600 Portland Oregon Metro Area 1971/72 Honda 600 Car Fan Club from the late 1980's

 Updated 1-6-08

Introduction Humorous Ads & Alterations
Some History B & B Automotive
Current Wheels Submissions

Club Newsletters

Related Links
Club Member's Cars Artcars

 Just click on the pics for a better look at each car

Introduction

Greetings,
My name is David Rich (incase you did not already know that).  For some reason, this web page seems to be the most sought out on the web from our 300+ pages, from search engine requests and other web sites that link to this web page.  I had no idea it would remain so popular after all these years. I am still an avid Honda/Acura fan, but I do not own one of these cars any longer or store any parts for them, given that they are too hard to keep running with the lack of available new parts, but I hear that B&B Automotive still carries some new and used parts (see below).  That was a fun chapter in my life, which had ended nearly 2 decades ago. I much prefer the newer more powerful cars that Honda makes. I had some neat photos from those days, and decided to make this my web page for them.  I thought it would be way cool to share these with the world.  I also display the news letters I had published back then to help inspire local ownership loyalty.

Enjoy:

 

Some Personal History

The front view of my Honda 600Attention Seeking:
I was always a bit eccentric and these were good cars for people who crave attention; being such a spectacle.  I always got lots of double takes. This here was one of my own cars.  I did my best to compensate for the awkward looks of the sports Coupe shown here.  The rear window frame is black plastic, and tends to resemble a divers face mask, so this 2 tone paint job I did to it added to the cars shapely looks and visibility on the road, as it was one of the tiniest cars around.  That is why I felt compelled to always have the extra brake/turn lights up high on fiberglass rods so they wagged as I drove. This was well before passenger vehicles started to have a third-eye brake lights installed at the factory.  I designed and made it from scratch, since it was sold as just an add-on part at that time.  There also was a red reflective pin striping to trim the black and white paint.

1981 Professional Auto Mechanic Work
I first got to know these cars in 1979 with seeing my older Brother's sedan.  It was cute, but I did not think too much of it, since I did not drive yet.  In 1981, just after High School, I started working as an assistant in my Father's auto repair shop called Rich's Repair in S. E. Portland Oregon.  My Father gave me a green Z600 Coupe that did not run at the time.  I began to dismantle the engine (with no training in auto repair). Before I had it reassembled, my Father had me do a complete over haul on a N600 Sedan for a client.  I managed some how, just by reading the manual to successfully complete it to their satisfaction.

The front view of my Honda 600Damion's Honda 600 Coupe

I soon became known as the Honda 600 specialist for the Portland Metro Area with all three local Honda Dealers sending these car owners to me.  That first year I rebuilt some 75 Honda 600 engines for clients. In most cases the whole crank shaft had to be replace with a new one. They have a roller bearing crankshaft that is pressed together and is considered not rebuildable. Besides all the normal rubber parts the oil pump and the timing chain needed replaced as well. I also found out that the whole points rotation plate needed replace if It was to run well again.

My Honda 600 coupe

There were also a few issues that would be missed by most mechanics: The oil pump piston has a loose pin that would scrape the side wall of the small cylinder and wear a grove. This would lead to a lack of oil pressure. Also, some hidden rubber grommets inside the clutch that are to softened the energy transfer to the transmission. These were most always shrunken and rock hard and needed replaced, or they would eventually disintegrate and cause serious damage.

Surprisingly I rarely ran into trouble with the transmission or differential parts or bearings, which shared the same engine oil, other than an occasional ground up reverse gear.

I never got a chance to work on one of the Honda S600, as they were very rare and never sold here in the States.  I have only seen a few of them in person that were brought down here from Canada.

These cars have half the size engine of a small V W Bug with half the pistons, and the wheels had small 10" rims. It was advanced for it's day with front wheel drive and disc brakes, but was not built to be anything other than a cheap disposable car for the likes of college students.

In the mid 80's Honda sold their Nighthawk 650cc motorcycle with twice the horse power, but that would not be very usable in this car, since it does not have a reverse gear. Unless you were to just trailer it around and use the car for racing.

These would be a great base for an electric car conversion, being only 1,300# dry weight, if you can find one in good shape still. I have some photos linked above with one of these recently converted cars.

They do not have much of a collectors value, so they have become very rare. Most of them have been crushed and recycled.  Some times they are seen on e-bay after an enthusiast has given up trying to restore one. I do not mean to sound cynical here, but how much effort are people willing to put into restoring a 'clown' car? They were a blast to drive, if a little under powered, but that sort of excitement can be easily found with a supped up go-cart for a fraction of the cost.

B & B Automotive has had one of the largest collection of cars and parts in the USA, and they happen to be close to me, just outside Portland Oregon here. I guess what they say about us crazy NW people is true (LOL).

 Below are a few pics of some other Honda 600 cars I had fixed up on a shoe-string budget:

another paint job on a Honda 600 Coupe I used to ownhere is the back of my Honda 600 Coupe

 Yes, that is a swan with lit wings on the hood and I converted it to large square head lights. At night the wind blowing through the heater box fan would act as a generator and light the wings even when it was turned off for some reason. I actually used this car as my apartment for a while, even in the winter months in Utah, hence the card board covering the back window and black curtains up front. I was only 19/20.

David's Honda 600David's yellow Honda 600

Later in the late 80's this N600 Sedan was what I drove while trying to promote a Honda 600 Fan Club. In 1988/89, I tried to keep the enthusiasm alive by starting up the local Honda 600 Fan Club and publishing a quarterly news letter and hosting road rallies. Although in the Summer of 1989 the interest died out to the point I could not keep busy just working on these cars, so I needed to move on and find a better line of work, so I graduated into the house construction field.

Damion's Honda 600 CoupeThis was my brother Damion's car.  My older brother John had it for a several years, but it is at the B & B Automotive Honda Graveyard now.  John still has a red 600 Sedan I sold him decades ago stowed away in his garage.

600

Current & Past Wheels since me 600 Days

I got into home repair, specializing in rain gutter replacement.  I had a red 84 Honda Civic S for several years given to me by my dentist. I know this sounds very odd, but I had done some work on his green Honda Z600 Coupe.  That car seemed like a pocket rocket compared to a Honda 600 car, with it's 1500cc engine.  I fixed it up to use as a work truck. I had been known to haul over a ton of roofing material on the wood rack. I also hold the record for transporting the longest gutter lengths: 61'. This is a shot of it loaded down with 16' long rusty steel gutters with trailer in tow to take to the scrap yard.

In 1996  I graduated to a 4dr 88 Acura Legend L seen here.  I needed the extra horse power so I could pull my gutter machine trailer up steep roads.  Even without a trailer behind it this Acura loaded up with my ladders and tools had a hard time making it up some of the steep roads in West Linn, Oregon.

People would often say: 'You need a truck, don't you?'  My response was 'Honda doesn't make a truck'.  I need to access my ladders daily, so this low profile work vehicle actually was much more usable. I drove it for a decade and sold it in late 2006, but it got totaled in their care before we got the title switched over. Some lady was drunk late at night and smashed into the rear end while it was parked.

You can read more and see more photos about our current wheels at:

 http://dmr-gutters.com/gm/workcar.htm

Here is our latest Honda that the USA dealers call an Acura. I was looking to upgrade to a newer Acura TL to use as my next work car, since the van is too tall. It is a whole foot higher than the Acura TL. By the time I got the ladder rack on top I would not be able to reach the ladders very well.

The Lady Tia Designs 99 Honda Odyssey Van

I settled for this used gold 2000 Acura TL with less than 37k miles on it. Although, soon after I got it home Tia said she would rather take this car and give me the van to adapt and use for my work vehicle. You cannot argue with that type of logic.

The Lady Tia Designs 99 Honda Odyssey Van

Here is our 99 Honda Odyssey EX van we bought new.  It's really nice w/the electric side doors and strong 3.5 liter engine that has a lot more power to pull my trailers much better than the Acura Legend had with only a 2.7 liter engine.

The Lady Tia Designs 99 Honda Odyssey Van

Here is our trio of cars we had in late 2006.

The Lady Tia Designs 99 Honda Odyssey Van

I recently tattooed my van:

The Lady Tia Designs 99 Honda Odyssey Van

600

         

Related links:

Honda's Official Web Site
A large Yahoo group for the Honda micro cars
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/2cylinderhondas
Another Yahoo group
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/anzhonda600owners/ 
Honda600owners
Steve's Z600 site w/the best set of 600 photos I have seen
http://www.honda600coupe.com/ 
Miles Chappell's comprehensive site
http://600miles.com/
Scott King's web site
http://home.earthlink.net/~scottking/
HondaS600
A collection of Honda N360 -600 ads
http://www.geocities.com/historybeginns/MS_PI/070101/album.htm 
Jet powered Coupe
http://aardvark.co.nz/pjet/turbinenuts.shtml
A home made electric car conversion
http://evalbum.austinev.org/325.html 
New Zeland Honda N360
http://www.geocities.com/kiwi_aircooled_honda_fan/
Honda Sports Registry
Honda Auto Parts Wholesale
Honda Auto Body Parts On-line
http://www.hondabeat.com/
Vintage Honda 600 Commercial
http://youtube.com/watch?v=4pjR9L1wUbU
Vintage Honda 600 Commercial
http://youtube.com/watch?v=zJTYfAAMBqM
Honda Z600 coupe engine running outside of the car frame
http://youtube.com/watch?v=t-PvUfnt0M4
Behind the wheel of a Honda Z600 coupe
http://youtube.com/watch?v=cbRPlIfDpMo

 

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