Honda S500

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Honda S500
1963 Honda S500 01.jpg
Manufacturer Honda
Production 1963–1964
1,363 produced
Assembly Suzuka Plant, Suzuka, Mie, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
kei car
Body style 2-door roadster
Layout FR layout
Related Honda T500
Engine 531 cc DOHC I4[1]
Transmission 4-speed manual[1]
Wheelbase 2,000 mm (79 in)
Length 3,300 mm (130 in)
Width 1,430 mm (56 in)
Height 1,200 mm (47 in)
Successor Honda S600

The S500 was the second production car from Honda, released in 1963, following the T360 truck into production by four months. It was a larger displacement variant of the S360 roadster which, though developed for sale in 1962, was never produced.

Like the S360, the S500 used a high-tech engine developed from Honda's motorcycle expertise.[2] It was a dual overhead cam straight-4 with four Keihin carburettors and a 9500 rpm redline.[1] Originally intended to displace 492 cc, the production version was 531 cc and produced 44 hp at 8000 rpm.[1] Weighing just 1500 lb (680 kg), the tiny S500 could hit 80 mph (129 km/h).[citation needed]

At the time of its introduction, its dimensions and engine displacement were larger than established Kei car regulations.

The S500 used a four-speed manual transmission with chain drive at the rear wheels.[1] A four-wheel independent suspension was also novel, with torsion bars in front and diagonal coilover shock absorbers at the rear.

The car was priced at $1,275 in 1963. An optional fiberglass hardtop was also available. 1,363 S500s were produced from October 1963 through September 1964.

The S500 saw competitors during its introduction, with examples called the Datsun Fairlady, the Toyota Sports 800, and the Daihatsu Compagno.



  1. ^ a b c d e Buckley, Martin.The Illustrated Book of Classic Cars. Anness Publishing Ltd, 1997, 2003, p. 146. ISBN 1-84215-972-0
  2. ^ "Sporting Hondas – Classic Buyer’s Guide". New Zealand Classic Car magazine. Sep 21, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. 

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