1971 Honda 1300 Coupe 9 – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Honda 1300 Coupe 9 today s tempter Honda 1300 Coupe 9 today s tempter

A very special little car, and the final project of Mr. Honda himself

Fun to look at, and fun to drive!

This obscure little coupe represents a poignant period in Honda’s lifetime, flying in the face of today’s boring model line-up – Hondas of yesteryear were built out of passion and excitement.

The Honda 1300 was the last car Soichiro Honda ever personally oversaw before his retirement, and reflects an amalgamation of his life’s work chasing engineering innovation, and the imagination of the motor car.

Born to a blacksmith father who built bicycles out of recycled parts, and a mother who made her own weaving looms, Mr. Honda grew up immersed in machinery.

Legend has it that – as a child – his imagination was so captured by a Model T Ford driving the other way, little Soichiro chased it down the road, tripping and falling upon a drop of oil it had left behind.

That moment changed the trajectory of his life, a life he would dedicate to the pursuit of engineering.

By the time the 1300 came about, Honda had been doing pretty well. They’d become an F1 constructor’s marque – winning their first Grand Prix in 1965 - and had already released the cult S500 and N360 Kei-car.

These cars were, however, far too small to make a mark in international markets. Honda needed a Toyota Corona-fighter.

Enter the 1300. The most powerful engine was an air-cooled and dry-sumped 1.3lt unit boasting 87kW, found under the bonnet of the Coupe 9. With driven wheels at the front, it trounced the Corona’s 67kW, and featured a trick rear swing axle that bolted to opposite sides of the chassis – countering the off-camber bucking that typically plagues the swing-axle system.

Our sister magazine Wheels proudly proclaimed that the "nicest thing about driving the Honda 1300 Coupe is that you’d never know it was front drive unless you peeped under the bonnet".

This Coupe 9 in particular is a rare find, and the only one listed for sale currently in the country.

With a few racecar bits, like a deep-corn steering wheel and a driver’s side bucket seat, this pokey little classic will be as happy driving to the shops on a Sunday as it will blasting down front straight at Sandown.

Listed at $24,500 and eligible for Club Rego, you can check out the full listing here!

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