1972 Honda AZ 600 coupe

I’ve got no childhood stories to relate to this one, but I’ve had a fascination for these tiny Hondas for the last 15 years or so. Price-wise, they used to be the poor man’s Mini, but it seems that solid examples are going up in price, especially coupes in the style of this one featured today. Even the later first-generation Civics seem to run about $4000 – $5000 for a nice example, which I’m guessing is thanks to the recent interest in 1960s and 1970s Japanese cars, as well as our recent $4/gallon fuel “crisis”. It would be amusing if these were displacing the big American boats in people’s classic car parking spot!

1972 Honda AZ 600 front


Anyway, enough rambling and back to the subject of today’s post, which is on eBay with a reputable seller. The car looks reasonably complete, missing its camshaft and cover in the pictures. There is a box of engine parts included, but the contents are not listed. From what is visible, it has a recent Washington plate on the back, so has hopefully not been off the road for too long. Seller states that brakes work, car rolls, there are new tires, and it shifts properly. Problems include surface rust and some penetrating rust, but nothing that couldn’t be temporarily stopped with your favorite anti-rust paint, while the floors look solid. The upholstery also has splits, but is serviceable. A simple online search yields what appear to be many useful resources.

1972 Honda AZ 600 rear

From my past readings of the market for these cars, it seems the AZ 600 is more desirable, and with its funky black-framed window hatch, smaller rear windows, and strangely sportier look I can see why. From the rear pic, it looks as if there’s a trunk below the hatch that resides behind the license plate and goes down below the bumper. Can anybody comment on what this space is meant for? Seems too big for just a spare tire.

1972 Honda AZ 600 interior

For what was essentially an econobox, the interior actually looks pretty sporty, much like many early Hondas. Notice the 3-spoke wheel, multiple gauges including a tach, and that almost French-style shifter sprouting from the dash. If you know the dash layout of the British-built Civic Si that was imported here earlier this decade, you’ll see this car’s shifter location kind of foreshadows its descendant’s.

1972 Honda AZ 600 engine

Lastly, the engine. I’ve always hoped that these, like the engines in the Honda 600 and 800 sports cars, would be some free-revving motorcycle-derived wonder, and while they’re air-cooled parallel 2-cylinders with a roller-bearing crank, I’ve read they aren’t – correct me if I’m wrong! However, being small-displacement Honda engines they’re probably still pretty fun to flog around town in any case. 36hp probably means they need flogging, but they have a 4-speed and front discs, so at least doing it and stopping should be easy.

I’ve liked these for a while. Let me know what it’s like if you’ve driven/owned one.

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31 Responses to “1972 Honda AZ 600 coupe”

  1. josh Says:

    hey man you are one lucky man i have the same car and them thangs are really ceap one gas

  2. chad Says:

    I bought one in 1973 and had it till a friend crashed it while ogling a pedestrienne. they tend to hydroplane in hard rain and the rear window trim usually comes lose and the glass falls out and breaks. Cruised originally at 80 mph and got up to 45> 50 mpg. I went through the original opec gas crisis on one tank of gas.

  3. Shawn Says:

    I owned one of these. Bought it in 1972 from the Honda dealer in Everett Washington for $1650. I loved that old car. I was very young. It was my first car. I once got it to go 90 mph – going downhill from the top of a mountain pass, with a tail wind. I really liked the gear shifter the way it hung from the dash. It only had 10″ tires that were hard to find for replacements that are probably even harder to find now. The back window is glued into the frame; mine fell out one day in 1977. It probably isn’t a very safe car, but I sure enjoyed it.

  4. This is not a Honda site – 1972 Honda AZ 600 « Rusty But Trusty Says:

    […] However, that’s not at all the case, but these cars just keep popping up. I’ve already written about the Honda AZ600, but that example needed some work and was on eBay with reserve not yet met. It’s always […]

  5. Andrew Says:

    I would like to purchase a Honda 600. First choice is a coupe. I will entertain the right deal on a sedan. The ownership must be clear, clear and transferrable. If not, it’s a parts car. (I will consider these too, but rember that now all you are selling are parts.)THE BODY AND INTERIOR HAS TO BE CLEAN AND INTACT. Rust and missing pieces are the enemy. I can tolerate mechanical issues. I am located on Long Island, in New York. A GOOD DIGITAL PHOTO STUDY of the car will be necessary if you are more than an hour away from me. I will need to see the bad things as well as the good before I will travel any further. The goal here is not to waste each others time. The worst thing that you can do to me is to misrepresent what you are selling and waste my time. I will be unplesant.

    I know a story of how, in 1971, the owner of a then long time Pontiac dealership in New York, bought a Honda franchise for two thousand dollars. The salesmen laughed at the six funny little cars when the first delivery arrived from Honda. Then there was the energy crisis in 1973 and the owner, considered more or less a fool in 1971, was now a genius. The dealership was later sold. A few years later it became exclusivly Honda. They are still in business today.

  6. Heather Says:

    hi i need parts for my 1972 honda mini coupe. can anyone help please? email me at hbarker84@yahoo.com

    Thanks so much

  7. JD Says:

    im currently restoring a 72 az600 and am almost done the little hatch below the liscence plate is for the spare and believe me its a tight fit good luck on your resto they really are neat cars!

  8. Richard Says:

    The compartment behind the bumper is for the full size spare and jack. Jack handle snaps onto the inside of the compartment door. I bought a new AZ600 in 1972. Loved the car. However, it could not handle the road salt. Very rusty. Traded it in with 96K miles on it in 1978. Very reliable, never left me stranded.

  9. FRANK MOONEY Says:

    I NEED A DRIVER’S SIDE REAR BUMPER. GIVE ME YOUR PRICE. LAST ITEM IN RESTORATION

  10. ed Says:

    hi
    have a couple of complete 600 coupes will be for sale soon as i get around to listing them , plus a lot of parts

    mrplastic@earthlink.net

  11. Jimmo Says:

    My first car was a brand new ’72 Yellow Honda AZ600. I drove the crap out of that car for about 7 years until I piled it into a 1-1/2 ton construction flatbed truck at 50 mph after he ran a red light in broad daylight. People always said that if I ever got into and accident with it, I would be dead. Aside from a stiff neck the next day, I didn’t even get hurt. After we bought it back from the wrecking yard for parts my brother (just for the heck of it) put another carb on it (because the original one got smashed in the crash), and fired it up. Then proceeded to drive it around the block.
    Those parts that were undamaged (including the engine) went into another AZ600 I had purchased that wasn’t running. That car went on for a number of years until I sold it for about what I paid for a new one.
    The claim about it having hydroplaning problem must have been due to crappy tires because mine was a very dependable car in the rain, so much so that I affectionately called it the Yellow Submarine.
    My biggest complaint was lack of HP (only 36), other than that it was a kick-ass little car and I often times miss it.

  12. Doug Knight Says:

    I have two complete 1972 AZ-600 coupes. one is blue and one is orange. Been sitting on the farm for years, if anyone is interested. I have titles for both.

  13. fernando Says:

    hola amigo me puedes mandar fotos del honda 600 y cuanto dinero quieres por el gracias y saludos.

  14. ed Says:

    like mine also , i have some extra parts , plus one for sale
    ed

  15. Mike Says:

    Hi,
    Heather let me know what you need.
    Mike

  16. frank Says:

    i nead parts for a z 600 coup

  17. Diane Benze Says:

    A 1972 600 coupe (yellow) is sitting in my garage, and I would love to get rid of it. It’s in very bad condition.

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