Cool & Unique Japanese Import! 598cc, 4 Spd Manual, Runs Great! Clean Inside/Out
If you’ve been paying attention to the collector car market, then you know that Japanese imports are gaining ground as hot collectables. We can’t promise that this 1971 Honda Z600 will become a hot property overnight, but history shows us that ground-breaking cars from major manufacturers that transform markets are often worthy of their place in history and in collectors’ garages.
Perhaps you remember these zipping around city streets in the early ’70s, or maybe you had one, as the Z-cars were the first truly mainstream Japanese vehicles to appeal to the American public’s fickle tastes, and that was likely due to Honda’s wonderful combination of quality, fun-to-drive-quotient, and economy. Most of them were orange or bright red like this little Z-car, so they were high-visibility, which I suspect was intentional, and despite the fact that everyone was deriding these as inferior to Detroit iron, one drive will convince you otherwise. Just the fact that the gaps are still tight, the average driver-grade paint is shiny, and all the unusual little bits and pieces are still intact speaks highly of the quality and care this car has received over the past 50 years.
Honda’s 598cc Inline-2 (hence the Z600 namesake) isn’t going to win any drag races, but it feels energetic and durable going about its business. This was, after all, an economy car, but there’s no rule that says economy cars need to also be boring. The motor is air-cooled and still uses a carburetor, but the technologically advanced design works very well in the lightweight car (even the engine is all-alloy) and makes the car feel perky around town.