Honda Focuses on Restoring the First Production N600
Take a deep dive to Honda’s early years in the U.S. with the model that started it allby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Honda N600 may not look like a special car. It certainly doesn’t look special considering the evolution of automotive design. But those who know their history, specifically Honda’s history in the U.S., will tell you that the N600 is a lot more special than what meets the eye. The N600 holds a particular distinction that each and every owner of a Honda vehicle or motorcycle in the U.S. can be thankful for. It was the first car Honda ever imported into the States, paving the way for the automaker to enjoy the kind of success it has had in this region for the better part of almost 40 years.
One guy who knows a thing or two about the N600 is Tim Mings, a man who Honda itself considers is the foremost authority on the N600. Mings is the subject of a new weekly documentary series called “Serial One.” In it, he takes up the challenge of restoring the N600 that he’s owned for years, not knowing until recently that it also has the serial number “N600-1000001,” making it the first production model sold in the U.S. For somebody who has admitted to working on more than N600 models over the past 20-odd years, having the first production model is a nice tip of the hat to Mings passion.
This episode is the first part of the documentary series. We don’t actually get to see the actual restoration of the N600 because Honda’s likely trying to space that out for future episodes. But we do get a nice introduction to Tim Mings and his story on how he came to be the N600 whisperer. It’s a fascinating thing to watch and it’ll definitely get you interested in watching the entire documentary, one episode at a time.
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Why it matters
If you really wanted to go back to the roots of Honda’s presence in the U.S., the N600 is quite literally the starting point for the company’s eventual time in the country. That, and a handful of other reasons, is why I’m going to be keeping a close tab on this weekly documentary series.
To be clear, I don’t know a whole lot about the N600 other than seeing it in passing on a few occasions. I didn’t know that the N600 had this kind of history, nor did I know how important Ming’s first-production model is to the company. Apparently, the restoration of the this N600 will conclude with the actual car itself being displayed in Honda’s own museum.
I don’t know how many episodes this documentary series will have, but I do know that I’ll be watching every episode until its conclusion. And for what it’s worth, I’ll definitely remember the name Tim Mings. It takes a special kind of love and affection to appreciate a model like the N600 and yet, he has built his entire life on being the preeminent authority of the model. It’s nice that Honda itself is focusing the spotlight on this man because in my mind, every time the N600 is mentioned, the name Tim Mings will immediately come to mind. I can’t imagine no higher praise for the man and the car.