It’s no secret that MotorMartin is a big fan of all things classic, both cars and motorbikes, indeed MotorMartin’s own two wheeled transport of choice is a rather wonderful, Indian built, Royal Enfield Bullet 500 and so news arriving at MotorMartin Towers regarding Honda UK’s latest project certainly caught my eye.
And here it is, Honda UK has started the restoration project for its recently acquired S800 sports car which is slated to be ready in time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed next June, the car currently being restored is a red 1967 model.
Honda have informed MotorMartin that they are to be working in partnership with Le Riche Automobile Restorers in Jersey, and that they purchased the S800 with a view to adding the car to their growing heritage press fleet and using the car to showcase the rich automotive Honda history at events around the UK. I can’t wait.
The S800 is currently suffering from rust and an unsurprising amount of wear and tear over almost 50 years of use and the S800 is being sympathetically refurbished to a condition that respectfully reflects its age, with Honda UK keen not to “over-restore” the car but keep the end-result authentic.
Philip Crossman, managing director of Honda UK, shared with MotorMartin that: “Next year, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the first four-wheeled Honda to be sold in the UK – the S800. And with this golden celebration for Honda in the UK, the S800 is the perfect addition to the press fleet.” Quite.
“The engine still works perfectly, as you would expect from a Honda, so we don’t need to engage a complete overhaul of the car. The interior needs looking at as do parts of the bodywork – in short it simply needs some loving care and attention, which we are trusting to Le Riche, to get it back to its former glory.”
Capable of reaching the heady heights of 100mph back in the day, the S800 derived its power from a high revving 800cc motor, itself descended from Honda’s successful motorcycle division, which could redline at 10,000 rpm. Production of the S800 finished in May 1970 with almost 12,000 produced. Honda did not manufacture another S roadster for nearly thirty years until the release of the S2000, itself another stunning soft top.
It just remains to say a huge well done to Honda UK for their continuing wish to see their own heritage avavilable to both view and admire. And what a heritage they have. Very impressive thinking from Honda UK.
Where will you go?