1971 Honda 1300 Coupe 9 S Deluxe
1971 Honda 1300 Coupe 9 S DeluxeSource: private party
Posted: 16 Oct 2007
1971 Honda 1300 Coupe 9 S
The Honda 1300 Coupe, while little known in the U.S, was a Honda milestone and an extremely significant car. These rare Honda Coupes were produced as part of the 1300 model line, which started in 1968. The 1300 was Honda’s largest vehicle to date when it was released, with true family car proportions compared with the company’s smaller 2-cylinder 600s. 1300 Coupes were offered in two variants: the Coupe 7 and the Coupe 9. The Coupe 9 S was the hotter performance model, with stiffer suspension and four Kei-Hin carburetors in place of the 7’s mere one.
The Coupe 9 was a true feat of ingenuity in engineering, employing a number of advanced design techniques: it was front-wheel-drive, using an air-cooled, quadruple-carbureted 1300cc I4 utilizing a dry sump lubrication system. The little 1300 put out 116 bhp at 7300rpm, a remarkable 88 horsepower per liter! This was, essentially, a use of Honda’s brilliant motorcycle technologies geared towards an automotive application. It also featured a unique cross over swing axle rear suspension setup. The result was a car that was quick, great to drive, with very attractive European-looking proportions.
Rarity: The Coupe 9 is extremely rare! Only about 8000 Coupe 9’s were ever built, with most of them staying in Japan. One Coupe 9 S was shipped to Southern California for testing purposes when the car was new – the only 1300 Coupe ever in the United States, to my knowledge. Who knows if that car still exists?
A 1971 Coupe 9 Deluxe in original condition, recently exported from Australia. It was purchased by its last owner from the estate of Alexander Copland of Melbourne, a wealthy and eccentric only son of a successful property investor. It is possible Mr. Copland was the original owner of the car. A copy of the Bonhams catalog from the sale of Copland’s estate on 4 March 2007 is included with the car. They offer some insight into this fascinating man: “Throughout his life, Alex was an avid collector of clocks, cars, and curiosities. His car collection included a Ford GT 40, an Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and a Lancia Aurelia”. Clearly, he was a man of good taste!
The Honda is in solid original condition, though ready for recommissioning in order to get it back on the road or the show circuit. The body is structurally solid and there is very little rust for a car of this era – the only rust I have found on the car are some bubbles on the back edges of the front fenders (see photos). The floorpan, rocker panels, and other major components appear to be solid. The body of the car is very straight.
The paint is probably an older repaint in the original color and it is looking weathered. There are scratches and the roof has suffered cracks in the paint presumably due to exposure to sun.
The car runs well and all systems are functioning. I drove the car around the block today, and found it to have good power, a good gearbox (all 4 speeds working well), and a generally solid ride. The brakes are very weak, and the clutch is old, but the car will move under its own power. Keep in mind: This car was last registered in Australia in 1997, and probably hasn’t moved more than a couple miles since then. As with any car that hasn’t been in use for a decade, you’d be advised to check out all systems before really driving the car.
The interior is original and is complete, though used. The front seats are in good shape and not split. The top of the rear seat has split due to sun exposure and will need to be re-done. Original carpet shows normal wear all around, and is split on passenger floor. The tach and oil pressure gauges work (oil pressure read 70psi on my run around the block). The speedo/odometer does not work. Odometer reads 56,820.
The sale includes an original factory service manual as well as a copy. The original owners manual is present as well. Additionally, the buyer will receive a rare large Japanese foldout brochure featuring the Coupe 7s and Coupe 9s along with Honda's motorcyles. The cover shows the Coupe 9 S that was imported to LA for testing purposes during that period.
This is one of only 468 1300 Coupes sold to Australia in 1971. Only 1053 Honda 1300 Coupes ever left Japan, according to www.honda-1300-coupe.com , and this is the only one I have been able to confirm being in the United States. As such, it is an extremely unique and rare Japanese nostalgic car.
While this car will take some work to make it a useful driver or a great show car, it is an extremely worthwhile project. It is the rarest Honda in the United States, and the most significant of Honda’s early automotive efforts. You’ll be the star of the show at the next Japanese Classic Car Show, Motoring J Style, or local Honda meet!
From Wikipediais a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda surpassed Nissan in 2001 to become the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer.
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