Honda S800 Coupe

Herman Deroost

1969

This example is in great shape. A car to enjoy.

The S800 is a sports car from Honda. Introduced at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show, the S800 would replace the successful Honda S600 as the company’s image car and would compete with the Austin-Healey Sprite, MG Midget, Triumph Spitfire and Fiat 850 Spider.

Like the S600, it was available as either a coupe or roadster and continued the advanced technology of its predecessors. The 791 cc straight-4 engine produced 70 hp (52 kW) at 8000 rpm, thus making this Honda’s first 100 mph (160 km/h) automobile, but still allowing for 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km). In April 1967 the car was described as the fastest production 1-litre car in the world thanks to its high revving engine (up to 10,000 rpm) and the manufacturer’s history of manufacturing powerful relatively low capacity motor-cycle engines.

Early examples continued to use the chain drive and independent suspension in the rear. 752 roadsters and 242 coupés were then produced. After that Honda switched to a conventional drive-shaft, live axle rear end with four radius rods and a Panhard rod. 604 roadsters and 69 coupes were built with this setup before disc brakes replaced the front drums.

In 1967, the S800 became available in Britain. By this time the model had the more conventional drive layout as stated above, with predictable handling and a firm ride. It was also cheaper than the Mini Cooper and Triumph Spitfire, in Britain.[2]

In February 1968, the S800M (aka S800MK2) was introduced with flush mounted interior door handles, side marker lights outside, dual-circuit brakes, lean burn carburetion under the bonnet and safety glass. These changes were made for the American market, but the car was never imported there officially. Production ended in May 1970 with 11,536 S800s produced.

Please come and see the car, she is located with us at our premises. Since we are collectors and not sellers please contact us before you come over. Just to make sure we are there and not cruising around.

If you want to see additional pictures, please ask what pictures you want. We will take them and send them to you.

About this car

Well, it’s by no means a big car but by all means a great car. This example is an older restoration with respect of originality. Painted in bright white, it used to be yellow, and with its black interior it is a head turner. Walking from a distance towards her she will get your attention. Small and beautiful. Very elegant bodyline with the right curves in the right places. Getting in is not really a problem and when you are in, well this car feels spacious. There is a nice history story included in the paperwork together with two original sales brochures.

On the outside

This car has been restored some time in the past. Good job done. Original colour scheme not kept, it used to be yellow as the V5 states, but replaced by a very attempting white that suits her very well indeed. Paint is good but shows some imperfections. The nose has tempting eyes looking straight at you. The body panels are very well. All components are there, lights, glass, etc and in good condition. All door gaps are very good. Doors open and closes on the spot as does the hood and boot.

On the inside

Opening the really very small doors and thinking by yourself, I will never get into this, you just have to slide in and there it is, the big wooden steering wheel. The story goes that all steering wheels of every Honda S was made by a company making violins. True or not, it’s a nice thought. In front behind the steering wheel there is a race like dashboard. All round dials at the right place, all working. All you need to drive this car is there, but no more. The bare essential, as we like it. Starting procedure, insert the key, turn the key and enjoy the sound. The rev meter jumps up high, you already know that this engine is designed to go 10000 rpm plus. The seats are small and grab you in place to never let go again. The inside trim is good, and light turns on. Some dials wake up.

Underneath

Opening the motor compartment unleashes a 800cc, yes it is the strongest version, four-cylinder engine known to be a very genius motor. It spins like a sewing machine with a very deep growl. A lion in disguise. The exhaust has the original shape and is very good. Very healthy chassis and all elements there are in good condition.

History

This car started its life in yellow as it still says on the V5 that is included. Not sure if it was immediately imported to the UK or first went to Australia. We asked the well-known Honda Club UK if they know something about her and we will let you know the minute we have the answer. There is a confusing but interesting article in the documentation. Anyway, the story goes that someone spend about six or seven years restoring this beauty in the late nineties. One of the previous owners got is as a retirement present from his family. You can read the whole story in the documentation included. One thing is for sure, every previous owner had his fun with the little one. As mentioned before, the little Honda is now part of The Basement Collection for some time.

What we think

This car is a well restored example with respect for originality except for the colour. It is really an opportunity for the lover of Japanese cars to keep and enjoy. Although the car is built 1969, the design is fabulous and this gives you the benefit to have a drivable sixties car. A head turner every time you will be on the road. We would like the next owner to use it and enjoy it as much as we did during the time we were her keeper.

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