Strange But True: Honda Celebrates Its Heritage by Restoring a Chevy Pickup

Chevys helped American Honda find its footing.

Honda is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the United States with a blast from the past with classic motorcycles and a replica of the delivery truck it used during its early years. When it first arrived into the U.S. market back in 1959, Honda bought a fleet of Chevrolet Apache 10 pickups to use as delivery vehicles for the products it was importing over from Japan. Back then, Honda only sold motorcycles and would use its trucks to ship its two-wheeled goods across its dealership network in Southern California. Honda just celebrated its 60th anniversary in the U.S.

In an attempt to re-create a photo of one of the delivery trucks parked in front of its old headquarters on 4077 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, Honda bought a 1961 Chevrolet Apache pickup and restored it to like-new condition, painting it in the same livery as the originals by referencing archival images and getting insight from employees of that era. The truck was powered by a 160-hp V-8 engine mated to a three-speed manual transmission. Additionally, two restored classic motorcycles, a Honda 50 and CB160, are placed on the truck bed, and the re-creation is now on display at Honda's current headquarters in Torrance, California.

It took a few years before Honda expanded into the automobile sector. From 1959 to 1968, the company only sold motorcycles. The first Honda vehicle imported to the U.S. was an N600, a modified version of the N360 kei car that went on sale as a 1970 model.

The Chevrolet Apache delivery truck with the two vintage Honda motorcycles in its bed will also be displayed at the 2019 SEMA show. Additionally, Honda is planning to showcase its retro creation at classic-car gatherings around Southern California before it moves to the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance. There, a period replica of the front of the Pico Boulevard office will be built to serve as a backdrop for the truck.