Honda Restores Historic 1961 Chevy Apache
It may seem odd that Honda would restore a 1961 Chevrolet Apache considering that the two brands are rivals, but it makes perfect sense after finding out just how important this particular classic pickup is to the Japanese brand’s history.
Before Honda sold cars, it sold motorcycles. And when it entered the US market back in 1959, it relied on a fleet of Chevy Apache pickups to deliver its bikes to dealers. With the Apache ensuring that Super Cubs, CB77 Super Hawks, and CB160s reach their destination on time, Honda managed to become the bestselling motorcycle brand in the US in the short span of six years, grabbing almost 72 percent of the market share within that time period.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Honda’s entry into the American motorcycle market, the company fully restored this 1961 Chevy Apache 10. It doesn’t belong to Honda’s original fleet, but it represents a faithful representation of how the Japanese brand’s delivery pickups looked back then, including unique touches and hand-painted details.
The look of the truck was based on a single black-and-white photo of the original US Honda headquarters on 4077 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. Since the photo is monochromatic, Honda had to refer to people who worked for the original dealership at the time to ensure the accuracy of its restoration.
“American Honda is full of auto and motorcycle enthusiasts from our CEO on down, and this project is a reflection of that,” said Sage Marie, assistant vice president of public relations for American Honda Motor. “The Apache and its cargo are important parts of our history, so recreating that setup for our 60th anniversary was a fun platform for internal and external storytelling about our history in this country.”
Honda’s recent restoration is actually far from the only one of its kind. Another car just like it sits as the centerpiece of RealTime Racing’s own Honda Museum.
The restored pickup will make the rounds of car shows around the US that Honda will be attending as part of its 60th anniversary celebration. After the shows, the pickup will be housed in the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance, California, along with a mock-up display of the original LA office.