The search for the modified Honda most worthy of being turned into a real-life Hot Wheels toy has found a winner in the plucky and potent shape of an N600 with a V4 taken from a motorbike.
A 1972 N600 has beaten a host of other heavily tweaked Hondas to win the competition, earning the right not just to be immortalised as a collectible model but also as part of Honda’s SEMA show stand.
Originally Honda’s first US market car, the dinky N600 started out with an advanced all-alloy engine that could rev to 9000rpm. Boy, would we love a go in one. It was small enough to hide within the wheelbase of some American cars of the day, yet bonkers enough to make most supposed performance cars of the day seem boring.
Not much of the original car remains in Stephen Mines’ drastically altered example, though. There’s an adapted Mazda Miata-based suspension system, shortened for performance and style. Then there’s a pair of seats from a Polaris RZR, modified bumpers from late-1960s Chevrolet Camaros and the small matter of an 800cc V4 taken from one of Honda’s most iconic motorbikes.
This rear-wheel drive rev-monster clocks 12,000rpm thanks to a bulletproof Honda V4 taken from a 1998 VFR800. It only cranks out 115bhp but the whole package weighs somewhere in the region of 635kg, so it moves pretty well. It sounds like a hornet’s nest, too.
A driveline tunnel has been added to the formerly front-driven hatchback, Koni coilovers are used at all four corners and there’s a 7.5-inch Ford differential within the narrowed Miata rear subframe. There’s also a striking Supertrapp exhaust.
The only parts of it that are stock are said to be the side glass and the door hinges. Everything else has been replaced, modified, improved or refined to leave the finished product you see here. It took some five years start to finish in the hands of a man called Dean from Bakersfield, California.
The other three finalists of the 2019 Honda Super Tuner Legends were a 1978 Civic, a 2003 S2000 and a 2015 Civic Si.