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Honda restores 1961 Chevy pickup: start of a success story

Honda restores 1961 Chevy pickup
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F A major anniversary is coming up for Honda in the USA. In 1959 the Japanese opened an inconspicuous little shop in California, and the entry into the market for today's largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world was complete. The American Honda Motor Co., Inc. used a small motorcycle that was brand new at the time and that would make history in the following decades: the Super Cub.

The Honda Super Cub, developed under the leadership of Company patriarch Soichiro Honda, was a completely new concept for the mobility of the Americans in the 1960s: small, inexpensive, handy and extremely economical. Simply christened “Honda 50” in the USA, this small motorcycle, designed on the model of German mopeds but equipped with a 50-cubic four-stroke engine that was revolutionary at the time, was a huge market success for the Japanese, accompanied by a now legendary advertising campaign (“You meet the nicest people on a Honda “(You meet the nicest people on a Honda).

That Original picture from 1961, when Honda was still driving the individual bikes to the dealers themselves. Four years later, the brand had over 70 percent market share in the US

A picture from the beginning of this era comes from that among Honda fans Already in 2018 it found worldwide distribution when the 60th birthday of the Honda Super Cub was celebrated: A 1961 Chevrolet Apache pickup in front of what was then the tiny Honda headquarters, 4077 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. A small fleet of these pickups was then used to deliver Honda motorcycles to dealers in Southern California. In any case, these pickup trucks were not long enough to fill the US market: in 1965, four years after the famous photo was taken, Honda had inUSA has a market share of over 70 percent for motorcycles.

The market entry in the USA was accompanied by a huge advertising campaign which highlighted the inexpensive and economical technology of the Super Cub

For the birthday party of the company founded at the time, Honda USA, now a little bit bigger than it was at the time, thought about this very special photo and went looking for it an authentic T shock. Successful, as has now been shown on the occasion of the official birthday celebrations. Together with long-retired employees from back then and using archive material, the exact appearance including color and lettering was reconstructed and a contemporary Apache pickup was restored.

The single cabin was a brand new and revolutionary model for Chevrolet in 1960, the as the new C /K series replaced the brand's earlier, very rustic small trucks. More comfort thanks to the independent front suspension, more space in the cabin thanks to a redesigned ladder frame and, of course, an ultra-modern body shape for the time. The light representatives of the series were then nicknamed 'Apache', while the heavier ones were christened 'Viking' and 'Spartan'.

Not only the pickup has been restored, the contemporary bikes on its loading area are also in new condition

In the case of the restored Chevy Apache pickup, those responsible resorted to the most enjoyable engine available at the time, a 160 hp 4.6 liter V8 combined with a manual three-speed gearbox. The short driver's cab in conjunction with the 2.44 meter long loading area made the pickup ideal for transporting motorcycles.

Honda parked two more treasures from bygone times on the loading area of ​​the restored Chevrolet: Just a (1965) Super Cub 50 and an early CB. The CB160 with its characteristic in-line twin already achieved a liter output of over 100 hp: 16.5 horses from 161 cubic centimeters. Together with the four-speed manual transmission and the comfortable electric starter, the CB 160 was the typical newcomer bike for young people at the time.

In the video: Contemporary Honda advertising from the 1960s

That The small shop in Los Angeles, in front of which the famous photo was taken in 1961, has since given way to a huge corporation: Today Honda USA employs over 31,000 people in 12 factories and produces over four million vehicles and machines there every year> However, this is still a long way from the Super Cub, with which Honda's history in the USA began. The small motorcycle developed into a unique success story and is still being built today, a proud 61 years after it was first introduced. With well over 100 million units produced, it is by far the most successful motor vehicle on our planet.

This boom largely passed by in Europe, only in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Greece is there a noteworthy one thanks to active importers Scene with fans of the legendary 'Little Honda', as it was sung in 1964 by the 'Beach Boys'. But on the occasion of its 60th birthday, Honda also had respect in Germany and presented a modern variant of the Super Cub to dealers. There you can now officially buy the 1960s-style retro bike, which has been strengthened to 125 cubic meters and equipped with modern technology.


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