Kei Klassic: 1972 Honda N600 Sedan – SOLD!
January 9, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Fun fact: While some may believe Honda’s diminutive S800 sports car was the company’s first automobile export venture to the U.S., that is not true. The first official Honda motor car to be exported by the company was the 600 “Kei” car line. Many might remember the sporty two-door precursor to the Civic, the Z600. However, Honda did not start importing that model until 1971. Much rarer is Honda’s two-door family hatchback such as this 1972 AN600 originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist in Hermosa Beach, California (Los Angeles).
A running, driving, and complete 36K mile example, the current caretaker of the past ten years is currently asking $12,500 for their yellow over back vinyl 1972 Honda H600 for sale. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool’s Z600 price guide as a proxy confirms the private seller has their N600 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $10,800 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $20,800. More conservatively, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask optimistically falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $8,700 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $13,100. Finally, a quick check of Bring A Trailer reveals that the site’s past sales of similar N600s are all over the board in terms of the hammer price.
Gaining a foothold in 1960s America with its affordable and reliable range of motorcycles, Honda expanded its sights to exporting cars to the U.S. starting in 1969 with its N600 line. Honda started slowly with just exporting their car to Hawai that first year, followed by exports to the west coast states in 1970. With a strong economy and cheap gas prices fueling powerful V8-powered land yachts, most Americans were not interested in tiny “Kei” class Japanese cars. Consequently, Honda decided to target young Americans wanting to upgrade from their C100 Super Cub motorcycles who needed a car. The N600 had a price tag of $1,395 dollars when it was launched, making it very affordable.
Sales of the N600 were slow as the car was considered too small and too noisy. As these were also the days before the oil crisis the low fuel consumption was not a very important selling point. 1972 was the final year Honda could sell the N600 in the U.S. as the exemption from emission standards for sub-800cc cars was abolished and upcoming five-mile-per-hour bumpers would have also increased weight and costs.
To commemorate Honda’s 60th anniversary of importing cars in the U.S., the company commissioned the restoration of the very first 1969 N600 imported to America in this video:
While the seller indicates their 1972 Honda N600 runs and drives, based upon the pictures the car is in need of a complete cosmetic restoration. If you’re looking for a restoration project that does not take up much room, this little Honda may be the ride for you.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1972 Honda N600 AN600 model.
Super hard to find. JDM style.
Own a part of automotive history. Originally sold at motorcycle shops.
Rare vintage classic Japanese microcar.
Private party owner for about 10-years.
Almost zero rust.
Has blue license plates., (removed for photos)
Current registration to 2023.
Never needs smog check.
Starts and drives.
Low original miles.
It has been driven very little in several years and stored in the garage.
Needs rear brakes and upholstery work.
Reverse linkage is a little tricky to get in reverse but reverse gear works fine. Just needs adjustment.
Clean title in my name. Sold as-is.
Available if still posted.“
Restore or drive As-Is: what would you do with this 1972 Honda N600? Comment below and let us know!