Honda S600 and S800: Soichiro’s miniature sports car masterpiece

16 April 2018

Porsche, Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Honda have something in common: in each case they commenced automotive manufacturing with a sports car. There is a small qualification in Honda's case because the T360 mini-truck made its debut at the ninth annual Tokyo Motor Show alongside the S360 and S500 sports cars.

Honda’s tiny T360 truck beat the Suzuki Mighty Boy to market by almost a generation.

Honda had employed more than 50 experienced engineers in 1957-58 to develop a people’s car (XA170). But in the third quarter (northern hemisphere fall), Soichiro Honda issued an imperative to create a sports car (XA190). His reasoning was that it would be better to create new demand rather than competing with established manufacturers for a share of existing market sectors. Further, as with Honda motorcycles, racing versions could be developed. Soichiro Honda believed that expertise was most quickly gained through Sport.