Mings reckons he has worked on a 1,000 or more N600s and Z600s, but none of them have been as special as this car. He owned it for several years before cleaning off the serial number, which showed this was the very first example in the US. According to Mings, of the first 50 N600s that Honda brought to the US, only three still survive.
The N600 boasted a 600cc two-cylinder engine that could rev to 9,000 rpm. Today, you can see a modern interpretation of its boxy design in Honda's N-One Kei-class car in Japan.
Honda's documentary series will follow every step of the restoration process, and the completed N600 will go to the company's museum. We can't wait to see how the car looks after Mings brings it back to life.
"Serial One," new online documentary series features the painstaking restoration of the very first Honda N600 in the U.S
Fans can follow the journey as acclaimed N600 mechanic Tim Mings brings the vehicle back to life
Mar 16, 2016 - TORRANCE, Calif. -- The story of American Honda's first N600 vehicle in the United States in 1969 unfolds through the eyes of a determined mechanic, taking viewers on a journey to restore the first American Honda VIN, "Serial One." Launching today on Honda's social channels and at serialone.com, Honda's new weekly online content series pays homage to the company's roots in America and reflects the challenging spirit of Honda by featuring an in-depth look at the step-by-step restoration of the N600 by Los Angeles-based mechanic Tim Mings.
In 1969, after a decade of growth that led to Honda becoming the top-selling motorcycle manufacturer in America and the world, Honda embarked on a new mission to sell cars in the United States. Honda entered the U.S. market with the Honda N600, which was just 122 inches in length and could actually fit between the wheels of some full size vehicles in America, which measured up to 225 inches in length and weighed nearly twice as much as the NSX.
The N600 had an all-alloy engine that could achieve 9000 rpm and reach speeds of 81 miles per hour. A simple, yet skillfully designed vehicle, the N600 was nimble and fuel-efficient, characteristics it shares with today's Honda's, and helped paved the way for the quality and reliability for which Honda vehicles have become known.
"We're so proud to bring the story of Honda's roots in the U.S. to life through the restoration of this vehicle," said Alicia Jones, Honda social media manager. "Finding Serial One, the very first Honda N600 test vehicle in America, and documenting the meticulous process of bringing it back to life really embodies the Honda spirit. We can't wait for viewers to come along with us on this journey."
Episode one begins with an introduction to acclaimed mechanic Tim Mings, known for his incredible ability to bring the most destructed of vehicles back to life, specifically for his experience in working with N600's, having owned one himself, and having restored more than 1,000 N600 vehicles throughout his career, but none as special as Serial One. After collecting dust in a junk pile for almost 50 years, a twist of fate helps "Serial One" find its way to Honda and the right man who can restore it to its former glory.
The "Serial One" series documents the very first N600's journey to make an incredible comeback, sharing Mings' progress and some special surprises along the way. Each week fans can follow the journey as Honda brings an important piece of its history back to life. Fans can follow the progress on the Honda social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram in addition to serialone.com.
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic and Accord passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V and Pilot sport/utility vehicles, and the Odyssey minivan. The next generation Ridgeline pickup truck is set to debut later this year.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 30 years and currently operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2015, more than 99 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.