The world's largest motorcycle
manufacturer did not make its first car until 1963
, and even then it owed much of its mechanical
underpinnings to the two wheeled variety. Founded
by Soichiro Honda, one of nine children from a
poor family, he was a gifted engineer and astute
businessman. Apprenticed in a car repair shop,
got his first chance to actually drive a car during
the Toyko earthquake of 1923, then ferrying people
and supplies around the devastated city.
with racing cars, but his big break came after
World War 2 when he realised that few could afford
a car, and so turned his attention to the manufacture
of ex-military two-stoke engines fitted to bicycles.
Manufactured their first motorcycle, the Dream,
in 1949, which was fitted with a four-stoke engine.
Launched the chain driven 500 sports car in 1963,
subsequent iterations becoming more conventional,
and more popular.