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1972 HONDA 1300 Coupe

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1972 HONDA 1300 Coupe


Japanese output really started to find its feet during the 1970s, both in terms of styling and mechanicals, and it’d set the template for the industry’s fast upcoming world domination.

One such innovative vehicle came from motorbike turned recent car manufacturer, Honda. Its Coupe takes on its 1300 saloon, had striking looking lines and was brim with technology.

Power came via a transversely mounted, all-alloy four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, while suspension was all independent with MacPherson struts at the front – it was enough to make UK output of its time look positively antediluvian.

In single carburettor Coupe 7 form the zingy little engine output a lofty 100bhp, which in a 920kg car made for a whole lot of fun; while over in the Coupe 9 camp you got racing technology via four individual carburettors and dry-sump lubrication – 116bhp, anyone?

Suspension set-ups for both received high praise, as did performance. Peak power came in above 7000rpm, making them smile-inducing machines for period petrolheads.

Today, climb behind the wheel, and the level of sophistication and outright oomph that either a Coupe 7 or 9 can provide will still surprise you.

The Vehicle

Netherlands-based John Kuiper has owned the Honda for almost three years, “I imported the car from Japan and it still has a Japanese title, but all relevant import duties have been paid. It’s covered 78,787km from new.”

Like most Japanese market cars there’s no history with the vehicle so it’s one that you’ll buy on condition, which here is solid and in the main, original. “I haven’t driven the car very much as it’s right-hand drive and, alongside reducing the collection, that’s also my principal reason for selling”.

John changed the fuel pump when the Honda first arrived, but hasn’t had to do much else to it. “It’s a very near looking car. The bodywork does have some small dents and the colour is original. It runs and drives very good; the air-cooled engine really sounds great.”

So there you have it, a cheeky little Japanese import in very nice condition.

On the Outside

The simple econobox lines of the Sixties N360 and N600, were replaced by altogether more confident ones in the new generation of Honda; just look at that scowling front end – it looks like a brooding Samurai just about to strike.

It’s a well resolved design from any angle; the six-light rear end is simple and well conceived, while the fastback styling looks mighty swift from the rear three-quarter view – we love it.

All panels align nicely and the Blue paintwork has a nice even finish and presents in nice condition; it has a really good level of depth too, and undoubtedly suits the 1300’s lines. As you’d expect there’re one or two small age-related blemishes, such as the stone chips around the bonnet ‘H’ badge and the odd dent and tiny blister here and there.

Bright work is generally good and in keeping with the car’s nice condition, with just a touch of age related pitting here and there, and a very minor scuff or two on the front bumper.

Star-shaped alloys finish the picture and are shod in Dunlop Enasave E203 rubber that looks fresh enough but, as with any classic, we recommend checking the date stamps before use.

As it remains in original condition some of the body and glass rubbers are no doubt showing their age; this includes the chrome roof moulding surrounds, which are pretty cracked. However, these simply add to the car’s patina and so we’d definitely leave them as is.

On the Inside

On popping the driver’s door the first thing that greets you is supremely zingy seat centre bolster material – well, hello there. I’m fairly sure I once saw that design on the side of Ziggy Stardust’s face on an album cover…

One thing’s for sure, entering this cabin is only ever going to be a pleasure.

The colour on those seats, including the rears, has naturally faded slightly over the years (what must they have been like when new?) but they’re in good condition and, most importantly, free from any tares or abrasions. The front seats have a nice sporty design with the side bolsters providing excellent lateral support.

The large steering wheel is man manly size “I doubt whether it’s original,” states John. And he’s right, it should have a much thinner rimmed, three-metal spoke period item. The next owner may wish to try and source one, as the current item looks decidedly out of place.

The dashboard plastics look to be relatively mark free and it’s a design both of its time, and full of character. A pioneer radio cassette, an early indicator of highly-specced Japanese cabins, sits proudly ensconced in the centre column.

Best of all is the rev counter’s redline, which sits at 7000rpm and hints at Honda engines’ famed high revolution happiness…


Everything about this car lends the impression that it’s going to be fun to chuck around (surely any Coupe model’s raison d’être), and John confirms that it’s a hoot to drive.

The engine bay presents reasonably well, but could perhaps benefit from a good clean and detailing. A variety of original Japanese stickers remain in place and the Honda engineers have packaged the little engine neatly within it.

It’s definitely worth getting down on your knees and having a look underneath this car, because the underside shows the benefit of Japanese market vehicles – it looks nice and solid in all the right places.

History Highlights

This is going to be a concise section; one that’s reflective of this small but perfectly formed car. Quite simply it’s a vehicle that will be bought on condition and for rarity.

You’ll find an original New Honda Coupe advert/handbook and a Japanese document in the car’s history file. And that as they say in the classic car business, is that.

Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of the paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained to a very good standard.

What We Think

First things, first: that snazztastic Seventies interior is surely worth the admission price alone. Wouldn’t you agree? It really endows the cabin with an eye popping, zingy and joyous aesthetic.

Second things, well, second: the originality (save for that later steering wheel!) of this car stands out; from the faded window stickers, ‘Honda Aircon’ and ‘OK Honda’, to the star-shaped alloy wheels and original Pioneer radio tape deck. Did we mention the interior?

As such we think this charming little Coupe will sell for somewhere between €17,000 and €29,000. For that the next owner will receive a rare, purposeful little Japanese rarity that’s very solid, quite original and is a properly buzzy performer to boot.

Factor in its then state-of-the-art technology and it’s a real Japanese techno-wizard.

Inspection is always encouraged, and this particular car is located at the owner’s home in Gorinchem, Netherlands; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Gorinchem, Netherlands
  • Odometer Reading: 78800 km
  • Chassis Number: 1114958
  • Engine: 1298
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Blue cloth
  • Estimated Price: €17,000 - €29,000

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