Honda goes retro-future-vintage celebrating 60 years in North America
The North American division of Honda is celebrating its 60th anniversary by bringing just about anything it's ever made to Sin City, for this year's SEMA, which takes place November 5 - November 8 at the Convention Center in Las Vegas.
This is clearly the result of a lengthy discussion. If I close my eyes, I can totally picture an army of white-collar suits exchanging ideas and coffee at Honda's HQ in Torrance, California. They wanted to bring modern vehicles but they also wanted to showcase classic cars and what they've done, in the best tradition of multiple choices, is tick every single box and bring everything. The Honda exhibit will include, among other things, two 2020 CR-Vs, a 1999 Civic, a 2019 Civic drift car, a 1972 N600, a 1968 S800 Outlaw, a 2019 Rally Passport and, you're gonna love this, a replica of the original Chevy pick-up truck which the company used to deliver honda motorcycles.
Heritage Chevy Truck with Vintage Cub and CB160
This is a replica of the 1961 Chevy Apache pick-up truck which Honda purchased a couple of years after setting up shop in North America in 1959. It is entirely based on the Chevy truck (pictured in b&w in front of American Honda Motor Co. original office in LA) and features the exact same hand-painted lettering and trim as the 1961 truck.
In the olden days, this is what salespeople would use to deliver and sell motorcycles and as a hommage to that, Honda even placed a 1965 Honda 50 and a 1965 CB160 on the truck bed.
This is the Rally Passport, based on a 2019 Passport and built by Honda R&D in Ohio. It is a one-off, private project designed to emphasize the Passport's off-road potential by competing in the Limited 4WD class of the American Rally Association. It eventually finished 2nd in class and 12th overall, which is not bad, at the Southern Ohio Forest Rally.
In order to turn this is a rally a racer, Honda R&D made a few changes by fitting a roll cage, Maxxis Razr MT Tyres and Carbotech brake pads.
2020 CR-V Dream by Jsport Performance
This is a 2020 CR-V built by JSport Performance with an "adventurous" spirit. The company calls it the “Dream” and it is designed to be a self-reliant vehicle for long-distance travel. It is equipped with a lift kit and new side steps along with a new front bumper and a Plateau modular roof rack.
The car sits on Nitto Ridge Grappler all-terrain tyres with 17-inch KMC off-road wheels. It also includes, among other things, a Roofnest Falcon rooftop tent, an all-purpose cabinet and a refrigerator.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Do by Jsport
This is yet another CR-V built by Jsport and it is, in essence, the sensible alternative to the "Dream" version you saw earlier. It does share some of the features with the Dream, like the 1.5-inch lift kit, the side steps and the tyres and wheels, but there's no rooftop tent or anything like that. What it does have instead is a practical Cannondale mountain bike mounted to the roof basket.
This is a RWD 1972 Honda N600 and it has been extensively modded with a million tweaks and changes here and there.
It is powered by a Honda VFR 800cc V4 motorcycle engine, with a 12,000 RPM redline. The suspension come from a Mazda Miata and the wheels, for some reason, remind me of the original MINI. Go figure.
1999 Civic SuperStreet Heritage
Around twenty years ago, Honda launched something called the Civic Si Challenge where participants were asked to modify a stock Civic Si with a budget of $10,000. Super Street magazine made several changes to this 1999 and American Honda decided to showcase this as a monument to the tuning styles of the early 2000s. Mattel even built a 1:18-scale diecast model.
Everything about it, from the wheels to white decal to the taillights, screams 2000. This is like watching the first installment of the Fast & Furious franchise or playing 2003 Need for Speed: Underground. Inside you'll find a banging sound system, a roll cage, additional aftermarket gauges and red racing seats. It is phenomenally flashy and excessive. And kinda lovable, too. I guess.