A Short History of the Honda 600 Coupe and Sedan in the USA

The Honda 600 was the first car sold in the USA by Honda.  It has a two-cylinder, four-stroke, air-cooled engine.  In 1970, the Honda 600 Sedan was introduced, followed by the Honda 600 Coupe in 1971.  Sales of both continued only through model-year 1972.  Honda switched to it's four-cylinder Civic in 1973.

The Honda 600 Coupe and Sedan are virtually the same vehicle mechanically, with mostly cosmetic differences.  The sedan has a squared-off shape similar to a classic Austin Mini, whereas the Coupe has a "sportier" design, featuring a hatchback.

The 600 is a "beefier" variant of the Honda 360, which was sold in Japan as a "Kei car". The only real difference in the USA version is the bigger, 598cc engine put in place to accommodate USA driving conditions.   "Kei cars" are a classification of vehicles in Japan that provide for certain tax and insurance benefits and other privileges.  In the early 1970s the basic requirements included that the cars have a 360cc or smaller engine, and be no more than 3 meters in length.   Here is Wikipediaís description: "...Kei car, K-car, or keijidōsha (軽自動車?, lit. "light automobile") (pronounced [keːdʑidoːɕa]), is a Japanese category of small vehicles, including passenger cars, vans, and pickup trucks. They are designed to comply with Japanese government tax and insurance regulations, and in most rural areas are exempted from the requirement to certify that adequate parking is available for the vehicle. This especially advantaged class of cars was developed to promote popular motorization in the post-war era..."

Over itís two-year model life Honda sold approximately 15,000 copies of the Coupe, and over the three-year model life of the Sedan, Honda sold about 25,000.

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