Series shows restoration of U.S. ‘Serial One’ Honda N600

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Tim Mings and the Serial One N600 | Serial One photo

After a decade of growth that made Honda the top-selling motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Honda set out to sell cars in the United States, entering the market in 1969 with the N600. The N600 was the first “mass market” car sold by Honda with production for the United States at approximately 35,000 by 1972.

Known for being nimble and fuel-efficient, the Honda N600 was 122 inches long, weighed nearly twice as much as the company’s future supercar, the NSX, and featured an all-alloy engine capable of 9,000 rpm and 81 miles per hour.

The first Honda N600 imported to the United States had collected dust for many decades before it made its way into the hands of Los Angeles-based mechanic Tim Mings. Having worked exclusively on the Honda N600 for over 20 years, Mings had become known as the only full-time N600 mechanic in the world, restoring over a thousand of them during his career.

In an online documentary series, “Serial One,” viewable on Honda’s social media channels, Mings offers an in-depth look at the step-by-step restoration process of America’s first N600.

“Documenting the meticulous process of bringing it back to life really embodies the Honda spirit” said Alicia Jones, Honda’s social media manager in the United States. “We can’t wait for viewers to come along with us on this journey.”

Debuting March 16, episode one of the series gives viewers a look at the unrestored vehicle and introduces Mings, who comments that of the first 50 N600s produced for the United States, only three are known to exist. He tells viewers how the serial one N600 came into his possession and his goals for the build.

The series will share Mings’ progress each week and the surprises he encounters as he brings a part of Honda’s history back to life.

The restoration project can be seen on Hondas social platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — and on the “Series One” website.

6 thoughts on “Series shows restoration of U.S. ‘Serial One’ Honda N600”

  1. To Each his own!! Honda has plenty of money Im sure he will be paid handsomely for restoring a go cart.

  2. Bought my yellow Z600 Coupe in June of 1972. My wife and I headed from south Louisiana to the Runoffs at Road Atlanta in November of that year. Absolutely no problems, including meandering through the muddy infield at Turn 5. We had far less trouble than many larger cars who became mired in the mud.
    Lots of fun, and 42 mpg the entire trip, including several trips through Atlanta.
    Wish I still had it!!

  3. i was the first honda car dealer in oklahoma. seems to me the honda z coupe had a 5k redline, which was 75mph. the factory rep said don’t take it over 5k thru the geats, but let it wind as far as it’ll go in 4th. 2 of us in the car saw 6k=90mph with a bit of a tail wind. the engines were nearly indestructible in normal use–cars with maybe a cup of oil in the sump when they came in for an oil change, etc.

  4. “…weighed nearly twice as much as the company’s future supercar, the NSX…”

    I think that’s backwards. At roughly 1100 lbs, the little N600 was barely half the weight of an NSX.

  5. I had a 1972 AN-600. Bought it in 1974 for $850.
    I loved that upholstered roller skate.

    Often, I’d come back to where I parked it and find that a few kids would have picked it up by the crashbars on the front bumper and turned it around or turned it sideways to the road.
    Darn kids :-)

    The greatest number of kids we had in it was eight. It was a five mile ride from Rocky’s bar to Cass’s house that I’ll bet all eight kids still remember. Some probably still can’t walk right. :-)

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