As is the case with many car companies, Honda didn’t start out building cars. In October of […]
As is the case with many car companies, Honda didn’t start out building cars. In October of 1946, Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan in order to develop and produce small 2-cycle motorcycle engines. Two years later, Honda Motor Company, Ltd. was born, and in 1959 Honda opened a tiny shop in Los Angeles with six employees, a trio of extremely well-made motorbikes, and a dream. Over the next 50 years Honda has released a massive amount of motorcycles, from the insanely fast CBR, to the puttering little 50cc Super Cub.
But what most people don’t know is that most of Honda’s early cars had 2-cylinder motorcycle engines powering them! Utilizing what was readily available, these motors were already deemed reliable, and since the cars weighed little more than a sushi roll, slapping air-cooled motorcycle motors in them was a no-brainer. Most of these motors barely crested 36 horsepower, but the cars they powered were typically smaller than the original MINI.