The result was that if viewed from the top, it looked just like the Japanese flag. And it worked!

There was a magic about the little Honda roadster. When most Japanese carmakers tried to build cars for normal people, Soichiro Honda built cars for those who considered that life is too short to drive boring cars. The tiny little roadster featured round headlights, a slightly curved beltline, and an open-top. There was a chromed fuel cap on top of the rear fender, next to the trunk lid in the back.

Soichiro built the interior on the form-follow-function order. Two large dials in front of the driver and few switches on the driver’s left. They looked very simple and rough, but Honda said that he preferred a rough look but reliable instead of elegant, small switches that broke all the time.

Under the hood was a 0.53-liter engine with dual overhead camshaft fed by four Keihin carburetors used for motorcycles and small marine engines. It produced a maximum o 45 hp, which was more than enough for a light, 680 kg (1500 lbs) car. It could rev up to 9,500 rpm, which was unusual for a vehicle.

Full Description and Technical Specifications

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