Talk about a labor of love. Honda is showing off the final act in its “Serial One” restoration. It’s been a six-month journey behind the restoration of Honda’s very first automobile in America.
The 1969 model N600 is VIN 1000001, hence the “Serial One” nickname. The car has been painstakingly restored by Los Angeles-based mechanic Tim Mings. The entire process caught on tape in a total of 12 episodes, the last of which dropped Tuesday.
The final video gives viewers a look back at the entire rebuild right down to tightening the last bolts and signing the roof of the car before the liner was installed. Viewers can also hear the engine turn over for the first time since its installation.
“Serial One” was discovered by accident. After collecting dust in a junk pile for nearly 50 years, it found its way to Mings, who is an all-out N600 aficionado. (He’s actually the only full-time Honda N600 mechanic in the world.) It took two or three years before Mings scraped the dirt off the serial number and discovered the gem before him.
Mings says he will never restore a car as important as this one.
N600 History: The First Honda Automobile in America
In 1969, Honda was the top-selling motorcycle in America. At that point, the automaker turned its attention to four-wheel transportation in the states, embarking on a new mission to sell cars in the U.S. with the N600.
It was just 122 inches in length and could actually fit between the wheels of some full size vehicles in America, which measured up to 225 inches in length and weighed nearly twice as much as the NSX.
The N600 had an all-alloy engine that could achieve 9000 rpm and reach speeds of 81 miles per hour.