There's a new Civic Type R coming, complete with some large quantity of horsepower (276+) some fancy new tech (turbocharging), and some extreme suspension and body modifications (the funkiest rear wing/light combo in decades). It's gonna be good, but will it be great, like some Hondas of the past?
The car above is the late '60s/early '70s Honda 1300 Coupe 9.
To start, the Coupe 9 had a mere 116 horsepower, it had a four-cylinder engine, and it had front-wheel drive. It's like any cheapo Hyundai or Toyota two-door today.
Despite having just four cylinders with a total of 1.3 liters of displacement, the Coupe 9 had four carburetors. That should give you a sense of how extreme was the design.
It was air-cooled, but with a unique kind of cooling fan it was as quiet and refined as a water-cooled motor. Moreover, it actually forced cooling air through channels in the engine just like a water-cooled design.
The handling was unparalleled. Some car reviewers were convinced the car was rear-wheel drive until they opened the hood and stared in disbelief at everything-up-front layout.
The Coupe 9 was a fascinating design exercise in building an easy-to-drive, easy-to-own sporty coupe. I might say that the formula has never been bettered.
What Honda do you think was the greatest car the company every produced?