Car Industry

Honda just restored a 1961 Chevy truck perfectly

The truck is modeled after those used to deliver motorcycles to dealers in American Honda's early days.

The restored Chevrolet delivery truck is meant to celebrate Honda's 60th year in the US.

Honda

Looking at American Honda now, it's hard to remember that it wasn't all that long ago that it was a small company trying to sell motorcycles in Southern California. To help remind us of its history, Honda decided to restore a vehicle that it used to hand-deliver its bikes to dealers; only that vehicle is a Chevy truck.

Yep, you read that right. Honda just finished its restoration of a 1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 pickup truck and it's as gorgeous as you might imagine. The company announced on Tuesday that it would be taking its shiny new-old Chevrolet to SEMA, along with a pair of restored two-wheelers -- specifically a CB160 and a Honda 50 scooter -- to celebrate its 60th anniversary in the US.

This black-and-white photo and old employees' memories were all Honda had to go on as a guide.

Honda

The restoration of the truck was based on a single photo of a similar vehicle in front of the original US Honda headquarters on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. This photo is black and white, so much of the detail for the hand-lettered design of the truck had to come from the memories of people who worked for Honda at the time.

"American Honda is full of auto and motorcycle enthusiasts from our CEO on down, and this project is a reflection of that. The Apache and its cargo are important parts of our history, so recreating that setup for our 60th anniversary was a fun platform for internal and external storytelling about our history in this country," Sage Marie, assistant vice president of public relations for American Honda Motor, told Roadshow. 

The truck itself isn't particularly special, aside from its originality. This particular example comes with a half-ton chassis, 8-foot bed, a 283 cubic-inch V8 engine and three-on-the-tree manual transmission. It's also perfect, and we love it.

In addition to its SEMA plans for 2019, Honda wants to show the truck off at a number of automotive enthusiast events in Southern California and the truck's permanent home will be the Honda Collection in Torrance, California, where it'll be parked in front of a replica facade of the original American Honda HQ.

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Originally published June 18.
Update, June 19: Adds comment from American Honda Motor.