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Want To Buy A 173-MPG Honda? You Have One Day Left To Bid

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Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Enlarge Photo

Reading eBay auction listings, it's important to look at the disclaimers. Such as ...

This is a non-running experimental vehicle being sold AS-IS / WHERE-IS.

and

Proof of the "Documented 173 [Miles Per Gallon!]" has yet to be found.

and

The exact origins of this vehicle are unknown.

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Enlarge Photo

OK, so now that we've gotten those out of the way, what do we have here?

It's apparently a 1972 Honda 600 that was heavily modified during the 1980s to achieve ultra-high gas mileage, most likely (as the seller notes) "on a closed track under special circumstances."

It's been hidden away in a museum, the seller says, from 1995 until now, and is "in need of minor repair" and missing its ignition key. It's located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Remarkably, no one seems to know who built it or where the purported 173 mpg was achieved, despite periodic discussion on fuel-efficiency forums like EcoModder.com.

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Enlarge Photo

The technical details make it even more bizarre than it looks:

  • Wheelbase extended and (probably) original two-cylinder 600cc engine moved forward
  • Single-cylinder diesel engine fitted further back in the chassis
  • Twin fuel tanks mounted on the firewall
  • Snowmobile-style belt-drive pulley system linking the two engines
  • Aluminum and fiberglass front and rear bodywork extensions to length vehicle and achieve boat-tail shape
  • Aluminum underbody panel to smooth airflow and four removable wheel-opening skirts

The seller has put the car up for bid on eBay without a reserve price, though s/he reserves the right to end the listing at any time. It's been publicized by Bring A Trailer and other sites, and the seller has also posted a whole raft of photos outside eBay as well.

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Experimental 1972 Honda 600 modified for fuel efficiency, from eBay

Enlarge Photo

If any of our readers can contribute further information about this car--who built it, whether it achieved the 173-mpg rating, and any other history--please leave that information in the Comments below.

Meanwhile, if you're interested in the car, the auction ends slightly before 3 pm Eastern time tomorrow.

What would YOU pay for this car? And what would you do with it?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Comments (8)
  1. I think if the automotive X-prize has taught us anything, it is this. Getting more than 100 MPG is very difficult. So I am guessing that this vehicle will get less than 100 MPG
     
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  2. John! Even at a 100 MPG, or a little under, that is still very impressive for that old car when GM is struggling to get 30 MPG.
     
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  3. It would be interesting to know what it is capable of achieving.
    http://www.honda600coupe.com/Hemmings.html
    Data suggests that the original Honda 600 was a 1300 pound car getting 42 MPG. I think GM could easily do that.

    For the record GM made an 80 MPG car back in 1993 as part of the PNGV. For whatever reason they didn't put it into production.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partnership_for_a_New_Generation_of_Vehicles
     
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  4. John, I am aware of that 80 MPG vehicle GM made. I have always liked GM vehicles because of the good gas millage and their good looks until Obama got in office and upped the MPG and it seemed like GM did a belly flop and started backward with their MPG and looks. I know that GM is owned by the GOP and I think GM did an about face to rile Obama. I don't think GM wanted to accept, if they did they didn't care, that they would loose a lot of loyal fans by going so political and showing a bit of racism toward our president.
     
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  5. Also, GM bought the design of one of the best hydrogen vehicles ever invented called the 'battery on wheels' or the 'skateboard car'. GM even had several college engineering students design bodies for it, but the last year of the Bush administration when Bush's ratings sank below 30%, GM put the design up on the shelf and forgot about it; GM even took the design off their web site. It is obvious why GM is doing what they are doing and it seems like they are trying to go bankrupt again.
     
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  6. There is a lot of information here:

    http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/honda-p-100-hybrid-173-mpg-15233.html

    The person selling it on eBay is a member on EcoModder. And we've been discussing it on that thread.

    Neil
     
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  7. Sold. $4200
     
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  8. This 173MPG Honda was sold to a museum:
    http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/honda-p-100-hybrid-173-mpg-15233-4.html#post262585
    Neil
     
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