With its perennially top-selling Fit, Civic, Accord, and CR-V, it’s easy to appreciate the Honda lineup. Consistency rules. But not every Honda offering has been a success and some models, like the Civic Natural Gas and Crosstour, while innovative, failed.
But perseverance counts in the automotive industry, and there’s at least one Honda enthusiast who’s thrilled to share his experience and passion for Honda.
Tim Mings, a Los Angeles-based mechanic, and his team restored a 1969 Honda N600, the first Honda sold in the United States, star in video series, “Serial One.” The 12-part documentary chronicles the step-by-step renovation of the N600. It’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is 1000001.
The series finale showcases the restored “Serial One” and revisits the entire restoration process. Mings and his team take “Serial One” through the final finishes. Details include installing the doors, tightening the last bolts and installing the liner but not before the signing of the roof.
Throughout the episode, Mings shares his experiences and the connection he develops with the N600 and Honda. The finale ends with the journey of “Serial One” to the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California, where it debuts.
Honda N600: The automaker’s first in America
After immense success making motorcycles, Honda began selling cars in the United States with the N600. It was only 10 feet long, half the length of some current large sedans. It featured an alloy engine, had a top speed of 81 mph and reached 9,900 rpm. It achieved the 0-60 mph standard in 19 seconds, had 45 horsepower and was rated at 32.1 mpg.
Honda stopped making the N600 in 1972, the same year the Honda Civic debuted in Japan as a 1973 model.
For more information on Honda’s “Serial One” and to view the full series, visit www.serialone.com.
Article Last Updated: October 20, 2016.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.