Where You'll Find The First Honda Ever Imported To North America

The N600 was the first Honda imported to America. It debuted in 1967 when large, heavy, and thirsty muscle cars dominated American roads — years before the company's first big splash in the U.S. automotive industry with the Honda Civic

The N600 was not as quick as Detroit muscle, but it did go from zero to 60 mph in 22.2 seconds, with a modest top speed of 77 mph. As Hemmings suggests, this vehicle started at $1,495 in 1972 — well worth its purchase price to the right sort of driver. Honda launched a facelifted coupe variant called the Z600 or Z Coupe in the early '70s with minor trim differences. The Z Coupe had a $1,630 base price when a Ford Maverick started at $1,995. Honda only sold 25,000 N600s and Z600s from 1967 to 1972, but the vehicle paved the way for the automaker's long history of success in the American market. 

The historical significance of this vehicle family means all well-preserved originals or restorations are looked upon with appreciation by car collectors and museum curators alike. Imagine the surprise and excitement one such collector felt in 2010 when he realized he'd purchased not just an early version of this vehicle, but the very first N600 off Honda's assembly line.

The first Honda N600 is in a museum

According to Motor Trend, famous N600 restorer Tim Mings found a used Honda N600 on a trailer at the Pomona Antique Auto Swap Meet in 2007. He left his card on the windshield with a note telling the owner to give him a call, unaware that the tattered little sedan on the trailer was the very first of its kind, complete with VIN number N600-100001. Mings bought the car for the hubcaps and left it sitting untouched for three years before discovering he had the first Honda vehicle imported to America.

Mings spent more than a year restoring the vehicle to its original glory before it was put on display at Honda's U.S. museum with the title N600 Serial One. The vehicle is currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum where it was recently shown next to the Baja N600, also known as "American Honda's first race car." This was confirmed by none other than Ming himself in an Instagram post on April 1, 2022. 

If you'd like to see this vehicle up close and personal, you'll need to purchase tickets from the museum's website and plan your visit in advance. The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. General admission tickets for adults for the museum are $17, while children are admitted for $12, and seniors get in for $15. It's possible the N600 will only be available for viewing in the museum's Legends of the Vault room, which requires its own separate ticket.