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A Brief history of Honda

Born in 1906, Soichiro Honda was the son of a blacksmith and a weaver, who in 1921 at the age of fifteen, with very little formal education, began an apprenticeship at a garage, working as a car mechanic. Just over one hundred years after his birth the name Honda is now synonymous with with many forms of engineering including motor cars, motorcycles, generators, boats, water pumps, ATV's, jet aircraft and even robots.

In 1928 Honda set up his first business repairing cars, his passion however was building and racing his own cars, one of the first he made used a V8 aircraft engine as the source of power, this passion to race stayed with Soichiro throughout his life, but a very serious accident in 1936 finished his own personal racing career.

After selling his first venture Soichiro formed the Honda Motor Company in 1948 and production of the first Honda motorcycles began. Early successes included the A Type and this conviced Honda that he had found the answer to cheap transportation. Other successes followed and in 1954 Soichiro visited the Isle of Man to watch the annual TT races. Vowing to return and win the TT, Soichiro focused his efforts into producing a bike capable of winning and in 1961 with the help of Mike Hailwood, Honda won both the Ultra Lightweight and Lightweight TT races. So began a pedigree in motor racing that still continues to this day.

The 1960's saw Honda move into the car market, producing small cars mainly for the Japenese market, although because of the size of the cars they made, Honda struggled in the largest marketplace, America, that is until the energy crisis of the 1970's. New laws meant that American manufacturers needed to add a catalytic converter to their cars dramatically adding to the cost. The Honda Civic of 1975 however, could pass the stringent emmission tests without a catalytic converter. Cheaper than its competitors, Honda had found itself a niche in one of the largest marketplaces in the world.

Other successes followed and Honda quickly gained itself a reputation as a premium car manufacturer, comfortable and reliable the Honda brand grew quickly throughout the world and with the introduction of the VTEC variable valve timing system in the late 1980's Honda achieved another first. This mechanism worked on the idea of tuning one engine to operate at two different 'settings' depending on speed, when driving at low-speed the engine would use a "shorter" cam lobe resulting in more power and torque low down, then when more power is needed a more aggressive "longer" cam is used for high-speeds and continued acceleration. Most manufacturers have now introduced their own versions of Variable Valve Timing and Honda use it across their range of cars today.

 

 
 

Honda Accord  

New Honda Accord
It may not be the world leader in its class, but the Accord does everything that it does well making it extremely hard to pick fault with.

  Honda Accord Tourer  
New Honda Accord Tourer
Some models of car find great difficulty in making the step from saloon or hatch to estate, not so the Accord Tourer, good looks and plenty of space.
             
Honda Accord Type S  
New Honda Accord Type S
Some models of car find great difficulty in making the step from saloon or hatch to estate, not so the Accord Tourer, good looks and plenty of space.
  Honda Civic  
New Honda Civic
The futuristic design of the new Civic is certainly a head turner, combined with the solid engineering you always get with Honda and you're on to a winner.
             
Honda Civic Hybrid  
New Honda Civic Hybrid
The Toyota Prius has a real competitor at last, the new Civic Hybrid. Low emmissions & fantastic fuel economy combine to give you a real winner.
  Honda Civic Type R  
New Honda Civic Type R
The Type R has developed quite a following in the UK since its launch in 2001 and the latest incarnation will do nothing to harm its reputation.
             
Honda Civic Type S  
New Honda Civic Type S
If the Type R is just that little bit too much for you, take a look at the Civic Type S. Sportier than the base Civic but not as intense as the Type R.
  Honda CR-V  
New Honda CR-V
The 4x4 has had a bit of bad press over the last few years and that is why Honda have designed their CR-V to be the cleanest, greenest 4x4 yet.
             
Honda FR-V  
New Honda FR-V
The six seater MPV from Honda may not be a brand new idea, but as with other Honda models the FR-V does what it does extremely well.
  Honda Insight  
New Honda Insight
Honda have decided the best way to take sales from the Toyota Prius is to compete on the price. So the new Insight is the cheapest Hybrid yet
             
Honda Jazz  
New Honda Jazz
Widely regarded as the best car in its class the new Jazz not only looks good, it is also full of clever innovations setting it apart from its rivals.
  Honda Legend  
New Honda Legend
Top of the Honda range is the Legend. Designed to compete with the German brands, the Legend is where Honda showcases new technology.
             
Honda S2000  
New Honda S2000
Refined for 2006 the S2000 is everything you would expect, track day performance and daily functionality combined in a sporty package.
     
 

 

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