I'm a big fan of older Japanese cars, especially Hondas (my roommate and I had a 1979 Civic 1200 in college). So, when Tom Thies joined the Subcompact Culture Facebook group and said he had a '72 Honda AZ600, I knew I had to post it on the blog.
FYI, the Honda 600 was the company's first automobile to be sold in the U.S., and was offered from 1970–1972. (The Civic wasn't introduced in 1973). The AZ600 was the "sports" version; the AN600 was the more traditional-looking hatch (aka the sedan). Both cars were powered by 598cc air-cooled two-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, and making 36 horsepower.
When Tom bought his AZ600 in 2008, there was a lot of work to be done to the body: Getting rid of rust, body damage, and the peeling spray-paint finish. In addition, it also needed mechanical work including brakes, a bad gas tank, master cylinder, and an engine rebuild. As you can see in the photos, he took care of all of that.
As you can see in the photo below, this is a tiny little vehicle—no that's not a huge quad—the car is that small. To really appreciate these vehicles, you need to see them in person.
Tom says it's a lot of fun to drive, and I don't doubt it. He recently took the vehicle to the Tillamook, OR Air Museum Car show, and said he had a blast. By the way, note the position of the shifter under the dashboard. And you thought the Civic Si was the first vehicle to have its shifter there! Take that you young whipper snappers!
What a great restoration of a classic Honda automobile—nice work, Tom!