Honda UK has started the restoration project for its recently acquired S800 sports car. Slated to be ready in time for the Goodwood Festival of Speed next June, the car currently being restored is a red 1967 model.
Working in partnership with Le Riche Automobile Restorers in Jersey, Honda purchased the S800 with a view to adding the car to its growing heritage press fleet and using the car to showcase the rich automotive Honda history at events around the UK.
Currently suffering from rust and unsurprising amounts of wear and tear over almost 50 years of use, 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, commented: “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.
“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 100mph, the S800 derived its power from a high revving 800cc motor, taken from Honda’s 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.
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