During the 1970s light, rugged utility cars were very popular with the public in Europe. Vehicles in this category included the Volkswagen Thing, the Citroën Méhari, the Mini Moke, and this model, the Honda Vamos. Manufacturers seemed to have similar ideas for these cars: take an existing model, strip it down to its most basic components, and market it as “rugged” and “fun”. Many of these Jeep-like vehicles were sold as convertibles, and most had light off-road capabilities.
The Vamos you see here is Honda’s two-wheel drive offering, and was only sold in Japan. Its 354cc engine is shared with Honda’s Kei class truck, the TN360. While the two-cylinder, air-cooled engine only puts out 30hp, the Vamos has a payload capacity of 220kg (about 440 pounds), and could seat up to 4 people. The instruments and switches are sealed for dust and water due to the open-cab configuration, and the folding top allows for a variety of cargo-carrying options.
Country of Origin: Japan
Drivetrain Configuration: Mid-engine, rear wheel drive
Engine: overhead cam, 354cc, two-cylinder, air-cooled, 30hp
Transmission: 4 speed manual
Top Speed: 35 mph
Years of Production: 1970-1973
Number Produced: 2,500
Original Cost: $3,095