Kei Klassic: 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe – Sold?
(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)
July 24, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.
Car enthusiasts widely agree that the 1973 Civic CVCC Hatchback was Honda’s breakthrough vehicle in the United States. It was the car that put them on the map. Honda’s diminutive Z600 sold in the U.S. from 1970 to 1972 helped set the stage for that success.
A Kei-class car in Japan, the Z600 was a tiny two-door hatchback originally featuring a 600cc engine. Many consumers did not think the Z600 was suitable for most U.S. roads. However, the Coupe was ideal for city driving. It could achieve 50+ miles per gallon, while most American cars at the time could only manage 10 MPG.
Poor quality 1970s Japanese steel and lack of rustproofing caused many Z600s to be sent to the junkyard over time. This blue-on-black 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe for sale, first spotted in June 2023 on Craigslist in El Cajon, California, features a freshly rebuilt engine and a host of other new parts. The seller notes that they enjoy the car, however, a soon-to-be expanding family will leave them little time for that to continue.
Last offered for $7,777, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is slightly below the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for all Honda Zs produced between 1970 and 1974. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Z600 Coupe featured here:
As a second data point, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $8,350 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $12,600.
The two-door Honda Z debuted in October 1970. While the model lasted through 1973 in many countries, the U.S. sale of the Z600 ended in 1973 with Honda’s launch of the Civic. Marketed as the “sport coupé” version of the N600, the two were sold side by side at American motorcycle dealerships until the first stand-alone automobile dealers opened to market the Civic.
The Honda Z600 had a distinctive boxy shape with a hatchback design. It had a short wheelbase, measuring about 78.7 inches, and an overall length of around 131.5 inches. The car featured a chrome front grille with rectangular headlights on either side. The rear of the Z600 had a large window and a horizontal chrome bar connecting the taillights. It had a lightweight body made primarily of steel, contributing to its fuel efficiency.
Despite its compact size, the Z600 offered a surprisingly roomy cabin that could comfortably seat two adults in the front and two small individuals in the rear. The interior featured a simple, functional design, with basic amenities and controls. The seats were upholstered in vinyl or cloth, depending on the trim level. The dashboard had a minimalistic layout with easy-to-read gauges and controls.
Engine and Performance: The 1972 Honda Z600 was equipped with a small yet efficient engine. It featured a 598cc, two-cylinder engine mounted in front, which produced around 36 horsepower. The engine was paired with a four-speed manual transmission, allowing smooth gear shifts. Despite its modest power output, the Z600’s lightweight construction and nimble handling made it a fun car to drive, especially in urban environments.
Initially air-cooled, by 1971, the Z600 model’s 598 cc SOHC engine was rated at 36 horsepower and featured water cooling. The Z featured a fully independent coil spring suspension supporting the transversely-mounted engine and front-wheel-drive system. In the rear, the car relied on leaf springs supporting a beam axle.
One of the key selling points of the Honda Z600 was its impressive fuel efficiency. With its lightweight design and small engine, the Z600 was capable of achieving excellent gas mileage. It could travel around 40-50 miles per gallon, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious consumers and those looking for an economical daily driver.
In terms of safety features, the 1972 Honda Z600 had front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, which provided adequate stopping power for its size. It also featured a robust steel body structure for its time, providing some protection in the event of a collision.
The Honda Z600 holds a special place in Honda’s history as one of the company’s early ventures into the compact car market. It showcased Honda’s commitment to producing efficient, reliable, affordable vehicles. The success of the Z600 paved the way for future Honda models and contributed to the company’s reputation for engineering excellence.
The Jay Leno’s Garage YouTube Channel features this excellent modern review of the early 1970s Honda Z600:
With a freshly rebuilt motor providing 50+ mpg, this 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe for sale is one of the most economical classic cars you can enjoy. We would spend the balance of the summer and fall enjoying this tiny Honda and then use the winter months to give the car a better paint job.
If you are serious about buying this Z600 Coupe, you can start the conversation by following the seller’s contact instructions provided in their Craigslist ad. When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their vintage Honda featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
Paint or Patina: What would you do with this driver-quality 1972 Honda Z600 Coupe for sale? Please comment below and let us know!