Bingeing My Honda Obsession

posted in: Bio-Historical, Design Life 6

In Feeding My Honda Obsession, I wrote about my first Honda: the 600. With the pandemic lockdown still on, I decided to continue with my idea to build models of all my Hondas through the years. I may not share all of them, but the second one is definitely worth talking about.

The Honda 600 came out at the end of 1970. Imagine starting a car company that only made one tiny car that could barely go 75mph! It was adorable, but the 600 wasn’t enough to solidify Honda’s standing as a car company. Honda knew they needed a car that could coexist on the freeways with large American gas-guzzlers. Consequently, in 1973, they replaced the 600 with the first Civic. The car was a foot longer at 11 feet, but it also felt more solid and powerful, relatively speaking, and this one cost $2250 (upscale from the $1503 Honda 600 price tag). The Civic put Honda in the game and truly made it a car company. It’s still a best seller today after over 45 years. (The Accord followed three years later and Honda never looked back.)

My 600 turned me into a Honda addict, so, of course, I bought a Civic, too. I could be wrong, but I doubt there were many two Honda households in 1973. What a cute pair they were! I saw some plans in Popular Mechanics magazine for a 12’ x 12’ workshop and realized it could be a tiny garage. On paper, both cars could fit, but I needed to add 2 feet to the width so I could open a door to get out once inside the “garage”. Glad I thought of that before I built it! I convinced my landlord to let me pour a concrete pad for the floor, and I built the structure so it could be unbolted and moved. It was perfect! It was totally custom to my Honda collection—no other two car models would ever fit! And I sold it to a neighbor when I left.

Creating the Honda 600 digital model last month was so much fun, I got blueprints for all the other Hondas I’ve owned, and started building the Civic next. I’ve enjoyed building plastic model kits since childhood. But it didn’t take long to find the original kits to be boring and too “stay inside the lines” for my taste, so I started working with balsa wood and putty to make my own car bodies, which ultimately landed me at Art Center studying transportation design. There was no digital design in those days. Today working digitally allows for so much more exploration and experimenting. In a very short time, I can change the car’s colors and textures, add new details and levels of finish, move it to a different location, or add other cars or props. It’s just so satisfying, I may never give it up.

The Civic digital model turned out great, and seeing and rendering the two cars together in various settings has brought back so many memories of my original cars and experiences. They look exactly like my Hondas. I love it!

If anyone has a well-loved first car they want to memorialize, I can make it for you, at almost any level of detail you want, as long as there are blueprints and photos to work from, and there usually are. A photo-realistic rendering of my first cars printed poster size sends me to a happy place! How about you?

And for everybody who asked about it in my last post, none of the car images are photographs. They are renderings of my Honda 600 digital model! The background environments are added photos which reflect onto the car surfaces adding another degree of realism.

So, what are you all doing for fun while socially isolating? Cheers!

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Bill Giobbi (bgob1) is founder and owner of Linea Forma Design, a 38 year old design firm specializing in creating graphic content for print, web and video. He is a graphic designer, industrial designer, model maker, technical illustrator and a digital 3D content creator/animator, with a love of all things design.
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6 Responses

  1. Karl vinsek

    I think my Volkswagen was 1200.. did the 600 stand for 600 cc ?

    • bgob1

      You got it 600cc.Two cylinders, two stroke. Basically a lawn mower.

  2. Chuck and Marilyn

    Hi Bill and Maren:
    I realy enjoy the pictures you send.
    How about a picture of you and your lovely wife.
    Hope both of you are ot a part of the satistics on the bad side.
    Seeing the car Makes us think of a Honda CR_V to replace the Highlander that is 14 years old now.
    Great to hear from and keep the pics coming and even better stay well, love to you and the family.
    Chuck and Mrilyn….xoxoxoxoxoxox

    • bgob1

      Thanks Chuck. Thinking of you both/

  3. TeeeeeBeeeeee

    “Honda Honda Burning Love”

    • bgob1

      You are always thinkin’ TeeBee!! Cheers.