WATCH: Restoring Serial One, Honda’s First U.S. Car

honda n600 serial one

Ever heard of the Honda N600 Serial One? It’s the first car Honda imported to the U.S. making it one of the automaker’s first test vehicles for America. So it’s a pretty important piece of Honda’s history.

Well, as you might imagine that day was a while ago. The N600 officially came onto the U.S scene in 1969 and was developed from the Japanese market N360.  It was about three feet shorter than most vehicles on the road in America at that time. (The N600 Serial One was actually assembled two years before, so technically it was built in 1967 then shipped here for testing.)

Somehow a long the way, Serial One ended up collecting dust in a junk pile. It did not fare well. However, it finally ended up in the hands of a guy with more than just a passion for restoring Honda automobiles. He’s restored over 300 of these vehicles. His name is Tim Mings and he’s says he is the only full-time Honda N600 mechanic in the world.

Mings didn’t realize he had Serial One in his possession until he scrapped the dirt and muck off the VIN number. That’s when he saw the magic number: N600-1000001.

“This car here is probably the most important thing I’ll ever own, ” says Tim Mings. “I stand in awe when I think about it, how this is the very first one made.”

It will take him 12 to 18 months to rebuild the first Serial One.  At the end of the restoration, it will end up in the Honda Museum. Honda is documenting the entire journey and you can watch the beginning below.

Photo Credit: Honda
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