BK Micro Car Collection BK GROUP - Helsinki
The N600 was called the Fu Gui, meaning 'Wealth' in Chinese

Honda N600 - 1970

The Honda N360 is a kei car, designed and built by Honda

and produced from March 1967 through 1970, while the

larger N600 was marketed through 1973. After a January

1970 facelift, the N360 became the NIII360 and continued

in production until 1972.

The   car   featured   front   wheel   drive   and   an   air-cooled,   four   stroke,   354   cc,   31   hp   (23   kW)   two- cylinder   engine,   which   was   borrowed   from   the   Honda   CB450   motorcycle.   The   displacement   was reduced   so   as   to   comply   with   kei   car   legislation   which   stipulated   maximum   allowable   engine displacement. This   same   engine   was   also   used   in   the   Honda   Vamos,   with   a   beam   axle/leaf   spring rear   suspension.   The   "N"   prefix   stands   for   the   Japanese   word   "norimono"   which   means   "vehicle" in   English.   The   exterior   dimensions   were   in   compliance   with   Japanese   government   regulations concerning   kei   cars,   however,   vehicles   installed   with   the   402   cc   and   599   cc   engines   were   too large for the category, and were largely intended for international sales. A modern revival was introduced in 2012 with the Honda N-One.


A   two-door   sedan   was   the   original   body   style,   with   a   two-door   wagon   (considered   a   commercial vehicle   in   Japan,   and   therefore   called   a   "Van")   called   the   LN360   coming   in   June   of   the   first   year. It   was   an   all   new,   clean-sheet   product,   and   did   not   share   its   chassis   with   the   Honda   Sports roadster,   or   the   Honda   L700   commercial   platform. An   upgraded   36   hp   (27   kW)   engine   was   added in   October   1968   for   the   N360   T.   A   402   cc   engine   was   used   in   the   similar   N400.   The   engine's technological   specifications   reflected   engineering   efforts   resulting   from   the   development   of   the larger   Honda   1300,   which   used   an   air-cooled   1.3   litre   engine.   One   of   the   primary   differences between   the   N360   and   the   Honda   Life   that   followed   was   the   N360/600   had   an   air-cooled   engine, and   the   Life   had   a   water-cooled   engine.   The   water-cooled   engine   was   better   able   to   comply with   newly   enacted   emission   standards   in   Japan,   and   a   move   away   from   air-cooled,   and   two- stroke   engines.   As   does   the   original   Mini,   but   unlike   the   succeeding   Life,   the   N360/600   had   its gearbox mounted in the sump rather than bolted on as a separate unit. The   Hondamatic-equipped   N360AT   which   appeared   in August   1968   was   the   first   kei   car   equipped with an automatic transmission.


The   larger-engined   N600   was   developed   alongside   the   N360   in   order   to   target   export   markets like   the   US   and   Europe,   where   motorways   demanded   higher   top   speeds.   Just   seven   months   after road   testing   the   N360,   Britain’s   Motor   magazine   tested   a   Honda   N600   in   November   1968.   They reported   that   it   had   a   top   speed   of   77.1   mph   (124.1   km/h)   and   could   accelerate   from   0-60   mph (97   km/h)   in   19   seconds.   An   overall   fuel   consumption   of   36.3   miles   per   imperial   gallon   (7.8 L/100   km;   30.2   mpg-US)   was   achieved.   The   test   car   was   priced   in   the   UK   at   £589   including taxes,   at   a   time   when   the   Mini   850   was   retailing   for   £561.   The   testers   were   impressed   to   find 1100   performance   from   a   600   cc   car,   but   found   it   ‘very   noisy   when   extended’.   They   found   the Honda   as   easy   to   drive   and   park,   and   ‘quite   well   equipped’. The   performance   figures   put   the   car at   or   near   the   top   of   its   class   under   most   criteria,   reflecting   its   favourable   power-to-weight ratio.   The   car   was   thus   5   mph   (8.0   km/h)   faster   than   the   72   mph   (116   km/h)   achieved   by   rival magazine   Autocar   in   an   N360   in   May   1968,   and   more   than   ten   seconds   quicker   to   60   mph   (97 km/h)   which   the   N360   achieved   in   29.3   seconds.   Consistent   with   its   slower   performance,   the N360   squeezed   3   extra   miles   out   of   a   (UK)   gallon   of   fuel,   managing   an   overall   39.4   miles   per imperial gallon (7.17 L/100 km; 32.8 mpg-US). The   N600   was   introduced   to   the   USA   in   1969   as   a   1970   model,   and   was   the   first   Honda automobile   to   be   officially   imported   to   the   United   States.   It   was   technologically   advanced   for   its time,   with   an   all   alloy   engine   that   could   achieve   9000   rpm.   Engine   output   was   36–45   hp   (27–34 kW)   and   the   N600   was   capable   of   81   mph   (130   km/h).   The   lower-powered   engine   arrived   in 1972;   with   milder   cams   and   lowered   compression   it   gave   up   some   peak   power   and   torque,   while allowing    for    a    less    peaky    delivery    and    higher    drivability.    It    delivered    surprisingly    peppy performance    because    of    its    light    weight    (around    550    kg/1100    pounds),    due    to    compact dimensions   and   some   plastic   parts   (like   the   boot   lid).   The   first   brakes   were   very   weak,   despite having front discs and servo assistance. Rear suspension was a dead axle on leaf springs. The   N600   (along   with   the   TN360   trucklet),   were   the   first   Honda   cars   to   be   assembled   outside   of Japan,   with   production   in   Taiwan   by   local   joint   venture   Sanyang   Industrial   beginning   in   1969. The N600 was called the Fu Gui, meaning 'Wealth' in Chinese. US   sales   stopped   in   1972,   as   for   the   sportier   Honda   Z600   (or   Z,   depending   on   country),   after about   25,000   had   been   sold   there.   The   first   generation   Honda   Civic   replaced   these   little   cars with something a little more suited to the American Interstate system.


Engine 599 cc 2 cylinders Top speed 124 km/h Lenght/width 2,99 m/1,29 m Weight 508 kg
Photos mainly by Matti Kreivilä. Historical facts and technical details of the vehicles provided by Wikipedia. Movies YouTube.