2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction

1965 Honda S600 Coupe



Passed In


Engine 606cc four-cylinder
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Coupe
Colour Red
Interior Black
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel
Brakes Drum/drum


This lot is no longer available

Honda’s remarkable little S600 was introduced in March 1964, the same year the company entered Formula 1 racing, and drew heavily on Honda’s experience in motorcycle racing. Based on Honda’s first production car, the S500 of 1963, the S600 looked similar to the earlier model, albeit with a restyled nose and was sold in both convertible and coupe form - the latter, with a neat hatchback, was announced in March 1965. The S600’s all-alloy four-cylinder engine featured twin overhead-camshafts, four carburettors and a roller-bearing crankshaft, with final drive to the rear wheels via two separate enclosed chains. Displacing 606cc and rated at 57 horsepower at 8500rpm, the S600’s crankshaft used needle bearings, widespread practice on motorcycles but something rarely found in a production car. The S600’s specification sheet also boasted fully independent suspension via A-arms and torsion bars up front and single trailing links, coil springs and an anti-roll bar at the rear, along with finned drums on all four wheels. Critics raved about the switch-like gearchange, excellent roadholding and, above all, that screamer of an engine, with a redline starting at 8500rpm and running all the way up to 11000rpm. Although the S600 was the first Honda widely marketed and sold in left-hand drive markets like America, it is still comparatively rare, particularly in coupe form with only 1800 made in the two year period 1965-1966. By comparison, roadster production exceeded 11,000 units. The S600 has the distinction of being Honda’s first commercially successful sports car and one of Japan’s earliest automotive exports to gain wide acceptance, with a loyal following around the globe today.