- Two great surviving S600 variants
- Unique opportunity for Japanese car collectors
- Very rare S600 Coupe offered with ‘no reserve’
A pigeon pair of red 1965 Honda S600 sports cars are expected to make Australian auction history when they go under the hammer at Shannons upcoming Summer Classic Auction in Melbourne on December 5.
It is believed to be the first time that two of these now-rare and collectible ‘pocket’ sports models have been offered for public sale at the same time, presenting a unique opportunity for Australian and overseas collectors.
Based on Honda’s first production car, the S500 of 1963, the S600 was sold initially as a Roadster from March 1964 – the same year the company entered Formula One and drew heavily on Honda’s experience in motorcycle racing. The range was expanded from 1965 with the addition of a Coupe variant, with production of both models then continuing until 1966.
By then a total approximately 13,000 S600s had been built, with the majority (around 86 per cent) being Roadsters
The crowning jewel of the S600 models was found under the bonnets – an all-alloy four-cylinder engine with twin overhead-camshafts, four carburettors and a roller-bearing crankshaft, with final drive to the rear wheels via two separate enclosed chains.
Displacing 606cc and rated at 57HP (42.5kW) at a screaming 8500rpm, the S600’s crankshaft used needle bearings, common practice on high-revving motorcycles, but rarely found in a production car.
The S600’s specification also boasted sophisticated, fully independent suspension via A-arms and torsion bars up front and single trailing links, coil springs and an anti-roll bar at the rear, along with finned drums on all four wheels.
Owned by a Melbourne enthusiast since 2002, the Honda S600 Roadster in Shannons December 5 Melbourne Auction was restored by 2004. It has since been featured in Unique Cars magazine and also appeared on Honda’s own stand at the 2005 Melbourne International Motor Show – a testimony to the quality of its workmanship.
The Roadster has hardly been used since its restoration and remains in superb condition today.
Notable features include a period-correct wooden steering wheel, whitewall tyres and period GT stripes that complement the S600’s Scarlet Red exterior.
Honda S600s rarely come on the market in such good condition, making this a wonderful opportunity for any fancier of early Japanese cars at its estimate selling range of $22,000-$28,000.
The even-rarer S600 Coupe – one of just 1,519 built in 1965 out of approximately 1800 produced over a two-year period – is an older restoration that was refurbished extensively 25 years ago, but still presents well today.
It is being offered with ‘no reserve’, with Shannons expecting it to attract keen International interest at its estimated selling price of $18,000-$22,000.