1970 Honda S800 Roadster  Chassis no. S800.1006039 Engine no. 010662

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Lot 3
1970 Honda S800 Roadster
Chassis no. S800.1006039 Engine no. 010662

Sold for € 20,700 (US$ 24,059) inc. premium

Automobiles de Collection

11 Sep 2010, 15:00 CEST

Paris

1970 Honda S800 Roadster
Chassis no. S800.1006039
Engine no. 010662
Not surprisingly, considering that it was - and still is - the world's largest producer of motorcycles, Honda's first sports cars featured technology borrowed from its Grand Prix-winning two-wheelers. Engines were all-aluminium, twin-overhead-camshaft, four-cylinder units with roller bearings used throughout, and the early 531cc S500 and 606cc S600 models employed a part-chain transmission. Introduced in 1963, the S500 was Honda's first production motor car of any kind. Despite the tiny engine its performance was amazing, a top speed of around 80mph (129km/h) being achievable under favourable conditions. The engine red line was set at an unprecedented 9,500rpm.
Launched in March 1964, the S600 was the first of the family to be available as a closed coupé (the S500 was produced as a roadster only) and the first to be manufactured in left-hand drive form for export. It was also the most successful, out-selling both its predecessor and the later S800.
Introduced in 1965 at the Tokyo Motor Show, the last-of-the-line 791cc S800 retained the separate ladder-frame chassis and chain drive of its predecessors. After approximately 1,000 cars had been produced, the S800 adopted a more conventional final drive consisting of a prop shaft and coil-sprung live rear axle located by radius arms and a Panhard rod. Front disc bakes, replacing the original drums, were standardised soon after. A revised version - the S800M - was introduced in 1968 incorporating side repeater lights, dual-circuit brakes, flush-fitting door handles, safety glass and a 'lean burn' engine, changes aimed at the American market although the car was never officially imported there.
Revving to 8,000rpm and with 70bhp on tap, the S800 was good for almost 100mph (161km/h) and more than capable of giving the larger 'Spridgets' and Spitfires a run for their money. Coupé and roadster versions of the S800 were offered, a total of approximately 11,500 being manufactured between 1965 and 1970. Today these Japanese 'miniature E-Types' enjoy a cult following and are catered for by a most enthusiastic owners' club.
Stylish and undeniably most attractive, this charming and historic Honda sports car was purchased at auction by the current vendor in December 2006 having previously formed part of a small but select private collection in Switzerland for eight years. It is believed to have had only a few owners in Switzerland and is presented today in very good, partially restored condition, benefiting from a new set of carburettors.

Sans surprise, compte tenu du fait qu'il était – et reste - le plus important constructeur de motos du monde, la première voiture de sport de Honda comportait une technologie empruntée à ses deux-roues de Grand Prix. Les moteurs étaient des quatre-cylindres tout en aluminium, à 2 ACT, totalement équipés de roulements à rouleaux et les premières S500 de 531 cm3 et S600 de 606 cm3 utilisaient des chaînes dans leur transmission. Introduite en 1963, la S500 fut la première voiture de production de Honda toutes catégories confondues. Malgré son minuscule moteur, les performances étaient étonnantes avec une vitesse maximale d'environ 130 km/h dans les meilleures conditions. Le régime limite du moteur était fixé à la valeur inouïe à l'époque de 9 500 tr/min.

Lancée en mars 1964, la S600 fut la première de la famille proposée en coupé fermé (la S500 n'exista qu'en décapotable) et la première produite avec direction à gauche pour l'exportation. Ce fut aussi la plus diffusée avec des ventes supérieures à celle de sa devancière et de la S800.

Introduite en 1965 au Salon de Tokyo, la petite dernière, la S800, conservait le châssis caisson né séparé et la transmission à 2 chaînes de ses ancêtres. Après la production d'environ 1000 exemplaires, la S800 adopta une transmission finale plus classique avec arbre de transmission et pont arrière oscillant suspendu par ressorts hélicoïdaux et guidé par des bras longitudinaux et une barre Panhard. Des freins avant à disques, remplaçant les tambours, furent standardisés peu après. Une version révisée – la S800 M – fut introduite en 1968 munie de répétiteurs latéraux de clignotants, d'un double circuit de freinage, de poignées de porte affleurantes, de glaces de sécurité et d'un moteur à « mélange pauvre », modifications destinées au marché américain où, pourtant, la voiture ne fut jamais importée officiellement.

Montant à 8 000 tr/min et disposant de 70 ch, la S800 vendue pour 160 km/h était en mesure d'en donner pour leur argent aux plus grandes « Spridget » et Spitfire. Des versions coupé et roadster de la S800 étaient offertes et environ 11 500 voitures au total furent produites entre 1965 et 1970. Aujourd'hui, ces « Type E miniatures » japonaises sont devenues des voitures culte, couvées par des clubs d'amateurs très actifs.

Élégante et indéniablement attirante, cette Honda sport charmante et historique fut acquise aux enchères par l'actuel vendeur en décembre 2006 après avoir fait partie pendant huit ans d'une petite, mais très sélective collection privée en Suisse. Elle aurait eu peu de propriétaires dans ce pays et elle se présente en très bon état, en partie restaurée, avec, notamment, un jeu de carburateurs neufs.
1970 Honda S800 Roadster  Chassis no. S800.1006039 Engine no. 010662
1970 Honda S800 Roadster  Chassis no. S800.1006039 Engine no. 010662
1970 Honda S800 Roadster  Chassis no. S800.1006039 Engine no. 010662
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