Honda 1300

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Honda 1300
Honda 1300.JPG
SuccessorHonda Accord
ClassCompact car
Body style(s)2-door coupe
4-door sedan
LayoutFF layout
Engine(s)1298 cc I4
ManualsService Manual
Honda 1300 Coupe 9
Honda 145 coupe

The 1300 was a novel car for Honda. Introduced in May 1969, it was a front wheel drive car, and was the largest model the company had ever produced. From 1970 a stylish coupe complemented the more conservatively styled sedan: both had a 1.3 L engine.

The Honda 1300 was not sold in the USA.

The 1300 was Honda's first attempt at producing a conventional sedan to compete with the Toyota Corona and the Nissan Bluebird, and the company was very ambitious, with Soichiro Honda involved in many aspects of the cars design, to include engineering efforts for both the product and assembly procedures. Changes were made multiple times, sometimes on a daily basis, which hampered efforts in production. Mr. Honda was adamant that the engine needs to be air-cooled instead of water, claiming that "since water-cooled engines eventually use air to cool the water, we can implement air cooling from the very beginning."

The engine

The engine was SOHC air-cooled, with a fan attached to the flywheel to pull cool air through the engine block, labeled DDAC, or Duo Dyna Air Cooling. This warm air, or hot air from the exhaust manifold, was then used to heat the passenger compartment, a novel approach which was not commonly used afterward. Hideo Sugiura, then the head of the R&D Center, looked back upon the sentiment of the time: "We had a powerful company founder, Mr. Honda, who was on top of the engineering operation. He also had expertise, which he had acquired through a string of enormous successes. Having such a leader, the sentiment in the company was that we had to see it all the way through, regardless of where the road might take us. There was to be no surrender. We could not give up halfway."

"Streamlining the bulky construction of the air-cooled engine, and giving it the quietness of a water-cooled engine, will create the ideal power plant...." With that concept in mind, the research engineers worked tirelessly to achieve their ideal. It was from this grueling process of trial and error that the DDAC integrated dual air-cooled engine was achieved. The initial prototype was completed in July 1968, after which dynamic performance testing, temperature measurements and other basic evaluations were conducted.

In a departure from the previous Honda practice of using roller bearings on the crankshaft, the 1300 engine had more conventional plain bearings. Two versions of the engine were available. The engine fitted to the 77 sedan and Coupe 7 had a single Keihin carburettor and developed 100 bhp (70 kW), while the engine that powered the 99 sedan and Coupe 9 was equipped with four Keihin carburettors and developed 116 bhp (87 kW) at 7,300 rpm.

The engine was a dry-sump design with a pressurized oil system feeding from a tank. An electrical fuel pump was another high-tech novelty which would eventually be common. The electrical system was another matter — it had a separate redundant set of wiring on each side of the car.

Coupe 9 engine - note four carburettors


The H1300 provided the shock needed to change Honda's operating structure. Under the new system, Honda introduced the water-cooled Life and Civic models as its new mini automobile and small passenger cars. The Civic, which was equipped with a CVCC engine in full compliance with the Air Pollution Control Act, drew the world's attention to Honda's engineering approach.

Those involved in the H1300 project agreed unanimously. The pain indeed contributed much to the development of Honda's subsequent, successful future automobile models. In 1973 the 1300 was succeeded by the technically interesting Honda 145, again offered as a Sedan or a Coupé. The 145's body was little changed from the 1300, but it was powered now by a water cooled 1433 cc engine, the inspiration for the car's name. The market was not impressed by the 145: only 9,736 were produced as the model quickly found itself overshadowed by Honda's new Civic, and the coupe ended production October 1974.

A coupe would not be produced again by Honda until 1978, when the Prelude was introduced.