The Honda S800 was introduced at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show to replace the S600. Like the S600, it was available as either a coupe or roadster and continued the advanced technology of its predecessors. The 791 cc straight 4 engine produced 70 hp (52 kW) at 8000 rpm, thus making this Honda’s first 100 mph (160 km/h) automobile, but still allowing for 35 mpg (6.7 L/100 km).
In April 1967 the car was described as the fastest production 1-litre car in the world thanks to its high revving engine (up to 10,000 rpm) and the manufacturer’s history of manufacturing powerful relatively low capacity motor-cycle engines. Early examples continued to use the chain drive and independent suspension in the rear. 752 roadsters and 242 coupés were then produced. After that Honda switched to a conventional drive-shaft, live axle rear end with four radius rods and a Panhard rod. 604 roadsters and 69 coupes were built with this setup before disc brakes replaced the front drums.
In February 1968, the S800M (aka S800MK2) was introduced with flush mounted interior door handles, side marker lights outside, dual-circuit brakes, lean burn carburetion under the bonnet and safety glass. These changes were made for the American market, but the car was never imported there officially. Production ended in May 1970 with 11,536 S800s produced. Honda did not manufacture another S roadster for nearly thirty years until the release of the S2000 for the 2000 model year.
The Tomica model pf the roadster was introduced into the regular line-up as number 23-2 as late as 1980 - many years after production of the real car had ended, It stayed in the regular line up for only a couple of years, but has been re-released a number of times - collectors seem to love it.
This “Limited” model was made in the early 2000s as part of a 4 car Honda Roadster set, consisting of two different S800s and two S2000s.