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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Our First New Car - The Honda 600 - A 2 Cylinder Dynamo

Honda's first car - the Honda 600. 
In the summer of 1972 - Lulu and I bought our first new car together to celebrate our first anniversary.  In those days - on the last day of school in June - one was paid a big check that was supposed to last the whole summer. I was making $7000 a year then teaching - so the summer check was a giant one. We were all dressed up and nowhere to go.

Honda just introduced their first car to America - the N600. It had many innovative features for the time. It weighed 1100 pounds - had a 2 cylinder air cooled engine - front wheel drive - 10 inch tires - front disk brakes - The gear shifter was on the dashboard. It could sit 5 people tightly. You could not get air conditioning. It had 36 horsepower. Two features that caught our eye - it got 40 miles per gallon - and it cost $1473 brand new.

The top speed was 75 miles per hour - and it could go from 0 to 60 MPH in 19 seconds.

We went to a dealer near Philadelphia - and they easily pried that summer pay check out of our hands.  As we were driving home to Tamaqua PA - we realized that we had no money left for the rest of the summer. After some quick thinking we realized we could sit around town all summer doing nothing - or we could go on an adventure.

In the summer before - we honeymooned at Miami Beach. We decided we could return there - and get summer jobs. With gasoline at 25 cents a gallon - we made the 1300 mile trip to South Beach on $8. We rented a studio in an old home in downtown Miami for $70 a month. We got to attend the Democratic and Republican conventions that year that were held back to back in Miami Beach. We got jobs immediately.

Lulu ended up working for K Mart at the service desk announcing the Blue Light Specials. I got a job at the local Honda dealership - selling Honda cars. When September came - we drove back to Pennsylvania - Lulu commuted to Kutztown State College - I continued to teach in my only real job at Panther Valley.

We had a yellow Honda 600 - It cost $1473

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