Mention Honda to the typical Motor1.com reader and you’ll probably get a response relating to the Civic, Pilot, or possibly the NSX. That should be no surprise because these days, Honda is among the most successful automobile manufacturers in North America. In 1959, however, things were a bit different. Back then, the manufacturer was just beginning its American journey, and it didn’t start with cars. It started with motorcycles, and to get them into brand new Honda dealerships opening across Southern California, the company bought a small fleet of Chevrolet pickup trucks. You probably see where this is going.
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That first step into the American market occurred 60 years ago, and to help celebrate the occasion, Honda found a classic Chevy half-ton pickup truck similar to one featured in a photo taken back in 1961. The automaker then restored it and recreated the distinctive paint scheme that set Honda’s delivery fleet apart from other trucks on the road at that time. How cool is that?
The project was completed just in time for American Honda’s 60th-anniversary celebration at the company’s headquarters in Torrance, California. To properly recreate the classic photo, Honda also sourced a pair of vintage motorcycles for the truck to haul, specifically and CB160 and a Honda 50 – AKA the Super Cub which would ultimately become the most produced motor vehicle in history.
Ah to have been in the room with Chevrolet representatives 60 years ago when Honda was purchasing these pickup trucks. Do you suppose any of those Bow Tie execs would’ve ever imagined Honda would not only dominate the motorcycle market, but evolve to become a major automotive competitor as well? In any case, we’re very impressed to see Honda taking the high road by investing its time and money to preserve a bit of cross-company history.