- Automotive Makes & Models
The Year is 1970: Honda Cars Debut in America @ Santa Rosa, CA.
Honda cars did not exist until 1970, at least not in the US. From the late 50's to late 60's, Honda was only known in the US for its low cost, fun motorcycles. In 1967, Honda started creating the first car, a tiny, N-600, smaller than a VW Beetle with a two cycle engine. One of the motorcycle shops selling Honda's was Manly in Santa Rosa, CA. Honda invited its owners to Japan to see the new car and talk about selling it in the US. By 1968, Manly cycles got approval for the first Honda car dealership in the USA, yet the car was not ready. So, they continued to sell Honda cycles.
Then, in 1970, the first N-600 arrived in San Francisco. It was only one car. The first Honda to arrive in America. One of the owners of Manly had to hitchhike to SF to pickup the car and drive it back to Santa Rosa, about 70 miles north of SF. The car was put in the showroom, replacing the pool table, and within days sold for $1200.00 new. The first Honda car ever sold in America, seems unbelievable today, but everything starts out small.
In 1980, the person who bought the car traded it in with over 90,000 miles on it for another Honda. The car still occupies the Manly Honda showroom in Santa Rosa.