The Honda S500 was the first production car from Honda, released in 1963, following the T360 truck into production by four months. It was a larger displacement variant of the S360 roadster which, though developed for sale in 1962, was never produced.
Like the S360, the S500 used a high-tech engine developed from Honda's motorcycle expertise. It was a dual overhead cam straight-4 with four carburettors and a 9500 rpm redline. Originally intended to displace 492 cc, the production version was 531 cc and produced 44 hp at 8000 rpm. Weighing just 1500 lb (680 kg), the tiny S500 could hit 80 mph (129 km/h).
The S500 used a 4-speed manual transmission with chain drive at the rear wheels. A four-wheel independent suspension was also novel, with torsion bars in front and diagonal coilover shock absorbers at the rear.
The car was priced at $1,275 in 1963. An optional fiberglass hardtop was also available. 1,363 S500s were produced from October 1963 through September 1964.