Without the Honda S800 and its S360, S500 and S600 predecessors there would be no Civics, no Accords, no Acura’s, no NSX. It was these tiny two-seaters, developed and announced against the will of Japan's all-powerful industrial bureaucracy that levered Honda into the automobile market. Based on Honda's high performance motorcycle engine technology, but in no way borrowed from it, the S800 introduced in 1966 was a real automobile with Systeme Panhard front engine and shaft drive, live rear axle and a water cooled 791cc dual overhead camshaft inline 4-cylinder engine with four carburetors that cranks out some 67 horsepower on the conservative German DIN scale and has a -- for 1966 -- revolutionary 8,500 rpm redline. Among these early Honda S-series roadsters no example is more coveted than the left-hand drive S800 of this example. Finished in red with black interior and black vinyl soft top and boot cover, it has been cosmetically redone on a sound, solid, straight original car. The interior has been upholstered in a usable but non-standard diamond pattern. The exterior paint and chrome are nearly like new and the engine compartment is clean and orderly with an electronic ignition module added. It’s only concession to amenities is the heater and, lest its name be taken too literally, rollup windows. Universally admired for their strong, reliable engines able to absorb frequent revs into five-digit territory and light, sprightly handling, S800s are very rare and most rare of all in left-hand drive, particularly in the US where they were never officially imported. This is a sharp, solid example that will reward its next owner with an exhilarating driving experience from an important milestone in the world's automobile history.
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