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Old 24th August 2007, 08:46   #1
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Default Somebody please make cars like this one!! - Honda S800

I was in the Automotive Hall of Fame recently in Dearborn MI. And of all the slobmobiles in there, the one CAR that caught my eye was this one: (mods forgive me for these huge pictures, but its too small to be noticed in a thumbnail!!)




Its a Honda S800 from the 60's, and this is one car that excited me more than seeing any Ferrari or even original Countach in the flesh.

Whats immediately apparent: ITS SO TINY!!!



Yeah, TINY. Stood next to what looks like a 1949 Chrysler (thats a real wall between the cars, folks).






DAMN...that must be fun to drive.



This one was a racing version that participated in what appears to be a one-make racing series in Europe & Japan (see backdrop in above pics). The megaphone exhausts of the car dominate the ancient live axle (the only fly in the ointment):


This is where it probably all began. Honda RSC, the grand-dad of Mugen:



The curator wouldn't let me open the hood & take pictures. Thats where the beauty lies. In stock form, this 800cc car made, get this, 70 bhp at 8000 rpm, and the roller-bearing crankshaft spun to 10,000 rpm!! I dont know what this special race-prep car did, but even stock that's impressive numbers in the 1960s. Hell, thats impressive in the 2000's.

In the west, specially the US, this car is as rare as hen's teeth. I hear there are some good examples running in Japan though.

When I see this car, I wonder: What stops somebody from making a car like this today? A bare bones, fun to drive, street roadster, with a peppy engine & barebones electronics in it wouldnt be hard to make surely. What do you guys think of this car......wouldnt something like this be viable to make & sell today for a mainstream manufacturer?
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Old 24th August 2007, 09:47   #2
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Nice find. I love the Yellow and the simple yet elegant look of the car.

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Old 24th August 2007, 10:46   #3
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Yup, the S800 was a rock star in its time.

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When I see this car, I wonder: What stops somebody from making a car like this today? A bare bones, fun to drive, street roadster, with a peppy engine & barebones electronics in it wouldnt be hard to make surely. What do you guys think of this car......wouldnt something like this be viable to make & sell today for a mainstream manufacturer?
Hmmmm.....Honda S2000 anyone?
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Old 24th August 2007, 11:05   #4
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That's a really awesome car ! I'm really impressed by the 10,000 RPM red-line.

These days manufacturers have to contend with stuff like fuel efficiency mandates, emission controls, & crash protection - which tend to smother engines & make cars heavier. I guess even Honda would be hard pressed to come up with a car like this again.

Nevertheless, it's a beautifully restored & maintained example. That Chrysler looks menacing next to the tiny Honda
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Old 24th August 2007, 11:12   #5
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IIRC this car was the inspration for the S2000 but of course, they went a little too banzai with that car! Good pics Ananth, now if only someone could make one like this & introduce it here for 6-8L!!
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Old 24th August 2007, 12:18   #6
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I dont think this car in question is in its stock avatar ananthkamath. Nevertheless its a mean little street machine still.
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Old 24th August 2007, 12:33   #7
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Sorry to go off topic but, is the Chrysler in pictures a New Yorker?
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Old 24th August 2007, 12:38   #8
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nice found ananth,love the car.
BTW what is megaphone exhaust??
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Old 24th August 2007, 13:12   #9
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the s800 looks stunning in yellow suttle yet eye catching. i think the car is not fit for our roads as it is too small. i think if it were to be made the size of the s2000 with a smaller engine it would do fine priceing would not exceed 4-5 lacs and a nice comfortable sports car.
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Old 24th August 2007, 13:56   #10
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Seen S2000 when i was in Mumbai, not much impressive as it feels like trying to achive the status of Ferraries, Lambos.
But apart from that the car was awesome compared to others.
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Old 24th August 2007, 14:18   #11
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mmm sweet mother of god, that is one great car. Kept on drooling at it until my colleague brought me back to reality.
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Old 24th August 2007, 17:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Sorry to go off topic but, is the Chrysler in pictures a New Yorker?
Possible, shes either a New Yorker or a Windsor, depending on engine config. The bodystyle is the Newport, with what they called a clearbac rear window.
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Old 24th August 2007, 19:01   #13
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Lol the car looks sleek. Or maybe just that the Chrysler is too big. But the car
must have been a fun to drive.

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Originally Posted by Ajaybiz View Post
Seen S2000 when i was in Mumbai, not much impressive as it feels like trying to achive the status of Ferraries, Lambos.
But apart from that the car was awesome compared to others.
I think the S2000 was designed to compete with the Boxsters and the Z4s, never with the lambos or ferraris, unless ofcourse the owner was personally trying to race F&L. For F&L Honda had the NSX.
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Old 24th August 2007, 20:26   #14
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Dude that is ONE great find. The third picture is just great. No explanations required about the size of the car and one can only imagine how that thing must've handled better than many cars of today. I doubt the heavier s2000 of today could even be better? handling wise atleast. of course this is all speculation.
By the way i've been to the henry ford museum but never to the hall of fame. wat else is there? i need to go! and btw when were u here dude? you should have dropped by!
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Old 24th August 2007, 20:30   #15
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Long ago actually....must've been in May. I just didnt have the pics on my laptop thats all. Hall of fame is not that impressive except for this car. One other car that might interest people like us is a 1937 Cord. Nothing else worth mentioning.

I think the best handling cars were the early S600's with chain drive (yes!!) & independent rear suspension. This one has a live rear axle.

@payam - megaphone exhaust is a diverging cone which helps scavenge the exhaust gases much better than a straight pipe, & over a much longer range of rpm. Used in racing motorcycles mostly.

Last edited by ananthkamath : 24th August 2007 at 20:34.
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