Japanese carmakers didn’t have an easy start in the US, but Honda didn’t need to worry. Just six years after the American Honda Motor Company was created in 1959, it became the best-selling motorcycle brand in the country. And to reach a bike market share of almost 72 percent in just six years, Honda used a small fleet of Chevrolet Apache 10 pickup to deliver Super Cubs, CB160s and CB77 Super Hawks to dealers all across Southern California. Then came the first N600 brought ashore, and the rise of four-wheeled Hondas couldn’t be stopped.
Sometime in 1961, American Honda snapped a photo of one of its trucks in front of its headquarters on Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles. Now, having tapped its archives, and the memories of retired employees, American Honda managed to find an original 1961 Apache, and restored it to perfection for its 60th anniversary.
Honda says the half-ton Chevy got “a mild mechanical freshening,” plus the factory correct shade of white, complete with hand-painted graphics. The company also loaded its eight-feet bed with a pair of vintage bikes, a Super Cub, which was advertised at the time as the “Nifty Thrifty Honda 50,” and a CB160, the mighty 16.5-horsepower two-cylinder with a tubular frame, a four-speed gearbox and an electric starter. The completed package is now on display in the lobby of American Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, California, and will be presented at SEMA, as well as other events throughout the year.
Once the anniversary party is over, Honda’s Chevy will make its way to the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance, where it will be staged in front of a replica of the company’s original Los Angeles office.
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