A Honda S800 Like You’ve Never Seen Before

It could be debated all day long where the line between resto-modding and outright modding sits, and I come across many cars in Japan that are really hard to make a call on. There are plenty of ways to improve an older vehicle, and the vast majority of owners in Japan have always enjoyed tinkering with their vintage rides, making them handle better, adding more power and addressing old engineering solutions with more modern parts and upgrades.

And this Honda S800 at the idlers Games this past weekend had me smiling.

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It probably started off with the owner swapping out stock or aged parts for more performance-oriented stuff, but then along the way, they probably thought ‘screw it – the technology is there and I’m just going to embrace it.’

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Sticking to Soichiro Honda’s principles of keeping cars as light as possible, the owner went the composite route by adding a Kevlar hard top, hood and trunk lid.

More weight was removed from the cabin thanks to a thorough dose of stripping and the addition of a smaller bucket seat that would fit the tight interior.

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A quick glance of the small, all-alloy 791cc four-cylinder motor reveals that the ignition has been upgraded with a more modern system, and that the stock radiator has been replaced for one double in size. If you look closely you will also see the remote reservoirs for the front dampers, hinting that no expense has been spared on this particular build.

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The stock carburetors have given way to a Keihin FCR setup, a rather fitting addition as they were originally developed for superbikes and the motor in the little Honda is much more akin to a motorcycle engine than a car one. And yes, the little thing sounded awesome on track.

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There’s even a custom badge on the Kevlar trunk lid denoting that this is definitely not your average S800.

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The car runs a set of RS Watanabe wheels shod in Yokohama Advan A050 semi-slicks, the tire of choice for track duty in Japan.

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There can’t be too many S800s out there that run a JDM tuner-like rear diffuser, and it looks like this owner might have picked one up from RE Amemiya and adapted it to fit the narrow dimensions of this modified ’60s Honda.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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21 comments

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1

First the AZ-1, then this...
Awesome car and equally brilliant article. Thanks!

2

That's Carbon/Kevlar hybrid material guys!.

3

Any pictures on those Swifts?

Author4
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'm sure Blake will have one in his main coverage post :)

5
Daniel P Huneault

what an amazing looking car! all the mods done were perfect and tasteful - bravo!

6

Fully Agree! A heavily modified Car, but it's not all up its own ass about it.

Nicely executed!

Author7
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Very good point, extreme for a classic, but functional

8

Dino,

Do you know what diamter the wheels are here? I'm loving the sizing, just can't tell if they are 13s or 14s

Author9
Dino Dalle Carbonare

13s :)

10

The really interesting car is to the left of the Honda, that orange Z has been the fastest in the NA Hyper class for a while, is there anyway we could get a feature on it one day Dino?

11

Yes this, 100% could not agree more. Definite feature material right there!

12

The carbs are "CR"s, not "FCR"s as the FCRs are FLAT slide throttle and these are the round slide throttle. The round slides are actually a close approximation to a racing "sport kit" part that Honda made available for the S800s back in the day. I also noticed that a modern alternator has been adapted in place of the original (& much heavier) generator.

13
Matthew Everingham

Well spotted Doug!

14

Now THAT'S cool!
Total functionality and completely different than anything else, can't beat it!

15
Patrick Peebles

I'm in love with this car...

16

Any info on the rx7 behind it?

17

Looks quite different from my dads old race honda

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18

I've loved this car ever since I saw it on karate kid 2 lol did they ever sell these car in America? I'd love to own one some day but I'm gonna have to cut my legs off to fit inside of it

19
Brooke Whiting

Love love love love

20

Seriously love all the Spotlights at the mo Dino. This, the Mazda AZ-1 and the Alfa 156 are all perfect.

21
Matthew Everingham

Mixing new and old seamlessly. Kudos to the owner and team behind this! One of the coolest cars I've seen for a while!

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