Sunday, September 30, 2012

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Honda History

Honda History
It would be unfair to begin any history of the Honda Civic without taking a few moments to recognize the achievements of Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda. Born in the small rural Japanese town of Hamamatsu in 1906, Soichiro left home as a teenager and began his working life as a junior apprentice in one of the few auto repair garages that were in Tokyo in those days. After surviving Tokyo’s Great Earthquake of 1923 and helping his “master” rebuild, Soichiro returned to his hometown, where he ended up manufacturing piston rings – ironically selling some to Toyota. The end of World War II saw Soichiro selling Toyota his piston ring factory to pursue other (less successful) ventures.

As fate would have it, he acquired 500 small military- surplus generator engines. With minimal tools, and operating out of a 12- by 18-foot shack, Honda and his 12 employees began converting bicycles to use these motors. With the popu- larity of his bikes growing swiftly, they soon ran out of engines, and he was forced to design and manufacture his own. It proved successful, and in 1948, the Honda Motor Company was officially formed. By 1954, Soichiro decided to take a major risk, investing heavily in a new factory and much needed equipment. The early 1960s found Honda’s motorbikes well regarded and selling briskly – their user-friendly 50cc C100 Super Cub was a sales hit.

 It would be at the 1962 Tokyo Auto Show that Honda’s first serious four-wheeled passenger vehicles, the S500 Sports coupe and convertible, were shown. Their driveline was very motorcycle-like, with 360cc and 500cc DOHC inline fours driv- ing a complex rear axle that used aluminum chaincases to pro- vide a form of independent suspension. Later S800 versions gained a more conventional rear end, and produced 70 hp at 8,000 rpm, with an insane 11,000-rpm redline. download more detail here