Recent aquisition....refer to my 1979 honda accord to see my Honda history
Well I've finally had the means to get this newest toy home; nearly a year after I first saw it, finally allowing me to succum to my desire for it. Though the car has obvious attractive points they had to balance against my other current projects, space, time, money, and the frightening fact that the car is in a dire state in a million bits -not all of which reside with the car, given that its last three owners have been pulling it apart....
The first of these owners decided a Datsun 1200 drivetrain was in order for it's simplicity and ready availability...complete with leaf-sprung live rear-end ousting Honda's highly unusual trailing arm independant rear suspension; the rear trailing arms containing chains to transfer drive from the chassis mounted differential immediately behind the rear seats, so the spare wheel-well had been cut away & covered in aluminium, while 6mm steel was bolted to the chassis for spring mountings it was never designed to support. Also ousted was Honda's exotic 4 cylinder 606cc alloy twin-cam engine and quad carburettors, with further holes hacked from the footwells for Datsun clutch lever and exhaust clearance; likewise covered with light alloy sheet screwed into place with self tappers. And of course your average Datsun 1200 can't use a 11,000 RPM mechanical tachometer redlined at 9500, so that was lost as well...before the car changed hands in an unfinished state with Honda 5-stud finned alloy drums at the front and Datsun 4-stud wheels at the rear.
The second owners, being associated with a Honda dealership naturally prefered the idea of an original showpiece and began collecting another Honda drivetrain for it before they realised it could be cheaper to buy a well kept original...especially given the money they sold it for...
Unfortunately the next owner wasn't up to the task either before it finally became mine...after further disassembly, more filler and 15 years living meters from the ocean.
Here's my engine, quite a challenge.
Obviously it's a daunting project but I could not resist a pretty red convertible in distress; inspite of existing commitments to early Honda Accord's, CRX, Prelude's, Z's as well as Lancia Beta Coupe's & even Ford Cortina's. Inspite of minor previous damage filled & falling out, rusty sills filled with fiberglass & filler, more filler, aluminim and multiple boxes of unknown bits with an assortment of Honda N & Z parts added to contribute to the confusion.
Amazingly though I can now reassure myself that I have most of an engine (albeit completely disassembled) and so far my missing parts list starts with:
Exterior mirror(s), RH door striker,
Seat belts, frt indicator & park lamp lenses,
& boot script.
Although obviously that doesn't include the array of parts that will need to be rebuilt & repaired or replaced as I go along....
I hope to built it up to origial spec but must admit to mild modification temptations, such as early style 'bubble' headlamp covers and a narrowed '69 Corolla Rear bumper to smooth the lines and hide the numberplate lighting whilst keeping the original items safe. I'm even tempted by the idea of a (very) mild supercharger; if the engine & drivetrain could accomodate it without major change, to ensure it doesn't get overshadowed by S800's and even the N600, which mightn't have as much power or style but weighs nearly 200kg less.
One day I might even get to create something more radical from another striped roadster shell I know of -too striped to ever hope to restored as per original.
Though rusty I thought the extractors leading to it's twin tailpipes impressive enough to warrant a picture. Though they undoubtably contributed to the engines phenominal power output for it's capacity (57hp from 606cc)it's not surprising that the cars weren't over endowed with torque.
My father even had an original brochure for the S600 from it's release in 1964/5, and while I must admit to initially liking the cutesy looks of the early Austin Healy Sprite there can be little doubt which car was more expensive and refined in it's design. (Eventually Dad was to buy a Lotus Elan in a similar condition to my S600 [even lighter & double the power! But then it is plastic & have more than 2 1/2 times the engine capacity]).