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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Honda

In the world of car manufacturing, it’s fair to say that the world is fairly transparent, so if you want to know something about your favourite car or model, it will no doubt be readily available.

However, while this is true, there are some facts which slip away from the mainstream, only known by a lucky few.

Here at Cox Motor Parts we are just as obsessed with cars as you, and that’s why we have put together this list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about Honda.

1. A Link with Toyota
Famously Honda was founded by, and named after a Japanese engineer back in 1946 named Soichiro Honda, which he called the Honda technical Research Institute back then.

However, it is less well known that before he founded Honda, he had another company that produced car parts such as piston rings.

This company, named Tökai Seiki, produced its parts and sold them to another now well known Japanese manufacturer Toyota.

2. First Battery Powered Vehicle
Honda has always been known for their forward-thinking, innovative approach to the motor industry.

This was no more apparent than between 1997-99 when they produced just 340 of the manufacturers first ever battery electric powered vehicle, the EV Plus.

While this car itself didn’t achieve much, it’s basis was interestingly recycled as a development chassis for what would later become the Honda FCX, Honda’s first zero emissions vehicle.

3. The first Honda Song
Such was the popularity of Honda motorbikes in California in the early 1960’s that a band was created in their name.

The Hondells were an American surf rock band manufactured by the legendary songwriter and producers Brian Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.

Their biggest hit, fantastically named Little Honda reached no.9 in the US charts in 1964, and you can hear it by following this link.

4. A Link with Ford
Simply because of the man’s engineering genius, this is the second brilliant fact about Soichiro Honda.

Back in 1928, way before he developed Honda, he actually helped develop a Ford, essentially making the first Honda a Ford!

Honda fitted a Curtiss-Wright V-8 aircraft engine into a Ford chassis, the vehicle went on to set the Japanese speed record of the da, reaching 75mph.

5. IndyCar Engines
Back in 2006, Honda became the sole supplier of engines in the IndyCar series for the first time.

While this is fairly interesting in itself, it isn’t the best bit. As a testament to the quality and lasting nature of their engines, that years Indianapolis 500 was the first in recorded history to not feature a single engine problem.

6. First Production Car
Up until 1963, Honda was very much a motorcycle manufacturer. However, in 63’ they released their first two vehicles.

The first was the T60, a small truck, The second was the first production car named the S500.

This beautiful small sports car was a 2door roadster and was essentially powered by a developed motorcycle engine.

Unfortunately only 1,363 S500s were ever made, but you can see just how eye-catching by clicking here.

7. Honda Motor Racing
Honda is, of course, a well-known manufacturer in all forms of motorsport including F1, CART, IndyCar, motocross, motorcycling, sports cars and touring cars, however, this wasn’t always the case.

Up until 1965 Honda was only seen as a competitor in motorcycling, as its early successes on and of the track had very much been on two wheels.

This all changed when Honda announced itself on the F1 scene when North American driver Richie Ginther won the Mexican Grand Prix in the Honda RA272.

8. It’s Not Just Cars and Bikes
While Honda is well known for its manufacturing of Cars and motorcycles, it actually has a hand in a lot more than that.

Some of Honda’s other projects include watercraft, aircraft, lawn equipment, bikes, ATV’s and solar power.

One of their more marquee side projects is of course into robotics, turning a lot of heads back in 2011 with the very lifelike ASIMO.

9. 4-Wheel Steering System
Honda is, of course, one of the leading manufacturers in terms of advancing technology, and its development of 4-wheel steering was no exception.

The third generation Honda Prelude, released first in 1987 was the first car to feature the steering option in mass production. In the year of its release, it beat every other new car in the slalom test, even the likes of Porsche and Ferrari.

10. Rare NSX Model
In 1999 Honda released a special edition of their NSX model, named after the famous Italian CART driver Alex Zanardi.

The car, which was released to commemorate his two back-to-back championship wins in 97’ and 98’, however only a tiny number of the NSX special edition were ever made.

In fact, including the initial press car and the model gifted to Zanardi from Honda, there were only 51 models ever made, all painted in New Formula Red, the colour of his championship winning car.

Honda is one of the most creative and exciting vehicle manufacturers ever to grace our roads, and as such has bucket loads of interesting facts to go around.